Summary of passage: Since we are God’s children, we are heirs of God and Christ and share in his sufferings and glory. Our sufferings are miniscule compared to the glory that awaits us.
3) Part personal Question. My answer: Paul suffered terribly as we all know. He was imprisoned and murdered by the Romans. He was tortured and beaten, robbed and stoned. He was scared for his earthly life most of the time and on the run from persecutors. He was shipwrecked and starving. This does not affect my understanding of these verses in any measurable way. When I suffer, it’s nothing compared to Paul or any other 1st century human. It’s hard to compare apples to oranges. All I know is my suffering is miniscule to Paul’s and I try not to complain about it.
That being said disregarding Paul who lived 2000 years ago, Paul’s words are encouraging because in my suffering there is hope and a glory that is unseen. Suffering is fleeting; glory is forever. And when you think you have nothing you really have everything.
4a) The definition of glory according to Webster’s Dictionary is “praise, honor, or distinction extended by common consent: renown. worshipful praise, honor and thanksgiving. great beauty and splendor; magnificence.” According to Zondervan’s Illustrated Bible Dictionary, glory is “Great honor or praise; used especially of God’s majestic splendor; weight, burden, wealth, magnificence, honor. The glory of God is the worthiness of God or the presence of God in the fullness of his attributes in some place or everywhere.”
b) 2 Corinthians 3:18: “We all reflect the Lord’s glory and are being transformed into his likeness with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit.”
Philippians 3:20-21: Our bodies will be transformed into Jesus’s glorious body.
Colossians 1:27: Christ in us is the hope of glory and a glorious mystery.
2 Thessalonians 2:13-14: We were called and chosen by God to share in Christ’s glory.
Hebrews 2:10: Jesus brought us to glory through his suffering and death. (read Hebrews 2:9)
5) Part personal Question. My answer: Suffering and glory go hand in hand. You can’t have one without the other. Christ suffered; we suffer. Christ has glory; we have glory. You have to suffer in order to have glory. Suffering is a part of life. It’s something we have to walk through. It doesn’t last forever–heaven and Jesus are forever. In heaven, our glory will shine. Keeping a heavenly perspective through suffering and keeping faith in Christ gives us/me hope during the trials and tribulations of life and will go a long way towards us getting through suffering here on this side of heaven. Glory outshines the suffering.
Conclusions: Every question is outside of this passage.
End Notes: Our sharing in Christ’s suffering is a condition of our future glorification.
Without a heavenly hope, Paul considered the Christian life foolish and tragic (1 Corinthians 15:19). Yet in light of eternity it is the wisest and best choice anyone can make.
This coming glory will not only be revealed to us, but it will actually be revealed in us.
God has put this glory into the believer right now. In heaven the glory will simply be revealed.