Thursday, December 29, 2016

The Eternal Perspective: Taking the Long View

God doesn't usually give me a spotlight to shine on my path and make the way clear. Most of the time, I have just enough light to take the next step. I can easily end up focused on the path rather than my destination.

Holding on to the big picture of eternity takes some effort.

When the angel delivered his message to Mary, a teenaged girl, his announcement changed the direction of her life forever. 

Until her angelic visitor arrived, she expected to marry Joseph, live in a room attached to his family's home, have children, serve her family. It would be hard work, but joyful. She and Joseph would grow old together.

In response to the angel's message, Mary replied, "I'm the bondslave of the Lord. I want what He wants." (Luke 1:38, Leanna Paraphrase)

Instead of the life she anticipated, she almost lost Joseph before the wedding, endured gossip and scorn, became a widow early, and watched her first-born Son die on a cross. It was a difficult, heartbreaking life.

Shortly after the angel delivered his shocking news, Mary visited her relative, Elizabeth, and spoke an amazing truth. "From this time on all generations will count me blessed..." She wouldn't be counted blessed any time soon, but one day she would. 

Mary chose the long view. The eternal perspective.

She understood that we're just passing through this world. No matter how hard, everything here is temporary. We will one day enter eternity, where there is no more suffering, no more sorrow, no more gossip, no more scorn. In our heavenly home, the truth will be known.

In that holy place, Mary's life would make sense to everyone, including those who scorned her. She chose to look toward eternity and it made her hard times bearable.

We'd be better served by focusing on eternity, too. This world is a broken place, filled with broken people. There's more than enough hurt and sorrow to go around. We'll all experience more pain than we want before our life is ended.

It's easy to let anger over the hard times grow and allow bitterness to take root.  It's a short-sighted response, though. 

No matter what we face, things will be different in eternity. One day, others will see how God used the circumstances of our lives to bring blessings, not curses. Everything will make sense. 

Today, let's take a look at our lives, and the circumstances we face, from an eternal perspective.One day, it will all make sense, so thank God in advance and embrace with joy the life He's give. . 
In case you missed it, here's the link to yesterday's post:  The Message in the Margin

As you consider your year-end giving, please consider including support for this ministry, which is totally dependent upon the support of those who partner with us. We need your prayers, your hands to help, and your financial gifts to continue.

Here's the link to give: Global Outreach Acct 4841 If you'd rather use a check or money order, make it out to Global Outreach. Remember to put "Account 4841" on the "for" line. Mail it to: Global Outreach, PO Box 1, Tupelo MS 38802