For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us. (Romans 8:18)
Life is better lived with a proper perspective. To have a perspective of a thing is to look at something with a point of view or confident attitude. Whatever perspective is taken about a subject will enhance or diminish the worth of the object. If a man has an optimistic viewpoint about his job, he will do an excellent job. When the perception changes and negative thoughts fill the mind, it isn’t easy to do a good job. This is true in every aspect of life. How a person views life will largely determine their happiness or lack thereof.
The Christian possesses the greatest perspective. Through the knowledge of the word of God, life is defined by its beginning, the present day, and what happens in death. The Bible tells man where he came from and why he was created. Moses opens the book of Genesis with the creation of man as an eternal creature loved and nurtured by his Creator. Man is not a blob that crawled out of a primeval soup of chaos but the highest of creation formed in the image of the Divine. The worth of a man is found in whose image he is made. No creature is of a higher order than the human spirit.
Questions arise about why man exists and what his purpose is. God created man for His glory and, through that glory, identified the man as of value to his Maker. When men view life as the perspective of the carnal nature, he defeats the purpose and design of man’s creation. The human spirit is not to serve the flesh because there is no lasting joy and fulfillment. Life is filled with suffering, agony, pain, and sorrow. This comes about because sin brings death; spiritually and physically. Finding the peace of God that passes understanding gives purpose to life. Serving the Lord will not take away the sorrows of life. Carrying the cross of Christ removes the burden of sin and provides joy in the face of the grief of the world.
Paul suggested to the Romans that perspective changes the view of life. There is no doubt life is filled with suffering. As an apostle of Christ traveling throughout the Roman world, Paul was destitute, despised, hungry, shipwrecked, stoned and left for dead, mistreated, and misunderstood, but he never wavered in his faith. He endured the afflictions of life because of what he could see beyond the vale of death. Paul concluded what a man suffers now is nothing compared to the glory God will reveal later. The value of a proper perspective is to realize that happiness comes later; not now.
Too often, the realities of life cloud the eternal view. Life can be hard. Plans do not turn out the way a person hopes. Death invades. Sickness changes life. The reality of life is that life is not fair. When the heart can turn the perspective of what life on earth means compared to the glory of eternity, the burdens of life begin to be lifted away. What a man experiences in this life is like a microscopic atom of what eternity will be. A man could live to be one hundred years, but what is that to the vast tapestry of an eternal world without end? The sufferings of this world (short) are not worth being compared with the glory (eternal) that the child of God will realize. Perspective changes everything. You will live life according to what you see as of more value. Consider this world. Then peek behind the door of eternity and see God’s glory.
“The value of a proper perspective is to realize that happiness comes later; not now.”
Job had this perspective, while his wife did not. How many of us would have that perspective if we went through even SOME of what Job did? I fear that not many of us would. If your marriage is bad despite your own efforts, divorce is the world’s answer. What about us? How many of us REALLY meant our vow to stay married “through good times AND bad?” Does our definition of “bad times” conveniently change when bad times become a reality and there seems to be no hope of that changing? Do we choose to believe the answer isn’t divorce, but to be a Godly spouse no matter how poorly we’re treated, as Paul instructs in 1 Cor 7, and possibly effect change even if your role is that of the submissive? More importantly, do we choose to have the perspective Kent talks about, knowing that true happiness comes later? Or does our definition of “till death do us part” suddenly change and we find a way out, telling everyone we are doing so “for scriptural reasons” when that’s not really the case?
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