“I will believe it, when I see it.” This is a common sentiment among many of us. We live in the age of Enlightenment 2.0, whereby we desire proof before we commit. To be fair, this has always been the case. People, generally speaking, demand evidence to back up the claim. One of the best examples of this in the Bible is poor old Thomas, the disciple. He has been wittingly nicknamed Doubting Thomas due to his desire for proof of the resurrection of Jesus. I love how Jesus responded, “Put your finger here, and see my hands; and put out your hand, and place it in my side. Do not disbelieve, but believe." (John 20:27). Jesus took Thomas where he was at and provided the proof and then Thomas believed.
I find that a lot of people fail to understand the Faith found in the Bible. Despite the popular belief, Faith is not blind. The Faith of the Bible is built on evidence. For example, how do we know there is a God? Look around you. Creation screams that there is a Creator. How do we know that Jesus was God’s Son? Let me see…water to wine, walking on water, bread galore, the demons shutter, the blind see, the deaf hear, the lame walk, and the dead are raised. How do we know that Jesus rose from the grave? He appeared to Mary Magdalene, the other Mary, Peter, two random disciples on the road to Emmaus, the ten disciples (minus Thomas), then the eleven disciples, then seven of the disciples, then 500 disciples, then disciples at the ascension, then James, and then Paul.
God is the God of proof, ample proof. God does not keep us in the dark and tell us to believe it because He says so. He does the opposite. He unfolds History in such a way to show us who He is and to show us His purposes.
This is what is happening in Romans 8:32. Paul is attempting to encourage the Church by providing them with proof. In verse 18 Paul says this, “For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory that is to be revealed to us.”
The reality behind this verse is that suffering for a Christian is guaranteed. Suffering does not disappear when you are saved, in fact, your suffering is increased. Paul, however, tells us that our suffering is relative, both in time and in magnitude. He tells us that someday there will be a glory that will be revealed that will dwarf any and all suffering in this life. Paul is telling us that some day when we are fully brought into the Kingdom of God, the delight of being with God will overshadow any momentary affliction that we may experience on Earth.
This suffering includes diseases, broken hearts, financial crisis, lost loved ones, depression, etc. All of these things, when viewed from an eternal seat next to God, become insignificant. Being with God is the pinnacle of pleasure, and God promises it to everyone who has placed their trust in Jesus as their Savior King. How do we know that God is good on His Word?
“He who did not spare his own Son but gave him up for us all, how will he not also with him graciously give us all things?” – Romans 8:32
The proof is in the cross.