Eternal Perspective

If you try to understand the vicissitudes of life in the framework of the day-to-day, temporal existence, you're not going to understand the workings of God in your life because God doesn't work in our lives for the daily benefits. As God is looking at you, as God is concerned with you, as God is working in your life, He is looking at the eternal benefits

Now I want to make an investment today. That's going to pay dividends tomorrow. God's made an investment in me, and the things He is doing in me are for the eternal dividends, for my eternal welfare, my eternal good. Unless I can see them as they relate to eternity, I'm not going to understand them. As the psalmist said, "When I thought how to understand this, it is too painful for me - until I went to the sanctuary of God; then I understood their end." (Ps. 73:16,17). I just couldn't understand until I saw it within the eternal framework, the eternal perspective. So we, too, must realize God's working in our lives always has eternity in view.

Therefore, if we are going through a time of suffering or a time of pain, we must remember, as Paul said, that "our light affliction, which is but for a moment, is working for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory" (2 Cor. 4:17). So, in our lives, there are those things that we think would be very pleasurable. We pray, "O God, please; O Lord, I'll just serve You forever, and I'll love You forever, Lord! Oh, please, Lord, just allow me or give this to me, Lord!"

We are thinking of that moment of pleasure we could experience out of this answered prayer. We're begging and pleading with God and, then, we get to the place where we say, "You don't love me." We try every trick to force God into our will. Yet because of His love and because He can see the long-term effects of these things on our lives, He says, "no" to us.

I live for the moment. God is dealing with me for the eternal; and thus, as Job spoke of God in Job 27, he saw that God was working in this eternal perspective.

- Chuck Smith