Our present political sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us
It's easy to lose sight of the glory and goodness of God in the midst of the mundane and the everyday. It's even easier when a discouraging, polarizing, and frustrating election season serves up daily helpings of division and unwelcome surprises.
The Christian vision for the future of the whole universe is so big, so beautiful, and so unexpectedly tied to God's glorifying work in individual human beings that the Psalmist once asked in disbelief, "What are human beings, that You are mindful of them?" (Psalm 8). These convictions about God's sovereignty and his plans for redemption are assumed by the biblical writers. The New Testament writers in particular assume that in Jesus God's final act of redemption--of making a new creation--has begun, and those who are now "in Christ" are already taking part in the new creation, even as we await the final unveiling.
A glory so glorious
There's evidence of these assumptions all over Scripture, but in Romans 8 Paul makes these assumptions explicitly clear. He's talking to Christians about the freedom from slavery to sin they have through the Spirit who, now living in them, gives true life, both now and in the future (8:9-13). They have been adopted and are now children, as opposed to formerly, when they were slaves and living in fear (8:14-15). And this means that we are "co-heirs" with Christ: we inherit what he inherits, which includes both present suffering (mirroring the suffering of Christ on our behalf) and future glory (seen most clearly in Jesus' glorified resurrection body; 8:17; 1 Cor. 15).
Our future glory is so glorious that our present sufferings can't compare (8:18). In fact, one day, "the creation itself will be liberated from its bondage to decay and brought into the freedom and glory of the children of God" (8:21). The creation suffers, groaning, and we too groan (8:22-23), but we groan in hope (8:24-25). We're not alone, though; "the Spirit Himself intercedes for us through wordless groans" (8:26) that help us in our weakness. Paul is so confident in God's provision and plans for us that he says "we know in all things God works for the good of those who love Him, who have been called according to His purpose" (8:28). Jesus is not just our Lord; he is "firstborn among many brothers and sisters" (8:29)--he is our sibling, our brother, our friend!--and we are those who are predestined, called, justified, and, both already begun and yet to be seen, glorified (8:30).
At the end of all this, Paul's conclusion is: "If God is for us, who can be against us?" (8:31) We are "more than conquerors"; despite the setbacks and frustrations and sufferings and death and powers that we face on a daily basis, literally nothing can separate us from "the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord" (8:37-38).
The creation waits in eager expectation--so should you
"Who shall separate us from the love of Christ?" (8:35) Certainly not Trump or Hillary, and certainly not a political party or even an entire election cycle, government, or nation. Not that some haven't tried. The failure of the powers to quench the fire of Christian witness stands as a millennia-long testimony to God's sustaining, persistent, faithful work. You and I are inheritors and standard-bearers of that same work--we call this "mission."
May our hearts and minds be full of confident peace that the God in whose image we are made, whose Son was killed and raised to life for our justification, and whose Spirit was sent to live in and with us and raise us from death to life--may we walk around this election season, and every season, resting in this unshakeable confidence.