“For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us.”
Father Matta El-Meskeen (Matthew the Poor)
IF IN THIS WORLD we endure many and various sufferings which the devil finds pleasure in planning and heaping them on God’s children through persecutions, pitfalls, and struggles from foe and friend. Yet we live in the living hope in God who will compensate His chosen for the sufferings 1 Heb 1:3.
the eye of God follows His children and will not allow them to suffer more than they can bear. For every now and then God uncovers a bit of the plan He set from the beginning: that our comfort even though lacking on earth, yet in Heaven awaits us the high comfort He prepared Himself for His chosen, to reward them from their fatigue and suffering in the world with a rest God’s angels desire. Because God will wipe every tear from their eyes taking us in His bosom as a loving Father enfolds his young son in his embrace.
It is clear that man received the ancient fathers’ and prophets’ promise of rest, but the days have proved that man throughout the ages and the times, under the rule of kings and prophets never found any rest. He did not find rest in Egypt, or Sinai, nor in the land of promise that was all wars and incursions. Even the law promised rest on the Sabbath but no man found rest.
Till the coming of the Son of God when He conquered heaven through His resurrection after death and entered it as a precedence for us. He appeared before God His Father, with His blood, finding with the Heavenly Father His elevated rest as He sat on the right hand of God1. That the Spirit should inspire the word “sat” means the true and everlasting rest that no other creation has enjoyed in heaven or on earth.
His saying “at the right hand” implies His absolute equality in glory. For that reason Christ preceded these days giving us His glory which He took from His Father in counteract to His sacrifice and salvation. We thus see that instead of the sufferings of this age and its pains and the persecution of friend and foe God preceded and prepared us an entry to His glory, and to share in His glory, with everlasting life in His joyful Kingdom.
If we compare between the sufferings of this age, and the devil’s enmity, opposite the forthcoming glory to be revealed in us while we are in the embrace of the Father and the Son, that is not merely for a time, but for ever and ever, and are made to choose between both, we would choose our share with God leaving the world do as it pleases even until death. Death while we are in the bosom of God is a thousand times better than life on earth with us having lost the love of the Father and the redemption of the Son.
Therefore faith in Christ that makes us close to the love of the Father is unequaled comfort, no matter the difficulties and sufferings. The heavenly glories are also the heritage of Jesus Christ the Son written in our names from the present. We live it with hope and faith. For all God says must inevitably be. If God since the beginning planned to elevate man to the level of the Son to gain the love of God to His son then that must inevitably be.
If the enemy planned traps and nets for us to fall into,
You destroyed them all, O Son of God, on the cross!
You conquered the enemy, the head of the ancient serpent, with all his aides,
And have sent him to sources of perdition in preparation for the lake of fire.
This way man escaped his nets and went forward.
Our fate and share changed from the confined limits of the earth
To the breadth of heavens and prepared glory.
So if we suffer little it is because we will be glorified much.
8 July, 2005
Prayer of St Macarius the Great
O Eternal God and King of all creation, Who hast vouchsafed me to arrive at this hour, forgive me the sins that I have committed this day in deed, word, and thought; and cleanse, O Lord, my lowly soul of all impurity of flesh and spirit, and grant me, O Lord, to pass the sleep of this night in peace; that, rising from my lowly bed, I may please Thy most holy name all the days of my life, and thwart the enemies, fleshly and bodiless, that war against me. And deliver me, O Lord, from vain thoughts and evil desires which defile me. For Thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory: of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, now and ever, and unto the ages of ages. Amen.
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