May 30, 2018
For what does it profit a man if he gains the whole world and loses or forfeits himself? Luke 9:25
For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory that is to be revealed to us. Romans 8:18
The Scriptures tell us in these two passages what really matters: Our soul and the heavenly destination for which God created us. One of my favorite quotes is “He is no fool who gives up what he cannot keep to obtain what he cannot lose.” I sometimes think about this when I see posts on social media that attach so much meaning to events that bring joy and entail significant accomplishments. In themselves, they are not sinful or insignificant, but do we sometimes let our earthly and temporary joys overshadow our concern with what is heavenly and eternal? Are we, to paraphrase Jesus, “storing up treasures on earth that will end, or treasures in heaven that will not?” It matters for eternity that we do not let the joy in our children’s accomplishments in the arts, athletics, or academia cause us to forget that the main job God has given us is to see that they know their Savior and the path to salvation.
Eternity matters not only when we are celebrating temporary circumstances, but also when we are mourning them. When we grieve the loss of dreams and hopes, relationships and health, and the general inconveniences and hardships of life, we can remember that no suffering can compare to the glory that awaits us in heaven. “This too shall pass” is an affirmation that has helped many thrive through the troubled times. It sets before our spiritual eyes us the victory won for all who believe in Christ. The cross tells us that suffering is not punishment for the penitent. Christ took that punishment for sin upon himself, once and for all. Suffering does serve, however, to remind us not to get too attached to a world that will not last. Greater things are ahead, forever.
So when we are putting into perspective the joys and achievements of this life, as well as the hardships we encounter along with them, what matters? Eternity matters. And always will.
Keep your eyes on the prize of Christ,