Eyes on the Prize
A fact of life: Having a proper perspective, having the right outlook, possessing love and joy makes life go better. It’s true!
Such as… reading a 200-page book is a delight if the content is something you personally find interesting and thus the time goes by quickly. But, reading a 200-page book because it’s an assignment and not on a topic you particularly like, is a hardship and pain which seems to drag on and on. This is true for anything in life.
Sometimes, when speaking with those who are experiencing present difficulties I tell them, “Cheer up, someday you’ll die!” This will usually get their attention. But, in fact, for a Follower of Jesus, I use this as an attitude adjustment and as a paraphrase of God’s Word. After all, we can’t even begin to compare our present hardship with the glory, beauty, majesty, unspeakable contentment, joy, and love which is to come when we are finally and fully home in our Father’s House. Check out the verses below. No… no… don’t just skim over them, but rather drink them in, let them settle deeply in your brain and heart, as you ponder what will be.
- 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, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.”
- Romans 8:18, “I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us.”
How’s your perspective? How’s your outlook? Do you need an attitude adjustment? Do you need to fix your eyes on the prize which awaits? Do you need to ponder what it will be like to be with Jesus forever in perfect relationship and love? Do you need to meditate on what the Apostle Paul wrote in Philippians 3:13b-14, “But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.”
Please understand, I know all of this is much easier said than done, especially when you are in the midst of trials and heartache! But, even so, this is the right perspective for Followers of Jesus to have and one for which we need to pray for and encourage each other to possess.
In just a few short weeks, I will find myself on a 200-mile bicycle ride through the very hilly, gravel roads of the Flint Hills. It will be beautifully brutal. On Saturday, June 2nd we will begin at 6:00 a.m. and must finish within 21 hours by Sunday at 3:00 a.m. It will be a great physical and mental challenge. As long as the weather does not interfere, there are no debilitating crashes, and no major mechanical issues, I will have to keep my mind on proper things for many hours.
I must discipline and force myself to think of the beauty which will be surrounding me. I must think of the goodness of Jesus and spend time in quoting Scripture and singing His praises. I must reflect on the plight of the refugees in Lebanon and how each turn of the pedals is, in some way because of the support of so many of you, helping to show them the practical and hopeful, love of Jesus. (If you have no idea what I’m talking about please go and check out ride4refugees.com and watch the video.) Blessings!