5 Benefits to Keeping an Eternal Perspective

Everyday we have a choice to make. A choice to either view life through an earthly lens or an eternal one. And I’ve noticed the days I choose to peek through heaven’s window instead of my own, it’s beneficial to not only my head but my heart and mind and relationships.

1. It keeps me upright in an upside down world. Have you ever noticed the world is often backwards? Babies are born to families who could care less, while godly women weep with empty wombs. Success meets the wicked at every corner, while the righteous deal with endless frustration. Prosperity throws itself at the worldly, while the one who adheres to God’s commands struggles to make ends meet.

There are days life just doesn’t make any sense. Yet in view of eternity, all is right as it should be and even more so. The blessings in store for those following Christ are nothing short of A-mazing. Redeemed, forgiven, and lavished with grace we’ve been blessed with “every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places (Eph. 1:3). Already! As in it’s already happened! Let alone adopted as God’s own children, named co-heirs with Christ, and guaranteed an inheritance that would knock the socks off most anyone. 

Beloved, whatever appears to be lacking now will be filled to overflowing when we’re face to face with Jesus Christ. And when I’m able to keep that perspective, it’s much easier to stay on my feet and not trip over the world’s continuous need to turn everything topsy-turvy.  

2. It sheds light in darkness. Consider Job. An upright and godly fella who lost everything – servants, flocks, herds, sons, daughters, and was struck with boils from head to toe. Things were bleak to say the least. While describing his situation to his friends Job explained, “My relatives stay far away, and my friends have turned against me. My family is gone, and my close friends have forgotten me. Even young children despise me. When I stand to speak, they turn their backs on me. My close friends detest me. Those I loved have turned against me. I have been reduced to skin and bones and have escaped death by the skin of my teeth” (Job 19: 13-14, 18-20 NLT).

Yet just a few breaths after that nauseating description Job had the audacity to declare hope! “For I know that my Redeemer lives, and at the last he will stand upon the earth. And after my skins has been thus destroyed, yet in my flesh I shall see God” (Job 19:25-26, ESV).

My friend, it’s the light of eternity that makes life bearable. I honestly don’t know where I’d be (nor what I’d be for that matter) if I did not have the hope of heaven. But in light of heaven, I can walk any path, if it’s my duty to do so. Because the light of heaven can permeate even the darkest of days. 

3. It doesn’t answer my questions, but it does answer my doubt. We aren’t always going to know why things happen the way they do. In fact, most of the time we aren’t going to have any clue as to WHY. Even Solomon, the wisest man that ever lived, admitted he didn’t understand why God allows certain things and not others (Ecc. 8:17).

But there’s one thing we can be sure of when nothing else makes sense: eternity. By the indwelling of the Holy Spirit we’re signed, sealed, and delivered from this aching world unto a perfect one. “For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory that is to be revealed to us” (Rom. 8:18).

Eternity is a done deal. And when I think on it, instead of parking on the uncertainty of my current situation, I can calm my quivering heart with the things I know to be true. Like the fact that Jesus has gone to prepare a place just for me. Why would he do that if he didn’t care about me? (And you for that matter…don’t forget you.)

We may not know why things have to be the way they are today, but we do know  who holds tomorrow. And He is faithful and kind. 

4. It helps me fight the appropriate battles (Most of the time). Because in light of eternity, is it worth it? Will I gain any reward by taking up this fight? No, the answer is no. (This is so convicting.) In light of eternity, more often than not I’m engaging in the wrong battle or at least fighting it the wrong way.

Scripture is quite clear that our battle is not against flesh and blood, but against “the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places” (Eph. 6:12). Am I saying the struggle you’re having at work isn’t real or the fight you had with your spouse last night was an illusion. Um, no. It was real. So real in fact, I know a piece of you is still there – at the scene – begging your mind to come back and replay the entire episode again and again.

But I believe wholeheartedly behind every misunderstanding, every argument, every hurt, every divisive word, is a scheme of the devil. To uproot our marriages, tear apart our families, and get us so sidetracked  and steeped in sin we’re useless for kingdom work. Satan may not be able to pluck us from the nest but he can certainly ruffle our feathers. And the only way we’re going to win is through whispered words of prayer that proceed from the mind set solely on Him.  

5. It keeps me ready.  When eternity is on the horizon of my soul, I’m much more apt to interpret the unexpected knock on my door as an opportunity instead of an intrusion. Or view the unwelcome disruption of my to-do list as a God sent invitation instead of an outright irritation. Giving me opportunity to store up  treasure in heaven. Because I know when I get there – I’m going to realize there’s nothing better.  

