(The end or eternity gives the present meaning)
This is the concept that says that the present is of minmal importance and that the suffering is necessary to prepare us for the future, but also that in the end we understand and are rewarded. This may even refer to the end of a person's life. It is what Paul is speaking about in Romans 8:18-25. The theology is most clearly expressed in verse 18.
The purpose for the suffering may transcend even the person himself. Joseph suffered to save his family and Egypt. He himself was rewarded, but what he did for others transcended the evil.
Assignment: Read Genesis 50 and find the verse that has Joseph expressing this idea.
18For 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. 19For the anxious longing of the creation waits eagerly for the revealing of the sons of God. 20For the creation was subjected to futility, not willingly, but because of Him who subjected it, in hope 21that the creation itself also will be set free from its slavery to corruption into the freedom of the glory of the children of God. 22For we know that the whole creation groans and suffers the pains of childbirth together until now. 23And not only this, but also we ourselves, having the first fruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, waiting eagerly for our adoption as sons, the redemption of our body. 24For in hope we have been saved, but hope that is seen is not hope; for who hopes for what he already sees? 25But if we hope for what we do not see, with perseverance we wait eagerly for it.NEXT