[Today’s devotion about handling discouragement is part of the Weekend Word devotional series. Come back every Saturday to feel refreshed through the reading of God’s Word.]
3 And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Look! God’s dwelling place is now among the people, and he will dwell with them. They will be his people, and God himself will be with them and be their God.4 ‘He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.” (Revelation 21:3-4, NIV)
4 “Show me, Lord, my life’s end
and the number of my days;
let me know how fleeting my life is.
5 You have made my days a mere handbreadth;
the span of my years is as nothing before you.
Everyone is but a breath,
even those who seem secure. (Psalm 39:4-5)
15 Be very careful, then, how you live—not as unwise but as wise,16 making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil. (Ephesians 5:15-16)
Serving God is full of its ups and downs. We experience joys and sorrows, triumphs and disappointments.
Many times, the payout isn’t immediately visible. You get up tirelessly day after day, putting your hand to the plow and giving it all you’ve got, but you’re not seeing the fruit.
Maybe you face each day struggling through pain, illness, or difficult times. It seems never-ending. Facing the idea of another 30, 40, 50 plus years contending with the same or similar struggles, should Jesus tarry, feels overwhelming.
After all, this world has been cursed by sin, and God never promised the journey would be easy. He said we would have trouble in this world (John 16:33), but maybe you’re beginning to feel you’ve had enough of it.
As I read Revelation this week, I thought about what it will be like in the new heaven and new earth. How will it feel when we walk in the presence of Jesus forever, all the pain we ever felt relieved, letting Him wipe away every tear from our eyes? How peaceful, how joyful, and how incredible that will be.
And it lasts for eternity.
Comprehending the idea of eternity is difficult for us. We’re used to measuring time in years, months, days, and seconds. But there’s no way to measure eternity. It’s not 1,000 years, it’s more. It’s not 10,000 years, it’s more. It’s not even 100,000 years or millions of years, or billions of years. It is completely and utterly mind-blowingly longer than that.
In the light of eternity, 80 years, 90 years, or 100 years is like the blink of an eye. As the Bible describes, our lives are a “breath” (Ps. 39:5) or a “vapor” (Jas 4:14). As the psalmist explains, our years must seem like nothing to God, the Creator of time itself (Ps. 39:5).
Looking at my life with that perspective, I thought about how short it actually is. Yet it’s these years living on earth that really matter.
It’s this life, this breath, this vapor, that impacts eternity. In Ephesians chapter 5, Paul exhorts us to “make the most of every opportunity.” We have the chance with every passing day to make an eternal impact on the lives of others. We won’t need to spread the gospel in eternity — everyone in heaven will already know Him. This is a job that we can only do in this short time that we have now.
So keep working, keep ministering, keep pushing through. It may feel overwhelming now, but in the light of eternity, it’s a short time after all. But this short time matters more than we could ever imagine.
Eternity with Jesus is worth waiting for. And God gives us the strength to get there, one day at a time.
Today’s Thoughts: Have you been feeling overwhelmed, tired, or discouraged? Does looking at your life through the lens of eternity make a difference in your perspective and how you approach each day? Why or why not?