December 28, 2014

Eternity on my mind

Because of the mind of Christ, those days that are difficult, those times that seem hopeless, and this life that is so fleeting do not bother me, at least as long as I allow His mind to rule my thinking. Jesus has an eternal perspective and is happy to share it with His children. That is, when this life turned against Him, He had His mind on something else and therefore could say, “Not my will but Thine be done.”

The secret of thinking that way is in looking to eternity. The Bible tells me to “run with endurance the race that is set before me, looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of my faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despised the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God.” (Hebrews 12:1–2, personalized)

The older I get, the more excited I am at the thought of eternity with God be. However, even without the aging process and the inevitability of dying, there have been tough times where God showed me that having Jesus living in me was a treasure beyond compare. How else could I stay calm in threats to my family? How else could I endure physical pain and close calls to health? How else could I not worry when life became hopeless and I was helpless? It is Jesus, my treasure, who gives victory . . .

“But we have this treasure in jars of clay, to show that the surpassing power belongs to God and not to us. We are afflicted in every way, but not crushed; perplexed, but not driven to despair; persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed; always carrying in the body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be manifested in our bodies. For we who live are always being given over to death for Jesus’ sake, so that the life of Jesus also may be manifested in our mortal flesh . . .” (2 Corinthians 4:7–12)

Knowing Jesus and trusting Him means knowing that he who raised the Lord Jesus will raise us also with Jesus and bring us with you into his presence.” When I die, I will live forever with God. I will also share that joy that enabled Jesus to endure the cross. With this secure, then all else is bearable, even seems a small thing. Because of Jesus, life is as the rest of this passage says . . .

“So we do not lose heart. Though our outer self is wasting away, our inner self is being renewed day by day. For this light momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison, as we look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen. For the things that are seen are transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal.” (2 Corinthians 4:16–18)

This is not a pie-in-the-sky faith, nor is it a form of defeatism. It is not an excuse to be uninvolved in life. Rather, having this treasure means death not my enemy, and life is an amazing adventure where I can confidently give it my all knowing that He is with me. Even on those days where my confidence lapses or I worry instead of pray, I still have that deep sense of hope and joy, not because of me, but because of this amazing treasure that lives within.

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