Thanks to Richard Mansel for this encouraging article.
Christians have an advantage over those in the world because their perspectives on life and death are healthier and more positive. God’s people are able to see beyond the material and into the eternal, and they find gold there, rather than vast nothingness.
The fleshly world deals only with the pursuit of pleasure and wealth at the expense of others. Selfishness frames their existence and the tangible supersedes the eternal. The bumper sticker, “He who dies with the most toys wins” is very telling. They see nothing past the shopping mall.
The Christian can immerse himself in God’s Word, realize the nature of sin, forgiveness, salvation, grace and mercy and tether himself to heaven. “For our citizenship is in heaven, from which we also eagerly wait for the Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ” ( Philippians 3:20, NKJV).
We see our home in heaven and we look back at the world through different lenses. We become visitors here and the things of this world do not control us anymore. We must be reasonable, of course. We still have jobs, families, responsibilities, stresses, pressures from the many things that make up this life. We do not simply ignore them.
The Christian perspective is that those things are a part of life. We learn from Scripture what is important and things that should be our focus. Accordingly, we may eliminate some of life’s stresses. We also realize that God is there for us and that he will supply our basic needs ( Matthew 6:25-34; Hebrews 13:5).
Once we loosen the bonds of this world, our perspectives change and we turn to prayer, the Word, fellowship, and the peace and joy of the Christian walk rather than the booze, pills, fornication, or materialism that destroy us.
Once we are free from the chains of this life, we continue to live, work, walk, and have relationships. However, we handle them better through knowledge and faith. We understand why evil exists ( Romans 3:23), that people will be sinful, prejudiced, racist, etc., and we realize that it comes from Satan. Therefore, we are not surprised that sinners will act as they do ( John 8:44).
If we have our home in heaven, and we have loosed the chains of this world, we view death differently, as well. We still fear the unknown, but we can anticipate the results of death. We know that we are going home and that blessings beyond our imaginations exist across the barrier ( Revelation 21:1-8).
We realize that everything we have endured here is preparation for the afterlife, so we remain vigilant and active on earth in preparation for our final journey.
“Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus” ( Philippians 4:6-7).
The faith and knowledge of God’s power and plan in our lives will stand tall as a fortress protecting us against the enemy until the Lord comes and takes us home ( 1 Peter 5:8; John 14:1-6). Be liberated and open your eyes and ears to heaven and breathe it in, even while walking the streets of earth.
Used by permission from Forthright Magazine (www.forthright.net). Copyright © 2011, Richard Mansel