The nature of our spirit is self-restoration. We want to experience glory. We want significance and purpose and meaning. We want Heaven.
We naturally try to avoid suffering. But much of our suffering is actually self-induced. If the path we choose to avoid suffering leads to suffering, it means something is amiss in our perspective.
This verse puts its finger directly on one problem: our time horizon is too short. We lack the perspective of eternity.
Paul says here that the appeal of glory in eternity is so great it is not even worthy to be compared to present sufferings. He is not saying it is “better”. He’s not even saying it is “way better”. He is saying it is so much better, they can’t even be talked about in the same arena. The power of glory weakens the influence of suffering.
It is difficult for us to fathom what it would be like to be rewarded as a joint-heir with Christ, “glorified together” with Him because we suffered as He suffered. Whatever we can imagine is woefully inadequate.
And what were the nature of Jesus’ sufferings? First, they were not self-induced, as many of ours are. But Jesus did deliberately place himself in a position to endure rejection, unjust criticism, and ultimately death. He did so because He spoke truth to a generation who preferred falsehood. He loved in a world that preferred hate. And He healed and ministered even though His ministry threatened earthly powers.
The best we can do is accept Paul’s perspective. To look forward to the Kingdom riches to come and participate in them so far as we can in this life. The Bible promises it will be worth the suffering a thousand times over.