“We look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen. For the things that are seen are temporary, but the things that are unseen are eternal.” 2 Corinthians 4:18
The whistle blew and Coach yelled: “Get to the goal line!” Practice had already been difficult enough, but now we had to run sprints for conditioning. If you’re anything like me, getting through a hard practice was never easy, but there was always one thing that motivated me. It not only allowed me to make it through practice, but it motivated me to work hard in practice. What was it? Friday night of course. I loved Friday. Underneath the lights, I wanted to win. I wanted to have an impact in the game. No matter how difficult the practice was, my mindset was: I want to work hard in practice, so Friday I can shine.
Life works the same way. We are in the midst of a great trial right now. Fortunately, the Bible tells us that in this life we are going to face trials. So, the Bible prepares us for difficult circumstances. I believe that keeping an eternal perspective during these times is the key to not just endure them, but to make an impact during them. I want to live for the line not the dot as Pastor Beth would say. The truth is, we are going to spend a lot more time with Jesus in Heaven than we are going to spend time here on Earth. That time in Heaven is going to be beautiful. That motivates me during these times of struggle. I want to see life through a different lens. No matter how good or bad things are here, I know that at the end of this life I am going to have victory because of Jesus! I want others to share in that victory too. So just like I worked hard in practice to get better for Friday night, I want to work hard here on Earth to make an eternal impact in the lives of the people around me.
If we keep our eyes fixed on things above, we can focus on controlling what we CAN control. Let go of everything else, that stuff is for God to deal with because He is in ultimate control. One of the best things we can do, is to improve our relationship with the Lord by reading His word and spending time in prayer. We are going to be spending a lot of time in heaven with Him, so I want to know Him as well as I possibly can! We can also be a light of hope to people who need it by being positive and kind, serving, and sharing our stories with them. If we remember that God works all things for His glory, we can be a part of His eternal impact. In order to do this, we need to take an eternal perspective! That is, remembering we are living now to further the kingdom of God for all of eternity.
I think that the best example of someone who kept an eternal perspective was Jesus himself. If we look at Matthew, when Jesus was in Gethsemane, He prayed to His Father in heaven three times and asked for there to be another way, but He said “not my will but yours be done, God.”
“He began to be sorrowful and troubled. Then he said to them, ‘My soul is very sorrowful, even to death; remain here, and watch with me.’ And going a little farther he fell on his face and prayed, saying ‘My Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me; nevertheless, not as I will, but as you will.’”-Matthew 26:37-39
“So, leaving them again, he went away and prayed for the third time, saying the same words again.” -Matthew 26:44
Jesus knew that God was using the great trial that He was about to endure to change the entire world for all of eternity! Jesus was obedient. He could have commanded the angels to rescue Him, but then He would not have rescued all of us. He loved us so much and had the perspective that He was impacting eternity, and because of this we all get to share in his victory. I believe that we can all take this mindset. We can have an eternal impact in people’s lives. We can be kind. We can look for ways to serve. And we can be bold in our faith.
Some of you may be thinking that your story is nothing special and it won’t impact anyone or there isn’t anything you can do to help someone else right now. Others may think that you are too young or you don’t know where to start. One of the old Testament Prophets had some similar thoughts.
“Then I said, ‘Ah, Lord God! Behold, I do not know how to speak for I am only a youth.’” - Jeremiah 1:6
God had told Jeremiah that he was going to be God’s prophet, but Jeremiah thought he was too young to be used by God. However, God equipped Jeremiah and put the words into his mouth to speak to the people of Judah.
“But the Lord said to me, ‘Do not say I am only a youth; for to all to whom I send you, you shall go, and whatever I command you, you shall speak. Do not be afraid of them, for I am with you to deliver you.’ Then the Lord put out his hand and touched my mouth. And the Lord said to me, ‘Behold, I have put put my words in your mouth.’” Jeremiah 1:7-9
To this day, many scholars consider Jeremiah to be the greatest prophet in history. The same way that God equipped Jeremiah for the task he was facing, God will equip you for the task that He has called you to. You are all leaders and world changers! Let's take on this eternal perspective together and make a difference for God’s kingdom.
All of this starts with knowing your Creator. He loves you deeply, and more than anything He wants a relationship with you. To be a world changer and keep an eternal perspective we need to know the love God has for us. The last scripture I want to leave you with is this:
“Or do you suppose it is of no purpose that the scripture says: ‘He yearns jealously over the spirit that he has made to dwell in us’?” -James 4:5
The God who created the heavens and the earth loves you so much that He yearns jealously over your soul! So as you seek to make an impact this week, start with thinking about how much God loves you and how you can reflect that love to someone else.
Valley Youth Volunteer,