By Steve Troxel
God's Daily Word Ministries
There is no more dramatic example of a Christ-changed life than the Apostle Paul. While on his way to Damascus to capture Christians and put them in jail, Jesus blinded Paul and asked: "Why do you persecute Me?" (Acts 9:4). When Paul asked who was speaking, Jesus replied: "I am Jesus, whom you are persecuting. Now get up and go into the city, and you will be told what you must do" (Acts 9:5-6).
Jesus identified Paul as "My chosen instrument to carry My name before the Gentiles and their kings and before the people of Israel" (Acts 9:15). This special selection did not make Paul perfect, but he was gifted with a close relationship with Jesus as well as special insight into the true gospel message.
Paul suffered many hardships and trials during his years of ministry. His life was continually threatened; he was beaten many times, placed in prison for extended periods, and faced the frustration of ministering to people who failed to truly appreciate his message. And yet, Paul weighed his trials on the scale of eternity.
2 Corinthians 4:16-17
"Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all."
Paul had learned "the secret of being content in any and every situation" (Philippians 4:12). This secret involved knowing who he was in Christ and viewing his life from the perspective of eternity. This secret gave him a new understanding of his trials.
Our life must no longer be viewed with a beginning and an end, but truly as being eternal. Though our days on earth may sometimes be difficult, our days are very few. A hundred years is not even a visible speck on the canvas of eternity. And the weight of our burdens vanish to nothing when compared to the glory of Heaven. This is the lasting power of an eternal perspective.
God's peace and contentment require us to expand our view to include an eternity we cannot see and a glory we may not understand; "I have told you these things, so that in Me you may have peace" (John 16:33). His peace is available today; it's available in our relationships, our work, our finances, our health, and our ministry.
Let's allow the world to see our confidence in His promised eternal glory by the peace which fills our life. Let's live by the faith of an eternal perspective and be renewed as we rightly consider ALL our trials to be light and momentary.
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