When you woke up this morning, what gave you hope? Maybe a better way of asking the same question is: When you woke up this morning, where did you look for security?
For many well-intentioned followers of Jesus, we have mistakenly built our houses of hope on sinking sand. Without even knowing it, we load all our hope for life onto our spouse, children, career, house, retirement account, social status, or ministry calling.
Now, there is nothing inherently wrong with appreciating people, possessions, or positions. But these temporal things were never designed to be a source of hope. To hope in temporal things is to hope in what I cannot control and what is not guaranteed to me.
I think you can predict where I’m going with this: When we live in with eternity in view, we find an unshakeable hope for this sin-shattered world.
But wait: There's a life-changing difference between understanding this conceptually and embracing it practically. I have found that many of us have sectioned this truth in the "theologically interesting but basically irrelevant" area of our Christianity. Eternity sounds nice, but it doesn't make much of a difference in our everyday life.
So, once again, I would invite you to meditate on eternity. If you live with Tomorrow in view, it will change everything about the way you invest your life Today.
Listen to the saints who have passed over to the other side. They don't talk about the wonderful temporal pleasures they experienced on earth. As fitting as it is to be thankful for all these things, they now have a crystal-clear sense of what is most important.
They summarize it with one sentence: "Salvation belongs to our God who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb." (Revelation 7:10b)
Now in eternity, they have their values right. And through the gift of Scripture, we are given a glimpse of what they consider central so we don't have to wait until we join them Tomorrow to get our values right Today.
But let's confess: Much of our existence is a frenetic attempt to build a paradise in a broken world. The house is never quite right. The kids never seem to measure up. Our spouse is never quite able to please us. Our friends are never quite loyal enough. The finances are never quite secure enough. We can't even meet our own expectations for ourselves!
No wonder we're frustrated, discouraged, and exhausted! We're trying find hope in a physical world that is terribly broken by sin.
Someday, you and I will be on the other side. In the meantime, will you ask people, circumstances, and things to do what they were never designed to do? Are there ways in which you look to this fallen world to become your personal paradise?
Or, will you find hope for Today because of Tomorrow? Are you eavesdropping on eternity and letting Forever shape your values on earth? Are you resting in the promise that Christ will put all his enemies under his feet?
If our faith makes no sense without eternit - "If only for this life we have hope in Christ, we are to be pitied more than all men" (1 Corinthians 15:19) - then we ought to remind ourselves and others to live with it in view every day!
Paul David Tripp
- What people, possessions, or positions are you thankful for? How can you be more thankful for the earthly gifts God provides?
- How have you recently experienced the frustration of a sin-shattered world? Did that remind you not to attempt to create paradise on earth?
- What are some practical ways for you to meditate regularly on the promise of eternity?
- Think of one situation or relationship that you are in the middle of right now. How do your responses change if you ignore eternity, and if you live in light of eternity?