But when my mind is everywhere else but there, I tend to miss the God sent invitations, especially with my kids. And I want to be ready. Ready to speak of God’s attributes when the sunrise sings of his beauty. Ready to give him praise when I see his tender touch on my day. Ready when he counsels. Ready when he calls. And ready when he comes.  

Therefore, I make the choice to move beyond my own convenient window, to peek out heaven’s – no matter the effort it might take. Because eternity doesn’t just impact the destination – it improves the view along the way. So climb on up and take a peek with me – the view is gorgeous from up here.



Photo provided by Pixabay

The Danger of Distraction

You know what the enemy wants? To discourage you. To get you so distracted and down you’re worthless for the kingdom – God’s kingdom. He’d love nothing more than to steal your joy today. To keep you from thinking about the hope you have – the peace God gives – so you won’t tell anyone. So you won’t bear witness to the confidence and certainty Jesus Christ provides. And the joy that comes with intimately knowing the Savior now and for all eternity.

Devotional: Genesis 23
Key Verse: “Therefore, preparing your minds for action, and being sober-minded, set your hope fully on the grace that will be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ.” 1 Peter 1:13

Every day brings opportunities of distraction. Whether it be the ever present “to do” list or sick kids or simply unwanted circumstances. Or something “bigger” like the loss of a loved one or a job or a doctor’s report. The fact is, it doesn’t take much and we’re knee deep in fear and uncertainty. Completely overwhelmed and diverted from the blessings we have in Christ.

The enemy doesn’t have to destroy us, he simply needs to distract us. By getting us to focus on the wrong things; ever stirred up instead of prayed up.

The temptation was there for Abraham too (on more than one occasion). To lose his focus. Sidetracked by the misgivings of the day. Or the drama in his home, the disputes among his servants, or the fears he felt living as a sojourner in a foreign land.

Especially the day Sarah died. His beautiful wife of probably more than 100 years. His princess – gone; no longer there to encourage him in his faith. No longer there to remind him of the promises. The milestones. The miracles God had done in their lives.

Genesis 23:2 says Abraham wept for her. He was broken. I find it interesting this is the first mention of the word “weep” in Genesis. It’s not recorded at the fall, the flood, or even the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah. But here at the bedside of a faithful man’s beloved – God made note of the weeping.

God is not indifferent to our losses. Neither is he forgetful. “You keep track of all my sorrows. You have collected all my tears in your bottle. You have recorded each one in your book” (Ps. 56:8, NLT). He knows how much it hurts. He knows my friend. “He was despised and rejected by men; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief” (Is. 53:3a). Yet remained faithful (2 Timothy 2:13).

As did Abraham in the muck and mire of grief. Abraham could have laid in his tent for days or weeks or months after Sarah’s death. He could have given up. He could have decided it was too hard without his wife. And not fair of God to take her. He could have doubted and despaired over God’s faithfulness and kindness. But he didn’t. Instead, he took the opportunity to step forward in faith, purchasing the cave of Machpelah at top dollar (400 shekels of silver).

If God intended to give him the land of Canaan, as he had promised, then he wanted his wife buried there, along with himself. As it turned out – Sarah and Abraham, Isaac and Rebekah, Jacob and Leah were all laid to rest in the cave of Machpelah in Hebron, about 20 miles south of Jerusalem. Ironically, today there stands a Muslim mosque over the spot believed to be the cave of these patriarch couples.

Abraham turned Sarah’s death into an opportunity to step forward in faith, no matter the cost. This indeed is the goal. To walk forward in faith. Not distracted or distraught or dismayed. But confident in the hope we have in Jesus Christ. In the blessings of eternity. Whether the day brings about “little” distractions or “big” ones, let’s turn it into an opportunity to glorify God with our faith; as we’re filled with inexpressible joy because of the hope we have (1 Peter 1:8).

Because we know “the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory that is to be revealed to us” (Rom. 8:18). For “our citizenship is in heaven, and from it we await a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ, who will transform our lowly body to be like his glorious body” (Phil 3:20-21).

Therefore we don’t grieve as those who have no hope but as those who know “by a word from the Lord, that we who are alive, who are left until the coming of the Lord, will not precede those who have fallen asleep…we will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air, and so we will always be with the Lord” (1 Thess. 4:15-17).

Because of faith in Jesus Christ I have much to look forward to. And so do you! He knows when it hurts; He takes note of the weeping. And he’ll take care of us. We just need to remain focused always and forever on Him.

So today, come what may, I pray you “set your hope fully on the grace that will be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ” (1 Peter 1:13). And step forward in faith.

Contemplate and Evaluate:
What kinds of things is the enemy using to keep you distracted from the peace and joy and assurance you have in Christ?
How can you step forward in faith today? What kind of declaration can you make?