Three Ways to Look at Trouble in Light of Eternity
By Rick Warren
“Let heaven fill your thoughts; don’t spend your time worrying about things down here.” Colossians 3:2 (TLB)
When you live in light of eternity, you don’t get discouraged as easily by trouble. You don’t give up because you know what is coming is the best gift you’ve ever been given.
The Bible says in 2 Corinthians 4:16-18, “That is why we never give up . . . These troubles and sufferings of ours are, after all, quite small and won’t last very long. Yet this short time of distress will result in God’s richest blessing upon us forever and ever! So we do not look at what we can see right now, the troubles all around us, but we look forward to the joys in heaven which we have not yet seen. The troubles will soon be over, but the joys to come will last forever” (TLB).
I don’t know what trouble you’re going through right now, but I can tell you three things about it:
- One, it’s not going to last. Even if it lasts your entire lifetime, it’s still not going to last forever.
- Second, whether or not you caused the problem you’re going through right now, God will still use it for good in your life. It will even build your character if you’ll surrender it to him.
- Third, you’re going to be rewarded for your suffering for Christ in eternity forever.
When you arrive in heaven, you’ll be in awe of being in the presence of Jesus. But if you weren’t so overwhelmed by Christ’s presence, your first thought would probably be something like: “What was I thinking? Why did I spend so much time trying to impress people? Trying to be popular? Trying to pile up a bunch of money on Earth? I had no time to serve God, no time to give, no time to share, no time for relationships, no time for what matters most. I was doing all the seemingly right things. But why didn’t I make more time for what mattered most?”
So much of what you do—even some of the good things—is not going to last. You need to realize that every second of your life has eternal implications. Every decision. Every thought. Every action. Every word. Every attitude. Every feeling. Every kindness. Every sin.
Colossians 3:2 says, “Let heaven fill your thoughts; don’t spend your time worrying about things down here” (TLB).
God is watching and testing you to see what you will receive in heaven. When you live a purpose-driven life, you are constantly asking questions like: Will this last? Does it deserve my money? Does it deserve my time? Does it deserve my reputation?
And most importantly, you need to ask: Does it make a difference for God’s forever kingdom?
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This devotional © 2018 by Rick Warren. All rights reserved. Used by permission.
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