Inspiration

The Power of Eternal Thinking

"Since we are his children, we will possess the blessings he keeps for his people, and we will also possess with Christ what God has kept for him; for if we share Christ's suffering, we will also share his glory. I consider that what we suffer at this present time cannot be compared at all with the glory that is going to be revealed to us." (Romans 8:17-18 GNT)

A famous Harvard study once showed a direct connection between long-term thinking and success. The more people focused on short-term gain, the more likely they were to fail. Those who focus on what "feels good" right now are doomed to be unsuccessful.

For Christians, this should be easy. When we talk of long-term thinking, we call it eternity. We're not thinking 40 or 50 years into the future. We're thinking trillions and trillions of years in the future.

Living with eternity in mind will make you the most successful person possible. When you think long-term, you can handle the momentary problems that come your way.

Romans 8:17-18 says, "Since we are his children, we will possess the blessings he keeps for his people, and we will also possess with Christ what God has kept for him; for if we share Christ's suffering, we will also share his glory. I consider that what we suffer at this present time cannot be compared at all with the glory that is going to be revealed to us" (GNT).

One day, if you're a follower of Christ, you'll be rewarded for what you've done with what you've been given. Use your talents, time, treasure, and influence for God's purposes, and you'll be rewarded for those choices. The verses above also say we'll be rewarded in Heaven for what Jesus did: "We will also possess with Christ what God has kept for him."

You've got a lot to look forward to in Heaven. Compared to what's in store for you in Heaven, your current pain and problems are petty.

It's not easy to be a believer. It's not easy to do what's right. Sometimes it's not easy to tell others about Jesus. It's not easy to tithe. But the benefits of following Jesus and obeying what he teaches will far outlast the pain.

It's simply foolish to focus only on short-term results.

Talk It Over

  • Describe a specific struggle you're facing that would change if you saw it from an eternal perspective.
  • How many of your concerns would seem less important if you thought of them in relation to eternity?
  • By thinking eternally, what will become important to us?

 

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Rick Warren is the founding pastor of Saddleback Church in Lake Forest, Calif., one of America's largest and most influential churches. Rick is author of the New York Times bestseller "The Purpose Driven Life." His book, "The Purpose Driven Church," was named one of the 100 Christian books that changed the 20th century. He is also the founder of Pastors.com, a global Internet community for pastors.

This devotional © 2013 by Rick Warren. All rights reserved. Used by permission.

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