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Living From an Eternal Perspective

Nancy Taylor Tate

 And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called, according to his purpose” Romans 8:28.

In John 16:33b Jesus said, “In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.” There are many problems in this life, that’s for sure! Yet Jesus, the overcomer, lives inside us! We have His strength to draw on, that come what may, we too might overcome.

We can experience troubles, like a car breaking down, which are just part of this life. But there are also things some endure as a part of our Christian witness.

Paul went through tremendous hardship for the sake of the gospel:

Of the Jews five times received I forty stripes save one. Thrice was I beaten with rods, once was I stoned, thrice I suffered shipwreck, a night and a day I have been in the deep; In journeyings often, in perils of waters, in perils of robbers, in perils by mine own countrymen, in perils by the heathen, in perils in the city, in perils in the wilderness, in perils in the sea, in perils among false brethren; In weariness and painfulness, in watchings often, in hunger and thirst, in fastings often, in cold and nakedness” 2 Corinthians 11:24-27.

Some who are reading this have paid a price for their faith. Others may live in places where the cost of being a Christian is increasing. In view of the hardships Paul endured for the sake of his loyalty to the gospel and zeal for the glory of God, he asserted, “If in this life only we have hope in Christ, we are of all men most miserable” 1 Corinthians 15:19.

But! Paul lived from an eternal perspective and saw not just the hard times, but the things God was doing in the midst of the difficulties he faced, things of eternal value.

Paul saw an eternal purpose being fulfilled in those who were being touched through his life, and he confidently declared the glory of God yet to be seen through many giving thanks to the Lord.

For all things are for your sakes, that the abundant grace might through the thanksgiving of many redound to the glory of God” 2 Corinthians 4:15.

 Because of his deep desire for the glory of God to be seen, Paul continued with hope and expectation, counting his present suffering as nothing in the light of eternity.

 For which cause we faint not; but though our outward man perish, yet the inward man is renewed day by day. For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, worketh for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory. While we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen: for the things which are seen are temporal; but the things which are not seen are eternal” 2 Corinthians 4:16-18.

When we face a situation that in itself is not good, be it just a part of this life and this world’s systems, or perhaps a price we pay for the sake of our testimony, as we trust the Lord, He will in some way cause good to come from it. God is faithful to His word! We can train ourselves to look for the good. It is always there, though sometimes in hidden ways which are hard to see or which have not yet appeared.

And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called, according to his purpose” Romans 8:28.

Be happy and glad, for a great reward is kept for you in heaven. This is how the prophets who lived before you were persecuted” Matthew 5:12 GNB.

None of us would choose a difficult path, that is for sure! Yet as we come through difficult situations, if we respond rightly, not only is Christ glorified, we mature and grow and also become wiser. May this be our burning desire: “Christ in (us) the hope of glory!” Colossians 1:27. That as He is, so we may be in this life (1 John 4:17).

May our vision go beyond this life, to an eternal perspective. For, “Thy kingdom is an everlasting kingdom, and thy dominion endureth throughout all generations” Psalm 145:13.

And there is given him dominion, and glory, and a kingdom, that all people, nations, and languages, should serve him: for his dominion is an everlasting dominion, which shall not pass away, and his kingdom that which shall not be destroyed” Daniel 7:14.

God’s word promises, “He shall see of the travail of his soul, and shall be satisfied: by his knowledge shall my righteous servant justify many; for he shall bear their iniquities” Isaiah 53:11.

If you would like to pray with me:

Lord, help us to understand the temporariness of this world. Help us to live with an eternal perspective! May we be conformed to Your likeness, as an expression of You. May You see the fruit of the travail of Your soul and be satisfied. May we be a part of that people that satisfies Your heart! May this be our burning passion, the prayer of our hearts, the longing that guides our lives. Help us Lord, as we count as precious and live our lives for that of eternal value. This is our heartfelt desire and prayer. Amen.