Getting a Heavenly Perspective on Earthly Problemsby Cynthia Jennings on January 11, 2023
Have you ever had a nostalgic urge to revisit where you grew up or the elementary school you attended?
Thinking back to my elementary school, I recalled the playground resembling the size of a football field. The bustling hallways with voices of youth seemed several blocks long. And the library, my favorite place, appeared to be a gigantic space filled with walls and walls of books.
As I reflect on the time visiting my elementary school many years after graduation. The playground I thought resembled a football field was just open space with playground equipment. The several blocks of bustling hallways were only about seventy-five feet long. And oh, my favorite place, the library was a small classroom filled with books and tables.
As I walked through the school giggling to myself, all I could say is “everything is so small.”
I think back to the problems I have had in my life. At the time, so many of them seemed so big. Football wide, blocks long, gigantic space problems. However, when I look back, most of those mountainous struggles were just bumps in the road of life.
Romans 8:18 states what Paul said about his own life: “For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us.”
ot hear the word “reckon” used often. Based off the connation when used by an aunt I thought “reckon” to mean, “I guess so.” But the word “reckon” in the New Testament Greek transliterates logizomai, is a mathematical term, means to count, reason, decide, conclude. It is to properly compute or come to a logical conclusion. That is a lot more than my aunts’ connotations of “reckon.”
Paul added up, counted all the evidence, and came to the logical conclusion---the struggles we are going through now are insignificant compared to what we will be enjoying in heaven.
I am not oblivious; I know this world can have hardships that will suck the life right out of us. I also do not want you to think Paul was glossing over the gigantic physical and emotional challenges and pain that comes with living in this world.
Paul was not minimizing his struggles nor was he minimizing ours. 2 Corinthians 11:23-29 shows that Paul too had very tough times. And yet, he says that all his and our suffering will be insignificant compared to the glories that are yet to come for us who know Jesus Christ.
You are probably thinking, but you do not know how big my struggles are.
I will ask, how often do you think about heaven? The place of no pain, no crying, no suffering. Beauty everywhere you look. Praise in every sound you hear.
So, what do we do in the here and now when what seems so big will one day be very small? We must be intentional in keeping our eyes fixed on Jesus. Paul wrote, “as we look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen. For the things that are seen are transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal” (2 Corinthians 4:18).
I did not regret years ago visiting my elementary school, but I did laugh at the enormity of the memories. I am guessing we will laugh when we leave our earthly home and compare our past struggles with our eternal celebration.
Philippians 4:6-8 tells me to be anxious for nothing. However, I cannot wait to be in heaven spending eternity with Jesus.
PRAYER: Heavenly Father, thank You for being a Sovereign God who knows my struggles. I thank You for the many examples given to teach me how to endure hardships, to use those hardships to help someone else and more importantly to give You the glory in the midst. Father, until I meet you in eternity help me to keep my worldly struggles in perspective. This life is short, my problems, albeit challenging are small and most importantly eternity is long. In Jesus Name, Amen
PEARLStoPONDER: Using your struggles to help someone else will help give you a heavenly perspective on earthly problems
Romans 5:3-5--Not only that, but we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, 4 and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, 5 and hope does not put us to shame, because God's love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us.
Romans 8:28--And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good,[a] for those who are called according to his purpose.
1 Peter 2:21--For to this you have been called, because Christ also suffered for you, leaving you an example, so that you might follow in his steps.
1 John 4:4--Little children, you are from God and have overcome them, for he who is in you is greater than he who is in the world.
James 1:2-4--Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, 3 for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. 4 And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.