Revelation 10 Lesson

Our Suffering Will Be Worth It!

Our focus verse for today’s lesson is:

  • For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory that is to be revealed to us.” – Romans 8:18

While it is true that there will be suffering in this lifetime, it is equally true that the suffering that we endure will all be worth it when we get to heaven.

THE SMALL BOOK

In Revelation Chapter 10, John writes about how a strong angel comes down from heaven with a small book in his hand. We do not know who this angel is.   Some have speculated that this angel is Jesus; others think the angel resembles certain angels as described in the Old Testament, such as Michael from the book of Daniel. Since God does not tell us, we can assume it is not critical for us to know, and simply move on.

What about this little book?   This book is separate from the larger book described in Revelation 5.   That larger book was held by God, on His throne, and contained a written record of all that ever was, and all that will be. This second book is much smaller and there is no description of what is written inside.   Some have speculated this book is a condensed summary of the larger book.   We simply do not know. But we do know that John had a visceral reaction when he ate it. At first, it was sweet, but then it made his stomach bitter.

Most of us hope that our path to heaven will be an easy and pleasant one. But that is not what the Bible tells us. There is nothing in the Bible that says our time on earth will be easy. Jesus’ life was not easy. The apostles’ lives were not easy. So what makes us think that ours will be?

As John eats the small book, at first it is very pleasing. This is not unlike when we first become Christians. We learn about God and Jesus and heaven, and it is all positives. But as we read further into the Bible, we realize that part of being a Christian involves suffering and going through adversity. This may be upsetting to realize, but it is in fact the case.

SUFFERING

Christianity is not all sunshine and rainbows.   The Bible is clear that bad things are going to happen to good people and that God disciplines those whom He loves:

  • “For He causes His sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous.” – Mathew 5:45.

To accept Jesus as our Lord and Savior means to accept EVERYTHING that He teaches us.   Some of His lessons go down easy; others are more uncomfortable.   The key is to follow Him no matter what, even when His ways might not make sense to us at the time. That is what Jesus wants!   That is how He knows that we love Him.

Jesus said in the Gospel of John:

  • “If you love Me, you will keep My commandments.” – John 14:15.

As we go through life, we will have good times and bad. We will have both joy and sorrow. We do not want to be “fair-weather Christians” who only follow Jesus when it is convenient. We show our faith by how well we keep to His commandments during the dark times of our lives.

OUR REWARD IS IN HEAVEN

While suffering is never fun, it is necessary. God uses adversity for three reasons:

  1. To teach us,
  2. To discipline us,
  3. To reveal His supreme power.

In Paul’s letter to the Romans, he said the following:

  • “And not only this, but we also exult in our tribulations, knowing that tribulation brings about perseverance; and perseverance, proven character; and proven character, hope.” – Romans 5:3-5.

The above passage tells us how God uses sufferingto teach us. Through our tribulations, we develop perseverance, character, and hope. And while nobody likes adversity while they are going through it, it is a great teacher!

Another reason that God allows us to experience suffering is to disciplineus. The Hebrew writer wrote about this in the following passage:

  • “My son, do not regard lightly the discipline of the Lord, nor faint when you are reproved by Him; for those whom the Lord loves He disciplines, and He scourges every son whom He receives.” - Hebrews 12:5-6.

The third reason that God allows us to suffer is to keep us humbleand to remind us of just how dependent on Him we are. When everything is going perfectly in our lives, Satan can trick us into having a false sense of security. If we never had any problems, we might begin to think that we can make it on our own and that we do not need God.

We know this is not the case, and suffering reminds us of this. Without God, we are lost. With Him, there is nothing that we cannot overcome!

The good news for us all is that suffering in this life is temporary and nothing compared to the joy that awaits those who are faithful to the Lord. Consider the following two scriptures:

  1. “After you have suffered for a little while, the God of all grace, who called you to His eternal glory in Christ, will Himself perfect, confirm, strengthen and establish you.” - 1 Peter 5:10,
  2. “For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory that is to be revealed to us.” - Romans 8:18.

CONCLUSION

We are all going to suffer. The more we study the Bible, the more we understand this. God allows us to suffer for three reasons:

  1. To teach us,
  2. To discipline us,
  3. To reveal His supreme power.

When we commit to following Jesus, we must commit to following Him in good times and in bad. Consider the following words spoken by Jesus:

  • If anyone wishes to come after Me, he must deny himself, and take up his cross and follow Me. For whoever wishes to save his life will lose it; but whoever loses his life for My sake will find it. For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world and forfeits his soul? Or what will a man give in exchange for his soul?” – Mathew 16:24-16

When we give our lives completely to Jesus, we will be rewarded in heaven for eternity!

We will end today’s lesson with the following words of encouragement that we all hope to be able to say at the end of our time on earth:

  • “I have fought the good fight, I have finished the course, I have kept the faith; in the future there is reserved for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will award to me on that day; and not only to me, but also to all who have loved His appearing.” – 2 Timothy 4:7-8.

Comments

Emmanuel Uwamusi

Wonderful point of truth!

Reply
James A Guillory

We have an Awesome God who is full of love and compassion who desires that none perish,but that all come to salvation!!

Reply
John
James A Guillory

Amen!

Reply
John

Mysterious chapter. Some things are just going to remain a mystery.

Reply