But in light of all our day to day duties, whatever they may be, it can be easy to lose focus and get caught up in the hear and now - as if this is all there is. However, when we remember to take a step back and look at our world and our relationships through the lens of eternity - life can take on a whole different focus.
- Suddenly an argument with a non-Christian friend isn't about winning, it's about showing Christ's love to an eternal soul.
- Dealing with a child who has lied isn't just a moral issue, it's an opportunity to explain their need for a saviour.
- Loving your spouse isn't something you do just because you feel like it, but because you are demonstrating eternal principles about the relationship between Christ and the Church.
The list goes on and on. It is easy to see how dealing with joy, and even moreso, dealing with sorrow, takes on a different perspective in the light of eternity. That is what Paul is saying in 2 Corinthians 4:16-18:
Therefore, we do not lose heart. Even though our outward man is perishing, yet the inward man is being renewed day by day. For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, is working for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory, while we do not look at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen. For the things which are seen are temporary, but the things which are not seen are eternal.Our pastor provided a list of scripture passages he recommended we should learn and meditate on to keep our focus on eternity:
- 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18
- 1 Corinthians 15:35-58
- 2 Thessalonians 2:1-12
- 2 Timothy 4:8
- Revelation (the whole book)
- Revelation, chapters 20-22
Charles Spurgeon said: "I think we do not go to Heaven often enough". As young people, it is easy to forget that there is an end to our life here on earth, but often our older brothers and sisters in Christ have a greater longing for Heaven, and we can learn from them. God created us for such a time as this, and we need to use our time on earth well. We need to have an eternal perspective so that we do not waste the time we have been given.
Some of you might be reading this and thinking either you've done too much bad to go to heaven, or you've done too much good to go to hell. We ALL deserve hell, and every one of us will be there unless we repent of our sins and put our trust in Jesus Christ, who is God and came to earth as a man. He lived a perfect life and died a horrible death having done nothing wrong. He did this so that all who believe in Him can live forever with God because all the bad that they've done in this life, Jesus took the penalty for, and now God sees them as perfect. (This truth is woven throughout Scripture, and one place you can see it is Romans 5:6-11. If you don't have a Bible, you can pick one up at any bookstore, and probably any used bookstore for just a few dollars. We'd be happy to point you to other passages or resources which can help you better understand the amazing thing Christ did for you.)
Lastly, I wanted to share with you a song I really love. It is based on the above passage in Corinthians and really conveys a heaven-ward focus, especially in the midst of hard times. For all who trust in Christ, we know that the pain that we've been feeling, can't compare to the joy that's coming.