Friday, July 19, 2013

Keeping an Eternal Perspective


I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us. (Romans 8:18)
If you’re anything like me, then you find it easy to get caught up worrying about the things that are happening around you. I find that there are constantly things to be worried about. Sometimes I’m drowning in school work, sometimes there are family problems to deal with, sometimes I have issues with my friends, or my friends are facing hard times and I get anxious for them. Sometimes it’s persecution for following God, or simply the fact that because I follow God I will miss out on certain things which I would enjoy doing.

There are a lot of things in the world that make us anxious and there are so many things that we suffer, even if we live in a first world country.

The Truth is that we will suffer here. 

 
Life won’t be easy – especially is we’re Christians. We will get sick, we will be busy, we will lose friends, we will be hated and persecuted. 2 Timothy 3:12 says:

In fact, everyone who wants to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted
Jesus explains this a bit more thoroughly in John 15:18-19:
“If the world hates you, keep in mind that it hated me first. If you belonged to the world, it would love you as its own. As it is, you do not belong to the world, but I have chosen you out of the world. That is why the world hates you."

But what does Paul say in this verse? 


Our sufferings "are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us". No matter what we go through in this life it is nothing compared to how good heaven will be.

It’s like comparing a billion dollars with a ten cent coin: ten cents is worthless compared to a billion dollars. Likewise worrying about our troubles here and getting depressed about them is like getting upset over losing ten cents when we have a billion dollars waiting for us – it’s stupid.

What’s even better than that is that God promises that we will never be tempted beyond what we can bear (1 Corinthians 10:13). We don’t have to fear that the things we suffer will take us away from Christ if we are truly his people. Here are some examples:

  • In James 1:2-4 we learn that God uses trials to bring us to maturity and completion. 
  • 1 Peter 1 tells us that through sufferings God refines us like Gold. 
  • Romans 8:28 says that in everything God works for the good of those who love him.
Not only do we have the promise of heaven eternally, but we also have God’s promises that he is working in our sufferings here to grow us and to make us more like him.

Keeping an Eternal Perspective

Here’s the challenge: Instead of getting worried and caught up in our troubles that will inevitably distract us from our walk with God, keep an eternal perspective. In the words of the writer of Hebrews 12:2
Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.

Jesus suffered so that we can have eternal life in him. We will suffer here but instead of worrying about it we need to fix our eyes on Jesus and think about eternity.

Nathanael Muscat is in his last year of high school. He was brought up in a Christian home and accepted Christ as Lord and Savior as he was growing up. He started his blog, Only In Christ, about a year ago.

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