“What is more, I consider everything a loss compared to the surpassing greatness of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things. I consider them rubbish, that I may gain Christ.” Philippians 3:8Romans 8:18-27
After World War II, the leaders of the Soviet Union encouraged theaters to feature the American film The Grapes of Wrath, depicting the John Steinbeck novel about the Joad family’s grim trek from Oklahoma to California. The intention was to show the Soviet people how badly the poor lived under capitalism in the U.S. But that scheme failed because viewers were amazed that even the poor in the United States could afford a car! Perspective truly matters!
Paul—who suffered much in following Jesus Christ (2 Corinthians 11:23-28)—kept his perspective in check. He viewed all of his suffering in light of the future glory to come because of the magnitude of the gift of salvation in Jesus. Paul never acted as if suffering did not exist. But he saw where it fit into life compared to this amazing gift.
As we face trials of many kinds, we can ask God to give us a bigger perspective. May we understand that our present afflictions are not worthy to be compared to the weight of glory we will know in heaven one day (2 Corinthians 4:17).
Lord, please change my perspective so I can see my suffering as light and momentary compared to the gift of knowing you as Savior. Amen.