#370 Aiming at Eternity 2 Corinthians 4.18
I felt heavy with sadness over some of the experiences that family members were going through. I prayed many prayers for His wisdom, strength, and overruling for all those involved. But the sadness remained, to the point of fringes of depression. In the midst of prayer, words came to my mind, a song to write for one who is not consecrated, and has lost their way in life. In part, here are some of the words:
Facing crossroads, time for choices, many options, many voices: where to go and what to do to find your Dream and make it true.
Looking back you wonder when the road will turn, where it will end; What map to follow, how to choose a life of worth.
So much to lose. The road you choose can make you strong, however hard, however long. The road can bring you to the place of courage, risk, and power to face each rocky steep incline to come to summit of road’s challenge won.
I see you on the mountain peak. I see you finding what you seek when value of your life you see, embracing strength and honesty;
Beyond the dark, beyond the blame, beyond the aimless road of pain to life that reaches out with song inspiring others to be strong.
The immediate effect of the last verse in the above song lifted my spirits. And I realized that when we exercise our spiritual vision to see the Victory over sin and death, a victory that may begin now, or a victory that may take place in the Kingdom, it changes the whole tenor of the problem. A compassionate heart is wonderful, but compassion is not meant to end in just a feeling. It is meant to lead to action. “And seeing the multitudes, he felt compassion for them, because they were distressed and downcast like sheep without a shepherd. The he said to his disciples,
The harvest is plentiful, but the workers are few. Therefore beseech the Lord of the harvest to sent out workers into His harvest.” Matthew 9:36-38
We can ask the Lord that we be MOVED with compassion to act according to His will by asking what to pray and what to do.
The principle from 2 Corinthians 4:16-18 is powerful. “Therefore we do not lose heart, but though our outer man is decaying, yet our inner man is being renewed day by day. For momentary, light affliction is producing for us an eternal weight of glory far beyond all comparison, while we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen; for the things which are seen are temporal, but the things which are not seen are eternal.” We must be aware of the sorrow and experience it. We must deal with the sorrow or whatever the situation presents. But we can get lost in the sorrow or the problem. 2 Corinthians 4:18 helps us to guard against this. The word “look” is Strong’s #4648: to take aim at, (spy); figuratively regard. We aim at what is eternal and perpetual: the Victory over sin and death for the followers of Christ, and then for our whole human family. In order to aim at something, we must give it our close attention. If we close our eyes, if we look away, if we focus on something else our aim will be off. Our vision and target is eternal blessing for all. When that is our focus amid sorrow and challenge it changes our perspective and thus it changes our experience.
I heard a discourse from the Harvest Convention that mentioned Philippians 4:6-8, and it fits into this scenario. “Don’t worry over anything whatever; tell God every detail of your needs in earnest and thankful prayer, and the peace of God which transcends human understanding, will keep constant guard over your hearts and minds as they rest in Christ Jesus.” (Phillips) “Finally, brethren, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is of good repute, if there is any excellence and if anything worthy of praise, let your mind dwell on these things.” (NASB) These verses epitomize the foundations of Eternal blessing. We must be very aware of the present circumstance; we pray for wisdom to deal with our circumstance and the people in our lives, we pray to be and do what will please Him. We can also maintain our aim for eternity by using our spiritual imagination to see the Kingdom potential in every person and in every challenge we face.
Not only do I pray for the birth of faith in the hearts of others according to God’s time and way, but I focus my attention to picture what that will look like, and to rejoice in the finished work of God and Christ in both the spiritual and earthly Kingdoms. My heart is still saddened in this experience, but now there is a lightness in my spirit, an even deeper gratitude for the hope of the Kingdom, and for the privilege to be touched with the feeling of the infirmities and struggles of others, according to the example of Jesus. Hebrews 4:15-16 Aim at Eternity and carry the vision of Kingdom blessing for all in our spiritual imagination and in the midst of sorrow and struggle, and the fringes of depression are transformed into depths of gratitude.