Thursday, December 27, 2012

Sufferings and Eternity

By Donna L. Watkins

Life on earth is a lot what we make of it ... but it seems the devil makes more of it than we do at times. Everybody has ups and downs, but it's Jesus that gives us the power to have joy and peace no matter what the circumstances are.

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Before Jesus left His disciples and this earth, He tried to prepare them for what was to come. They would be persecuted as many Christians are today for the gospel of Christ. I'm not talking about having a bad day, but of many that have been martyrs to spread the gospel in heathen places.

Paul said in Romans 8:18, "I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us." Jesus said He would go and prepare a place for us (John 14:2) and I imagine it's possible that building project is part of Heaven even today.

One day all of our earthly trials will seem minute compared to the glory of spending eternity with our Lord and Savior. When our times here on earth are a struggle, we need to encourage ourselves with this reality and promise.

When we think about spending eternity with the Lord, it should help us to put life here on earth in its proper perspective. It's easy to be fearful about problems and believe that all is lost, but for Christians who are born again, we have the promise of Jesus wiping all of our tears away. All sorrows will be in the past and considering all that will be amazing in Heaven, they will not come to mind. These thoughts should keep us from despairing and being depressed over what will look like minor matters when we look back. It will also make us much stronger in our faith.

Let's not make the focus of Heaven that of mansions and gold though. We should be focused on the fact that we will be with Jesus for eternity, the One who died for us so that we could be there at all. But think about this ... if worse comes to worse, you always have a home in Heaven especially made for you. No matter what the devil throws your way, you're still the winner!

Get an attitude with the devil that whatever he throws your way you will overcome. Romans 8:6 says, "For to be carnally minded is death; but to be spiritually minded is life and peace." Focus on the Word and not your problem. Then you will be spiritually minded which will produce life and peace.

You can't lose meditating on the Word and praising God for His provision. For Satan to defeat you, you have to be focused on the negative things in life. If you look beyond and believe in God's promises, it will produce victory. If your perspective is right, you will cast all your care on the Lord (1 Peter 5:7) and rest in Him.

If you are fretful, anxious and worried about things and telling everybody how bad it all is, you haven't got the problem under you. It is reigning over you and will produce death. I'm not necessarily talking about physical death ... but depression and despair is a form of death itself. It's certainly death to the abundant life that Christ came to give us.

Move from the position of death and defeat in the to a position of victory where you recognize that in Christ Jesus, you are more than a conqueror (Romans 8:37). I know that it sounds real simple and the principle is, but it's not easy to implement. Daily we choose what to think on and if it's not the Word that is active and alive and able to do great things in our lives, then we choose death with our own thoughts.

It's not easy, but I can guarantee you it produces better results. Depression and despair and having a gloomy attitude won't ever bring forth peace, joy or happiness, so why waste your life choosing that path. It took me nowhere.  Take the "high road" and get the upper hand on the devil. We are conquerers of his tactics in Christ Jesus.

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