“For we fix our attention, not on things that are seen, but on things that are unseen. What can be seen lasts only for a time, but what cannot be seen lasts forever.” — 2Corinthians 4:18 (TEV)
As we prepare for our Decade of Destiny, it is important to remember that life on earth is just a temporary assignment. Knowing that should radically alter our values and fix our attention on the things that are eternally important. “What can be seen lasts only for a time, but what cannot be seen lasts forever.” (2 Corinthians 4:18b TEV)
As C. S. Lewis observed, “All that is not eternal is eternally useless.”
It is a fatal mistake to assume that God’s goal for your life is material prosperity or popular success, as the world defines it. The abundant life has nothing to do with material abundance, and faithfulness to God does not guarantee success in a career or even in ministry. Never focus on temporary crowns.
Paul was faithful, yet he ended up in prison. John the Baptist was faithful, but he was beheaded. Millions of faithful people have been martyred, have lost everything, or have come to the end of life with nothing to show for it. But the end of life is not the end!
In God’s eyes, the greatest heroes of faith are not those who achieve prosperity, success, and power in this life, but those who treat this life as a temporary assignment and serve faithfully, expecting their promised reward in eternity.
The Bible says this about God’s Hall of Fame: “All these people died having faith. They didn’t receive the things that God had promised them, but they saw these things coming in the distant future and rejoiced. They acknowledged that they were living as strangers with no permanent home on earth … That is why God is not ashamed to be called their God.” (Hebrews 11:13, 16b GW)
These great people died in faith, certain of a better home in heaven. Your time on earth is not the complete story of your life. You must wait until heaven for the rest of the chapters. It takes faith to live on earth as a foreigner.
But, the truth is, you will not be in heaven two seconds before you cry out, “Why did I place so much importance on things that were so temporary? What was I thinking? Why did I waste so much time, energy, and concern on what wasn’t going to last?”
When life gets tough, when you’re overwhelmed with doubt, or when you wonder if living for Christ is worth the effort, remember that you are not home yet. At death you won’t leave home—you’ll go home.
By Rick Warren