Temporary vs. Eternal

I have been considering some things lately. With my upcoming move, I have been in a sort of system shock and my personality is the type to second guess myself constantly. I was discussing tonight with a friend of mine who recently proposed to his girlfriend. He too said he was in system shock in so many words and during our prayer prayed that he would not back out of it. (With his girlfriend there! It’s a group Bible Study. I really admired that.)

I also think about recently talking to a friend of mine who was going through a hard time. This friend was talking about a circumstance going on and they were just worried about how it would all turn out. My response was that they were putting way too much pressure on themselves and that they were mistaking the temporary for the eternal.

Christ has said he has given us the power to move mountains. I believe many of us want to test this theory as many of us like to take the molehills in our lives and make mountains out of them. Perchance many of us have drama actors and actresses in us that make more of out what is. We could outdo Alexander Pope any day with his “Rape of the Lock.”

Yet all that we see, if it is not of God, it will fade. It is God that is eternal. The decision we are stressing out over now will not mean the end of the world. Whatever decision we make, we can be sure it will not thwart the plan of God. The universe will continue going on its path.

Our problem is that we take a temporary situation and we make it eternal. If we are in a temporary slump, we make it an eternal slump. We cannot understand how we got there but we immediately start crying out “How long O Lord? How long?” Now I’m not against praying to God in hard times, but as a friend of mine and I discussed earlier today, those hard times seem to make us lose sight of the good times. They seem far off and distant. That was a pleasant time gone by. This is reality today.

What if we thought from eternity though? Consider your life in Heaven. Do you think you’ll live it in regret over a dumb decision you made here? No. Do you understand how? If you do, please tell me. I can only guess that from the light of an eternal perspective, we’ll see it differently in a way we can’t now. However, if eternity is not spent in regret, why should I regret now?

Are you going to worry about the future in Heaven? No. Someone might say “But that’s God’s kingdom there. God is in control.” What? He isn’t here? Granted, stuff happens here that won’t happen in Heaven, but God is still in control. Do we think that something can happen in this lifetime that can thwart his plan? If his plan will not be thwarted, should we not rejoice?

Seen from eternity, things are very much different. 100 years of life here if we live that long is just a blip. In fact, it would hardly even register as a blip. Whatever the smallest measure you could think of for that unit of time, that is the way that it will be seen in the light of eternity.

Consider the wisdom found in 2 Corinthians 4:

16Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. 17For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. 18So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.

You know what Paul’s light and momentary struggles were? Go through the book of Acts. You’ll see them. Read 2 Cor. 11. He’ll tell you what happened. Go through the epistles and just look at the states of mind he describes. All of those are going on and what does he refer to them as?

Light and momentary troubles.

I want to scream if I have a case of the blues….

And why is that struggle light and momentary? Because troubles are not eternal. Paul chooses to not look at his problems but what is eternal. He looks to God. I often think in my struggles if I could take my eyes off of myself and get them on God, I’d be so much better off. Maybe you’re like that. If you are, you’re not alone.

Friends. Let’s fix our eyes on the author and finisher of our faith. What we are going through is temporary. No matter what it is. This too will pass. All that is true will remain. From eternity, if there is one thing we might think as we look back it is, “Why did we worry so much about that then?”

Pray for me as I try to look at the Lord in my struggles. I hope to pray for you as well.

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