When my children were younger, we went on a trip as a family and explored some beautiful caves. At one point on our journey, the tour guide told us he was going to shut off the lights so we could experience pure and total darkness.
I wasn’t really sure what to expect but I was in for a bit of a shock.
Because I quickly discovered that total darkness is suffocating. It is disorienting. Lonely. Debilitating. And downright frightening.
We were only in the dark for a few short seconds and yet it felt like an eternity. When our guide turned the lights back on, I immediately felt a sense of relief and peace.
In the same way, when life is hard it can feel like we are lost in pure and total darkness. The pressures of this world suffocate us. The whirlwind of responsibilities disorients us. We feel alone and lost. While our fears and worries overwhelm us.
Jesus once said,
“In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.”-John 16:33 NIV
Because of Jesus, no matter how dark this world gets, we have a light we can turn on. The light of Jesus Christ who has given us the hope of eternal life.
And hope changes everything.
- Why should we live with eternity in view?
- 1) It changes our perspective. Because this life is temporary.
- 2) It makes death no longer scary. Because for the Christian, death is different.
- 3) It gives us a sense of purpose. Because our life here affects our next one.
- 4) It gives us a reason to keep going. Because we have something to look forward to.
- 5) It is a powerful testimony to those around us. Because when you sing in prison, people tend to notice.
- What does living for eternity mean?
Why should we live with eternity in view?
While we may think about Heaven once in a while, if we are honest, I think most of us would admit that usually we are just trying to make it through the day. Because we are often overwhelmed by lengthy to-do lists. Overflowing schedules. And endless demands.
It is easy to become so focused on the immediate task in front of us that we forget that each moment of our life is a part of a much longer and grander story.
God calls us to live with eternity in view because He knows that when we do . . . life becomes easier. And simpler.
It becomes meaningful and purposeful.
When we remember the hope we have in Heaven, we find the strength to keep going. To keep fighting. And to keep believing.
Even if we have to believe for a very long time.
There are many benefits to learning to live with an eternal mindset. First of all:
1) It changes our perspective. Because this life is temporary.
Try something with me for a moment. (Trust me the hassle will be worth it!)
Set a timer on your phone for 15 seconds. And watch the timer counting down while you hold your breath.
I know it seems hard, but I promise you can do it!
Now, humor me one more time.
Set another timer on your phone for 15 seconds. But this time as you hold your breath, I want you to flip your phone over so you can’t see the timer. You just have to sit there and wait for it to go off.
Now, let me ask you a question:
Which scenario was easier?
The one where you could see how long the discomfort of holding your breath was going to last? Or the one where you couldn’t tell how much longer you had to wait?
Of course. It’s MUCH easier when we know how long the pain will last.
And that’s just it!
God has told us how long the pain and troubles in our life will last . . . they are going to last a lifetime. But our lives here are merely a tiny drop of water in the ocean of eternity. And once this life is over, we will be swept up into the arms of Christ as He wipes every tear from our eyes. (Rev. 21:4)
An eternal mindset reminds us that the pain and discomfort of this life won’t last forever . . . because God has set a timer!
2) It makes death no longer scary. Because for the Christian, death is different.
I heard a story a long time ago of a Pastor whose wife had died. He was driving in a car with his children and wanted to share something with them to comfort them. But he didn’t know what to say.
Then as they were passing a semi, its huge shadow darkened the whole car, and he thought, “That’s it!”
He explained to his children that just like their car passed through the semi’s shadow . . . when a believer dies, they simply pass through death’s shadow to the light on the other side. (Rev. 21:23-24)
When we think about eternal things it makes death not as scary. Because for the Christian, death is different.
3) It gives us a sense of purpose. Because our life here affects our next one.
Living with eternity in mind reminds us that every little thing we do on this Earth matters.
Because the truth is we can either spend our time building up treasures that will be left behind when we die. Or we can spend our time doing things that will last for all of eternity.
This perspective helps us not get caught up in the drive to succeed, make more money, or do all the things. And instead spend more of our time loving others, being kind, telling people about Jesus, and finding ways to use our talents for good.
When we remember eternity, it gives us a reason to live.
Because what we do matters.
All of it.
From the conversations we have with our kids telling them about God. To scrubbing the dishes so our family has clean plates to eat off of. EVERYTHING we do every day can be done for God’s glory. (Col. 3:23)
And that gives our lives great purpose.
4) It gives us a reason to keep going. Because we have something to look forward to.
During a sermon, my pastor once shared:
“What you believe about your future has a tremendous impact on how you experience your present.”-Brian Dainsberg
If we believe that this life is all there is . . . then when things go wrong it feels devastating.
BUT if we believe that someday we will go to Heaven, then when things go wrong, we have hope . . . because this life is not all there is.
Yes, the pain and suffering of this life is awful. But we have a future awaiting us that is beyond wonderful. And when we focus on eternity, we find that we experience more joy and peace in our current circumstances.
Because we know that no matter how hard this life gets . . . it cannot compare to the joy that is coming! (2 Cor. 4:16-18)
5) It is a powerful testimony to those around us. Because when you sing in prison, people tend to notice.
In Acts, we read that Paul and Silas were preaching the gospel and one day even set a slave girl free from her demons. (Acts 16:16-34)
For these good deeds, they were attacked, had their garments torn, were beaten with rods, and thrown in jail. But Paul and Silas didn’t complain about what happened.
Instead, they turned their eyes toward Heaven.
“About midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God, and the prisoners were listening to them . . .”-Acts 16:25 (italics added for emphasis)
Focusing on Christ gave them the strength to pray and sing even in the worst of life’s sufferings. And notice what the other prisoners were doing . . . they were LISTENING to them.
A faith that sings in the dark is beautiful.
It is intriguing. Tantalizing. It causes others to become curious. To wonder why we seem to have such hope, joy, and peace even in dire circumstances.
And that is when we can tell them about our Jesus.
About how He has wiped our past clean. About the difference He makes in our lives today. And about the hope He has given us for tomorrow.
We can show them that no matter what happens there is hope in the Lord. Because He can redeem anything and use it for our good. (Rom. 8:28)
When we take our eyes off our difficulties and turn our eyes to our hope in Jesus the watching world takes notice.
They are listening to see how we respond . . . when the world falls into chaos around us. When a pandemic hits. When we lose our dream job. Our health fades. Or our children rebel and stray from the faith.
When we go through hard times, we must remember that the unbelieving world is LISTENING . . . will they hear us complaining and whining?
Or will they hear us praying and singing?
What does living for eternity mean?
Now you know some of the benefits of living for eternity but what does it mean to live with an eternal perspective?
To live for eternity means to spend every day considering the fact that we will not always be here on this Earth. To remember that everything we do today has an impact on the place we will live forever. To think about our priorities. To consider the purpose of our lives.
And to keep in mind that people need to see the amazing hope we have that cannot be taken away from us.
It is also something we have to learn how to do.
Living for eternity doesn’t come naturally. It’s something we have to practice. It’s something we have to work at. But the effort is worth it in the end. Because we will learn to face everything in this life through this comforting truth:
We can live with eternal hope because there is never a moment when God is not in control!
It doesn’t matter how crazy this world gets. Because of Jesus, someday everything will be redeemed. Everything will be washed clean. Everything will be made perfect.
Because of Jesus, we have a hope that no one can take away.
And hope changes everything.
If you found this encouraging, then please share!
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