I suspect that most people think about their future. How far out do you think? I am 56 years old right now. Sometimes I think about what it will be like when I am 70 something. My dreams are far more glorious than the reality, I am sure. Do you ever think farther out? I am not talking about your 80’s or 90’s. I am talking a 1000 years out. You don’t, do you. Without experience, death creates this impenetrable wall. For many people’s thoughts, our existence ends.
The Bible flatly denies that this is true. We have an eternal existence, because we are made that way. It will be with God or without Him. Because God loves us and wants us, He has provided the way for our eternal existence to be eternal “life”. An existence of joy, comfort, abundance, love, fun, relationships and knowing God. Do you ever try to imagine it?
Paul writes in 2 Corinthians 4:17-18:
For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.
Eyes are for seeing, obviously. How does one set your eyes on what is unseen? What Paul is talking about is becoming so certain of the promises of eternal life given in the Bible that we can look forward to our own death as just a milestone and not the end of us. We can dream about future that is real, exciting, mysterious but comforting. Such confidence comes with time spent reading the Bible. It comes with prayer and experience serving God. It is empowering.
Most people have to deal with their obvious aging by living in denial. They imagine that they will be healthier and that their physical and mental limits will expand. This is not realistic in the long-term. We will become more aged and limited until we die. That is a fact. Science may modestly delay the process, but it won’t save us from the inevitable. Jesus has already saved us from the inevitable. Jesus makes our death nothing more than the small part of a mandatory sentence for sin, and in effect transforms death into a glorious transition–one you can count on.
Fixing your eyes on what is unseen is not wishful thinking. It is taking God at His word, understanding our eternal nature, and planning for a glorious eternity that is not that far off. It does not involve forsaking the here and now. In fact, having eternal security gives meaning to what we doing now. We are saved by our connection to Jesus, but our actions today are doing the work of God and are rewardable in Heaven and the New Earth.
Fixing our eyes on what is unseen also gives you power to handle the difficulties of this life. Every problem is temporary. Every problem is an opportunity. God can use anything for an ultimate good. There is no need to be discouraged, because you can see beyond the current situation.
Fixing your eyes on the unseen is one of the reasons I write this blog. It is hard to imagine what we have never seen. So we must rely on the little bit of information that we have been given, and try to create a mental picture. Our picture may be somewhat inaccurate and our imagination not up to the task, but that will only make our actual arrival in Heaven more breathtaking.
So look to the future–the deep future. In Christ, you actually have one.