Suffering Leads to Glory

This is a translation of a scriptural meditation from the Russian book, “Day by Day”. Lewis connection follows:

Scripture: “I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us” (Rom: 8, 18):


"When we reach our place of rest and it will be given us to know, as we are known (1 Cor: 13, 12), – then, looking back at our past life, we will see the connection between the trials we have endured and their purpose. Then we will thank with all our heart the Lord Who loved us so much that He did not spare us when, in our ignorance, we asked to be spared. We will then understand that He truly refined and tested (Jer: 9, 7; 1 Pet: 4, 12) His chosen ones in a fiery trial in order to purify them and convert them to Him. That which saddened us the most in life perhaps brought about a radical change within us, which saved us from a danger which threatened our soul. The time will come when we will bless the trial which caused us many tears, and we will say with David: “It was good for me to be afflicted so that I might learn your decrees” (Ps: 119, 71).

"That which we considered an affliction will turn into a blessing for us, and the glory which will be revealed to us will forever make sweet for us the sufferings we have endured. But let us not forget that St. Paul said these things when he was still on earth, surrounded by sorrow and constraint. He felt and anticipated the heavenly glory because amidst the most fiery crucible he looked at “not the visible, which is temporary, but the invisible, which is eternal” (2 Cor: 4, 18).

“May God help us to live by faith, and not by sight, and with patient hope travel our earthly path, measuring God’s love not through our experiences, but by the Cross of Jesus Christ!”

In Letter XX of “Letters to Malcolm” (Lewis’s last published work), he wrote: “most real good that has been done me in this life has involved [suffering].”

For me, it seems unexpected to read something like this from Lewis. All his works (except maybe Till We Have Faces) are so full of light and cheer. But, clearly, he means what he says. I can only assume that he now experiences the glory which I think he deserves.


“Love is patient and kind. Love is not jealous or boastful or proud or rude. Love does not demand its own way. Love is not irritable, and it keeps no record of when it has been wronged. It is never glad about injustice but rejoices whenever the truth wins out. Love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful, and endures through every circumstance. Love will last forever.” (1 Corinthians 13: 4-8)