Rom 8:18-21 “For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us. For the earnest expectation of the creature waiteth for the manifestation of the sons of God. For the creature was made subject to vanity, not willingly, but by reason of him who hath subjected the same in hope, Because the creature itself also shall be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God.”
Sometimes, when we are in the midst of trouble, it seems that trouble is all we can see. Our sufferings loom so large before us that we begin to feel that our only reason for being is to suffer in one way or another. Our tribulations drown out the joy and peace in our lives. When we find ourselves in this condition we need to stop and reckon.
The Greek word translated as “reckon” means “to take an inventory” according to Strong’s dictionary. At first glance we would wonder why on earth we would want to take an inventory of our pains and hardships. However, when we begin to take an inventory of our sufferings we will make a wonderful discovery. For every time of suffering there was also a time of great deliverance in our lives.
Every trial and tribulation we pass through is another opportunity for us to experience the truth that God, our Father, will never leave us or forsake us. It is true that the suffering we do in this life is not worthy to be compared with the unimaginable joy we expect to be ours in eternal heaven. It is also true that the suffering we may be doing in this present moment pales (is not worthy) when compared to the joy and wonder that is ours as Jesus shows us over and over again how much He loves us. Every time he reveals His glory in us, it is a time of great rejoicing.
When we begin to take inventory of the presence of God in our lives (as manifested by the glory revealed in us through suffering), it creates in us an “edge of your seat” anticipation. As we grow in grace, we learn to watch intently for His coming, not only in the final resurrection but in our daily living. By the change wrought in us through the Holy Ghost, we watch for every revelation (manifestation) of the children of God. While we certainly have a great anticipation of eternity, there is an indescribable joy here as well as the manifestation of the sons of God.
I have been regularly attending worship service since I was eleven years old. I have been blessed to worship with my wife, children, parents, grandparents, sisters, neighbors, and total strangers. It is still miraculous to me to come into God’s presence with these people and see them transformed from our natural relationships into the appearance of the children of God. Our natural affections fall away to be replaced by something so much deeper and more glorious.
The creature (the original formation – see Strong’s), was, and continues to be, made subject to vanity. That is not a matter of choice, per se, but the result of being “shapen in iniquity (Psalms 51:5).” Even though we are made subject to vanity, we have also been subjected to hope. In that hope (confident belief, expectation), we anticipate being delivered from the bondage of corruption.
We anticipate being delivered from this mortal life, resurrected from the dead and ultimately spending eternity in the presence of God. While we will never know the fullness of that in this life, I find that I still have an earnest expectation of that deliverance into the glorious liberty of the children of God every time I pray; every time I sing His praise; every time I study His word; every time I meet with my brothers and sisters in worship. I have found that when I am in the presence of the Holy Spirit all my sufferings are not worthy to be compared to the glory that Jesus shares with us here (Romans 8:17). If the liberty we have as the children of God is glorious here, how much more glorious must it be when we taste it in its fullness!
May we always rejoice in the manifestation of the children of God!