Faith and Eternity
As Christians, I think it is easy for us to misplace our faith. We seem to have a tendency to place our faith in the idea that God exists, and that Jesus is who he claimed to be. While I think having faith in these two propositions is good, and more than good is important and essential, the problem is we do not need to rely solely on faith to support/ sustain our belief and confidence in the truth of these facts. There are a many good reasons to believe these two things, and we can rest assured that our faith in them is well placed because there is good evidence to support these beliefs.
What I really think we need to focus on is placing our faith in the things Jesus said and what God has promised. So often we seem to proclaim with our lips that we trust God, but we do not live as though we do. We are more concerned with living a comfortable life here and now, enjoying our short lives rather than pouring out our lives for the work of God. If we believe the words of Jesus, we should be striving a lot harder and enduring a lot more than we think we can comfortably bear. If we really believe the words and promises of Jesus, why are we so afraid to share the Gospel? Why are we more concerned with enjoying life now rather than striving hard (and I mean bleeding through your sweat hard), to store up our treasures in heaven? What discomfort or embarrassment (experienced for the briefest of moments) could possibly outweigh eternal reward?
Even if we were to be imprisoned, tortured, or killed for our faith, we should gladly, even joyfully, endure such things for the sake of the Gospel and because we know that no matter how much suffering, torment, mocking, ridicule, or any other discomfort and/or inconvenience we face, (no matter what length of time we must face such things in this life), is not even a drop of water in the oceans upon oceans of joy to be experienced for eternity in fellowship with Jesus and all the brothers and sisters in Christ.
If we truly believe the words of Jesus, our focus should be eternal. We need to stop living for the here and now, and start faithfully striving for what we cannot see. Read Hebrews 11:1, “now faith is being sure of what we hope for, and certain of what we do not see.”
We need to trust in Jesus and place our faith in the promises he made that the things we do and endure now have eternal consequences (both for good and for ill), and stop living like this is our only chance at happiness, or only chance to enjoy life. If what Jesus said is true, we should really disregard our desires for comfort and happiness now, and passionately pursue eternal things.
Out faith needs to be in the hope of heaven, in the eternal promises of Jesus. We need to stop being focused on the here and now, and start living for Christ and eternity.