Bro. Tom’s Weekly Bible Study
  Week #29
Posted: January 21, 2005

A Study of Positional Truths

All of the promises of Positional Truth are not always positive.  The one we have before us for study today is somewhat a negative promise.  Our text of study is Romans 8:18 which says, “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.” 

The word reckon’ is our word consider.  The word has the idea of reaching a settled conclusion by careful study comparison and reasoning.  The word suffering’ means to undergo pain, hardship, and the influence or emotion of affliction.  He makes a comparison of what we are going through now to what it will produce in an eternal value.  The text implies that there is just no comparison.  Let us reckon upon and consider three great truths about suffering.  The Principle, The Purpose, and The Promise of Suffering.



There is a principle that has been taught in the area of Biblical suffering that must be examined.  It is the thought that God will not put more on us than we can bear.  In I Corinthians Paul says that God will put no more on us than we can bear. (I Corinthians 10:13)  The text speaks of temptation, a solicitation to do evil.  Paul gives the true principle of suffering in II Corinthians 1:8 when he says that trouble has pressed me out of measure, I have no strength to carry it, and I wish myself dead.  The principle behind this suffering is mentioned in I Corinthians 1:9 when Paul tells us that trouble has come so that we would not trust in ourselves, but in God that raiseth the dead.  He purposes to put more on us than we can bear so that we might cast all our cares upon Him.  



The purpose for suffering in the life of our Lord is given in Hebrews 2 when the Bible says that our Lord brought many sons unto perfected glory by the things He suffered.  In Hebrews 5 the Bible says that Christ learned obedience by the things he suffered.  Our Lord had never obeyed prior to His visit to this earth.  He learned obedience when He said to the Father about suffering, ‘Not my will, but thine be done’.  Let us say in our suffering to the Father who controls all things, “Not my will, but thine be done”.  



In our text of study, we are told that suffering will bring the glory of Christ likeness.  Job tells us that after we are tried with suffering we will come forth as refined gold.  It is then as refined gold our Lord will see His likeness in us. 

In John MacAthur’s Commentary on Romans, this promise of suffering is given when he says, “As followers of Christ, our suffering comes from men, whereas our glory comes from God.  Our suffering is earthly, whereas our glory is heavenly.  Our suffering is short, whereas our glory is forever.  Our suffering is trivial, whereas our glory is limitless.  Our suffering is in our mortal and corrupted bodies, whereas our glory will be in our perfected and imperishable bodies.”