03 November 2005

… ‘Today’ in perspective

In the last post, we considered the question of making the best use of time. Let us now consider time in perspective; that is, in the context of eternity. In our “enlightened” and “practical” times we have largely lost the perspective of eternity. Circumstances and results are seen only in time and because of them, contentment eludes us. We always “have time” in the future, there is “never enough time” in the present (except when it “drags on forever”) and we always wonder “where the time went” in the past. Too often, we can not let go of the past, we fret of the future and as a result, live a dissatisfied, worrisome, depressed or even hateful present. Or we put all our hopes in that future time when we acquire certain things or realize our goals and objectives and “satisfaction” will be achieved. Much to our dismay, those times consistently elude us or disappoint us. Discontentment and ingratitude are among the results.

God’s Word informs the Christian on how to consider time in the context of eternity. He has determined our preappointed times (Acts 17:26) and established a time for every purpose (Ecc 3:1-17). Whatever trouble we face in time is shown to actually be a “weightless trifle” in light of the eternal certainty given by grace (2 Cor 4:17-18) and ultimately those troubles are realized to be for our good (Rom 8:28). With an eternal perspective, we can persevere in whatever Providence brings (Rom 8:25).

A Biblical worldview of our current circumstances in light of what God has done for us in Jesus Christ in the past and what, in Him, is promised for the future in eternity is what brings true contentment in the present. And gratitude—gratitude for what has been given to us in spite of us. Given for eternity. The Bible is replete with passages that show us eternity. Look them up in the present, take up and read, nourish an eternal perspective and grow in gratitude and contentment.

(First published in DeiLight December 2004)