Yes, we’ve cut back our expectations for this world. Especially now. And we are looking at our lives with the ETERNAL perspective.
The result: Every part of life looks different, and we trust God to see us through whatever He allows. Meanwhile we are blessed, abundantly blessed. Blessed beyond measure. As Sister Barbara would say, blessings TNTC.
We know the promise, that God withholds only that which we are better off without. What is the text?
Psalm 84:11 11For the Lord God is a sun and shield; The Lord will give grace and glory; No good thing will He withhold From those who walk uprightly.
That is a promise. And the benefit is enormous. Exponential. 100 fold? No, it is nearer 1000 fold. 10,000 fold.
Because God gives. And gives. And gives.
Setting our heart on the Kingdom and giving up the things we are better off without starts repaying us immediately, with more—much more—to come.
Wasn’t this Jesus’ answer to the question Peter asked?
Mark 10:28–30 28Then Peter began to say to Him, “See, we have left all and followed You.” 29So Jesus answered and said, “Assuredly, I say to you, there is no one who has left house or brothers or sisters or father or mother or wife or children or lands, for My sake and the gospel’s, 30who shall not receive a hundredfold now in this time—houses and brothers and sisters and mothers and children and lands, with persecutions—and in the age to come, eternal life.
In the age to come, eternal life. But what about now? What do the NOW benefits look like in real life?
What can we expect when we look at life from the ETERNAL perspective?
Let’s go to the Scriptures to see the possibilities.
1- The eternal perspective puts a distance between us and this world
Less expectation, less concern, less distress.
What was Paul’s secret? Be content.
1 Timothy 6:6–8 6Now godliness with contentment is great gain. 7For we brought nothing into this world, and it is certain we can carry nothing out. 8And having food and clothing, with these we shall be content.
Contentment was something he had learned—not continual chasing, striving and reaching for more and more of this world.
Philippians 4:11 11Not that I speak in regard to need, for I have learned in whatever state I am, to be content:
2- The eternal perspective relieves us from FEAR of the unknown.
We have no need to fear if we are on God’s side. What did the Psalmist say?
Deuteronomy 33:27 27The eternal God is your refuge, And underneath are the everlasting arms.”
Add this promise delivered through God’s prophet Isaiah:
Isaiah 8:12 12…Neither fear ye their fear, nor be afraid.
Why? Because God has promised:
Isaiah 43:2 2When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; And through the rivers, they shall not overflow you. When you walk through the fire, you shall not be burned, Nor shall the flame scorch you.
3- The eternal perspective frees us from bitterness and cynicism
Instructions for Kingdom living include letting go all bitterness—and how much better off we are without it! Let it be all God’s, not ours, to repay wrong and set things right.
Ephesians 4:31 31Let all bitterness, wrath, anger, clamor, and evil speaking be put away from you, with all malice.
It is well worded in the New Jerusalem Bible:
Ephesians 4:31 (NJB) 31Any bitterness or bad temper or anger or shouting or abuse must be far removed from you—as must every kind of malice.
In other words, have NONE of it. NO bitterness, NO wrath, NO anger, NO clamor, NO evil speaking.
How do we deal with wrongs without any feeling of vengeance or wrath?
Romans 12:17–19 17Repay no one evil for evil. Have regard for good things in the sight of all men. 18If it is possible, as much as depends on you, live peaceably with all men. 19Beloved, do not avenge yourselves, but rather give place to wrath; for it is written, “Vengeance is Mine, I will repay,” says the Lord.
4- The eternal perspective cuts the value of every this-world pursuit.
Jesus said it of a this-world pursuer:
Mark 8:36–37 36For what shall it profit a man, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? 37Or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul?
This world has nothing to compare. Gain the whole world? Someone once said, I don’t want the WHOLE world, just a corner of it. But Jesus’ illustrates with the ultimate: GAIN all here, LOSE all there.
Gain this world, and lose the Kingdom. The end result: all lost.
5- It gives genuine PEACE in the midst of turmoil.
With that eternal perspective, Jesus had inner peace even when still facing crucifixion.
John 14:27 27Peace I leave with you, My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.
John 16:33 33These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.”
Jesus knew He had nothing to fear, His Father would be with Him and bring Him through. Nothing could hinder God’s plan for him.
6-The eternal perspective shows human speculations for what they are: vain, worthless words.
Paul warned Timothy—and us—about such:
1 Timothy 6:20 20O Timothy! Guard [the treasure] committed to your trust, avoiding the profane [wicked, heathenish] and idle [empty] babblings and contradictions of what is falsely called knowledge—
Paul says, Avoid these profane and vain, empty babblings.
Jesus said the same about those in religious guise:
Matthew 24:24 24For false christs and false prophets will rise and show great signs and wonders to deceive, if possible, even the elect.
7- The eternal perspective removes fear of personal failure.
There are two promises here. First is the promise of sufficient time to meet God’s requirements.
1 Timothy 4:8 8For bodily exercise profits a little, but godliness is profitable for all things, having promise of the life that now is and of that which is to come.
Having the promise of this life is more—far more—than any career in this world offers!
It is also God’s promise to bless our sincere, heart-motivated effort.
Matthew 24:13 13… he who endures to the end shall be saved.
It is the promise linked to every one of the beatitudes: “Blessed… blessed…blessed.”
And that blessing includes load limit insurance. What did Paul say?
1 Corinthians 10:13 13There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it.
There is a great promise to add to this in Psalm 91:
Psalm 91:14–16 14Because he hath set his love upon me, therefore will I deliver him: I will set him on high, because he hath known my name. 15He shall call upon me, and I will answer him: I will be with him in trouble; I will deliver him, and honour him. 16With long life will I satisfy him, And shew him my salvation.
8- The eternal perspective converts our values from present to FUTURE
Here we “give up” to “GAIN”!
Luke 9:24 24For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: but whosoever will lose his life for my sake, the same shall save it.
Doesn’t it sound contrary? And it is. Sacrifice the present to reap the future. That is where the REAL VALUE lies!
The SURE value.
The ETERNAL value.
Let’s go for it, heart and soul. We have everything to gain, and nothing to lose!
Don’t Miss the Now Benefits – The now benefits in the perspective of eternity. Why in the perspective of eternity? Because worldly benefits count little, if anything, in the perspective of eternity.
The greatest NOW benefit that comes to mind are God’s instructions carefully followed. Is there anything more important than this? The Scripture tells us why this is so important: Friends of the world are enemies of God. What does this mean? We are on our own without God’s concern and we have no prospect of future life, unless, of course, we repent before it is too late. We want eternal life.
So, let go and grasp the eternal! Take hold of life and live eternally!