An Eternal Perspective Changes Everything

January 8, 2024

One of the major themes in my life in the last decade has been that an eternal perspective changes EVERYTHING. What do I mean by an “eternal perspective?” I mean that there is a reality that is far more real and lasting than the one we experience in the here and now with our senses. I mean that there is a Kingdom and a King who is worthy of our worship, our hope, our joy, and our love. He has gone to immeasurable lengths to ensure that we get to be with him forever in a place where we will be utterly divorced from our sin and all sorrow, and groanings will be forever banished. What a hope we have! 

So how does seeing our lives through this lens of hope change everything? It has been my experience that this eternal perspective changes the way I view the good times in my life, the mundane times in my life, and the most difficult times in my life.

An eternal perspective changes the joy I experience when life seems filled with blessings! When all seems well and success has touched our lives and our loved ones, an eternal perspective enhances our joy by reminding us that these moments are a glimpse into the glory that awaits us. Before I was a believer, I loved beholding a beautiful sunrise, sunset, or a mountain vista. A sense of utter joy would course through my being, but it would be followed immediately by a sense of yearning and ache because I knew I couldn’t stand there forever and behold such beauty. It was fleeting. The sun would set, or I needed to leave the mountain top. I will never forget the first glorious sky I saw after I became a Christian. That same surge of joy and wonder came, but the yearning ache didn’t follow. It took me a little time to understand that the ache never came because know I will be able to behold something that glorious (even more so) forever. Oh the beautiful glory that awaits!

An eternal perspective transforms our monotonous and mundane seasons from arduous obligation into delightful duty. What do dishes and diapers or seemingly pointless meetings have to do with eternity? Well, I believe Scripture presents a couple of principals that help this transformation. 

First, God defines greatness in his kingdom very differently than our world does. When James and John were arguing over who would be greatest in Jesus’ kingdom, Jesus didn’t rebuke them for wanting to be great. He simply told them how: “If you want to be great in the Kingdom of God you must become the servant of all” (Mark 10:44). So much of our monotony is found in chores and tasks that seem unimportant and redundant. But when we consider how these tasks actually serve others, it gives them meaning and a chance to live out Colossians 3:23-24, “Whatever you do, do your work heartily as for the Lord rather than for men, knowing that from the Lord you will receive the reward of your inheritance. It is the Lord Christ whom you serve.”  

The second principal is that our minds are free to commune with God in the midst of the mundane. There are so many tasks that we do in a given day that require very little concentration. Since our greatest hope in Heaven is actually seeing Jesus face to face, we can at least position ourselves to behold what we can of him throughout our day, whetting our appetites for that Great Day. An eternal perspective transforms our mundane tasks into opportunities to fellowship with God himself and increase our eternal rewards!

Most important to me is that an eternal perspective gives great significance and purpose to the pain that we experience in our lives. There is a holy invitation that comes through suffering, whether that suffering is a result of our own folly, someone’s wicked sin against us, or just the effects of a broken world. If we believe that there will be a great day when we will no longer suffer the effects of sin, then this here and now is our ONLY opportunity to fellowship with Christ in his sufferings! Suffering is a holy invitation to share in Christ’s suffering until sorrow and mourning flee away. 

Because of the pains and griefs I have experienced in this short lifetime, I have been given insight into some of the agonies that Jesus experienced. There is no betrayal, no deferred hope, no physical pain, no suffering that our Savior has not experienced in a deeper way than we ever will. And he did it all for the sake of loving us! My understanding of his perfect sacrificial love is increased when I suffer for his namesake. Because of his suffering, my suffering will have an end. My suffering will not define me, but it will increase my understanding of just how far our Savior was willing to go to give me such a great hope of glory!

An eternal perspective gives increased joy in our joyful seasons, it gives increased hope in our mundane seasons, and it gives increased understanding of God’s great love for us in our seasons of pain and grief. May we all grow in our eternal hope of glory!

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