Devotional: Eternal Perspective

"Teach us to realize the brevity of life, so that we may grow in wisdom" Psalm 90:12

    Seeing with an eternal perspective is powerful. Our life on this earth truly is so short compared to the eternal realm that awaits us. This life is only a minute of time where we get to make choices that will affect how we spend all of eternity. What are we living for? We all inevitably waste our lives on something. We will either waste it on ourselves to our own demise, or we will spill ourselves out at the feet of Jesus, like wasted perfume (John 12:3), and receive eternal reward for a life given in love. It is far better to be wholly given to the one who eternally matters. If we could live every day with this kind of focus, we could spare ourselves from plenty of foolish choices.
  The promise of eternal life should fill us with great hope and expectation. It gives us the strength to persevere through hardships, the courage to love, and the passion to give ourselves fully to God's plans and purposes in this world. And if you happen to lose everything in this life for the sake of loving Jesus? So, what. Eternity awaits you and great will be your reward in heaven! Every day that goes by is a day we are closer to our own physical death-- it's just true. If we realize this, we will grow in wisdom (Psalm 90:12). We are told to fix our gaze on things that cannot be seen, "for the things we see now will soon be gone, but the things we cannot see will last forever" (2 Cor. 4:18). Those who are truly wise will rejoice in this. We don't have to sweat the small (or large) road bumps along our journey. We don't need to let troubles and problems consume us. Instead, we fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith (Hebrews 12:2). We put our hope in him and believe that he is worthy of our trust in all things.
  I lose perspective over the dumbest stuff sometimes. My eyes have the ability to zoom into small inconveniences with laser-like focus. Whether it's waiting in long lines, unexpected car problems, losing money, cooking a meal that doesn't turn out right, or annoying disruptions in my plans-- I've let these things steal my joy too many times. God will often knock on the door of my heart and say, "In the grand scheme of things, is this really that big of a deal?" No, Lord, I guess it isn't. "Then let it go." We don't need to get our panties in a wad all the time. It's just not necessary. Remember that allowing worry and disgruntlement to have a field day in your mind has never helped you before and it won't help you now. Our worry can't add a single hour to our lives (Matt. 6:27). Most importantly, we lose a precious opportunity to know the Holy Spirit as our comforter and counselor. We want to look more like Jesus through every trial, small or large. The way we handle ourselves in the small and insignificant road bumps of our everyday life will affect how much of Jesus we will manifest in a larger problem or crisis. We will miss what he is doing if we don't align our perspective with his.
  Isaiah 46:4 says, "Even to your old age and gray hairs I am he, I am he who will sustain you. I have made you and I will carry you; I will sustain you and I will rescue you." We've been given so many beautiful promises to fall back on when our perspective starts to shake and our knees begin to quake. We have the very Spirit of Jesus who has promised to be with us for all of our days. Our life is the only opportunity we will ever have to give him praise in the midst of our troubles. In heaven, we will have no more troubles. We will have no more opportunities to love him in our pain, because there will be no more pain. It is a powerful thing when we can live our lives in praise and thanksgiving to God, even through our darkest moments. The Bible calls this a "sacrifice of praise." When everything looks as if it's falling apart and we praise God anyways, that is a precious sacrifice. We will never again get this kind of opportunity to show our love for God. How valuable this must be in his eyes!
  Our eternal destiny has everything to do with how we choose to live in the here and now. Jesus says that we will receive rewards in heaven. Today's culture of "everyone gets a trophy even if you didn't win" is not a biblical principle. Sorry, but Jesus didn't teach that. Jesus says we will be rewarded or not rewarded based on how we love and give of ourselves in this life. It is wisdom to have a heavenly perspective in all things. And it will serve us well to remember that our human life is but a breath; our days are like a passing shadow (Psalm 144:4).

Lord, help us to fix our eyes on the unseen things, which are eternal. Fill us with this wisdom. Help us to understand how brief our days are. Teach us how to persevere through every trial without becoming bitter or jaded. We want to love you extravagantly, in our joy and in our pain. We want to reap the eternal rewards of a life lived in love. Thank you for your leadership, Holy Spirit, we love you and we trust your presence with us and your ability sustain us.

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