– William Carey
You should never stumble on what’s behind you. What is past is past. Only the things that lay ahead are the things that we can change. Paul never looked back. He looked forward to finishing his work, writing “I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus” (Phil 3:14). He understood how God works in our lives and that everything that happens, both the bad and the good, work out for our best which is according to His purpose (Rom 8:28).
I think that Paul wanted to console the Christians at Rome when he wrote “I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory that is to be revealed to us” (Rom 8:18). What Paul was trying to communicate to them was that whatever they were going through right now, none of it can be compared to the glory that’s going “to be revealed to us.” In other words, it’s indescribable to try and compare one with the other so it’s not even worth trying. It’s off the charts glorious.
Comfort in Affliction
How could anyone take comfort in afflictions? Paul did and so did the psalmist who wrote “This is my comfort in my affliction, that your promise gives me life” (Psalm 119:5). Where is this comfort found within his affliction? It is found in the promises of God in which he says “gives me life” and so he prayed “Keep steady my steps according to your promise, and let no iniquity get dominion over me” (Psalm 119:133).
There is nothing surer than the promises of God and if we only knew the future that is reserved for us and as bright and glorious as it is, we might exhibit more joy instead of looking like the “frozen chosen.” For those who have never repented and trusted in Christ, their future is indescribably bad (Rev 20:12-15; 21:8). Let us pray they repent and trust in Christ.