History of Redemption: Blog Post 38
Suffer hardship with me, as a good soldier of Christ Jesus. For this reason I endure all things for the sake of those who are chosen, so that they also may obtain the salvation which is in Christ Jesus and with it eternal glory. For this light momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison, 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 Timothy 2:3;10 NASB; 2 Corinthians 4:17-18 ESV.
Perspective (noun) - The capacity to view things in their true relations or relative importance. (Merriam Webster Dictionary)
Perspective is something I confess that most days I am lacking. How many times each day do I focus on the things that are transient, the things that are seen? And what would my life look like if I was able to lay hold of a true and right perspective? It would no doubt look radically different. I am confronted daily by minor earthly obstacles, which threaten to derail me from the path of the calling I have received. I inflate these obstacles, telling myself they are too large to go around. I convince myself that I am a victim, or that I deserve so much better. When all the while, my eyes should be focused on the eternal weight of glory which is being prepared for me. If my eyes were focused correctly, these light momentary afflictions would be laughable. They would be to me as flies simply needing to be swatted away. They would be as nothing in comparison to the salvation which is in Christ Jesus, and His plan to glorify my earthly body. It was this true and eternal perspective which allowed Paul to rejoice always, even while being beaten, and mocked, and threatened with death. Paul’s perspective was not one of things that are seen, but was instead that of eternity.
We have all suffered in our lives to varying degrees. Likewise we are all surrounded by people who have suffered to varying degrees. I believe Paul would tell us that even the most horrible suffering imaginable in this world is but a “light” and “momentary” affliction. To really believe this and to live in light of it takes a true and biblical perspective. It is the perspective of eternity with Christ. And you have to fight for this perspective, “as a good soldier of Christ Jesus”. The reason we so often lose perspective is because we are at war and our minds are constantly under attack. We live on a spiritual battlefield. We are at war not only with satan, but with our own sin as well.
I have never served in the military, but I know a few things about those who do. They are disciplined. They are strong. They are focused. They are prepared for battle. And they are devoted to the nation which they serve. We likewise are called to be all of these things, and to fight against satan and sin, and to fight for that kingdom which we serve, for “the sake of those who are chosen”. Never forget who and what you are fighting for. You are fighting for that eternal weight of glory which is being prepared for you and for all the elect, in Christ Jesus, our most worthy King.
“Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of his might. Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the schemes of the devil. For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places. Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand firm” (Ephesians 6:10-13).