Hope allows people to suffer pain for a greater reward; endure trials in order to achieve a greater goal; and willingly sacrifice for something they cherish. Yet, for some people there is nothing greater than their suffering.
This is where the scriptures are needful. It is through the patience and comfort of the scriptures that we can have hope (Rom 15:4). The Bible plainly describes the greatest evils of this world and the great suffering that has resulted from it, but it also provides a greater hope.
With the revelation of the mystery of Christ, the Lord gave the greatest source of comfort to those that suffer: an eternal hope of glory.
“To whom God would make known what is the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles; which is Christ in you, the hope of glory:” – Col 1:27
Through the sufferings of this world we can now hope upon the glory of God! This glory is greater than anything you can suffer on this earth:
“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.” – Romans 8:18
Hope by Faith
The only way to reckon the greatest sufferings of this world unworthy is through the eyes of faith which come by hearing the word of God (Rom 10:17). If we walk by sight we will not see much hope. We must trust by faith that God is able to do what he promised:
“Knowing that he which raised up the Lord Jesus shall raise up us also by Jesus, and shall present us with you.” – 2 Cor 4:14
“For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, worketh for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory;” – 2 Cor 4:17
We can only glory in tribulations knowing what we do by faith. Our faith encourages us to patiently endure (Rom 12:12) . The endurance then produces a knowledgeable experience about the suffering. Through Paul’s experience he made this statement about suffering:
“…for I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content.” – Phil 4:11
This experience then finally works your hope of glory, without which your suffering would be vain.
“…we glory in tribulations also: knowing that tribulation worketh patience; And patience, experience; and experience, hope:” – Romans 5:3-4
Suffering is Real
Suffering is not to be ignored. Neither is it something we should resign ourselves unto. There is a treatment for suffering called hope and it comes by faith in the word of God rightly divided.
It is only by faith in what the scripture says that we can have sufficient hope to endure the greatest sufferings of this life. There are some very real sufferings in this world from which you cannot be saved except by God’s hope of glory in Christ Jesus (Romans 8:24-25).
The sufferings may not go away until our promotion to glory, but we will always have this hope:
“For we through the Spirit wait for the hope of righteousness by faith.” – Gal 5:5
Suffering is real. So is hope.