Developing an Eternal Perspective

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It is a wonderful thing to be alive! If a person lives to be very old, let him rejoice in every day of life, but let him also remember that eternity is far longer and that everything down here is futile in comparison. Young man, it’s wonderful to be young! Enjoy every minute of it! Do all you want to; take in everything, but realize you must account to God for everything you do.

Ecclesiastes 11:7-9 (The Living Bible)

I’m convinced that the main reason for most of man’s misery is our lack of an eternal perspective. Throughout the book of Ecclesiastes, Solomon (the Preacher) laments the utter futility of everything he has observed in his life.

  • The wicked are often rewarded in life with riches and abundance, and then lauded by men after their deaths in the very cities where they committed their crimes!.
  • The poor are oppressed and forced to struggle for every mouthful.
  • The fastest do not always win the race.
  • The strongest do not always win the battle.
  • The most skillful are not always famous.
  • The wise are often poor and fools are often rich.
  • The wise and the fool, the rich and the poor, the wicked and the righteous all face the same destiny – death!

In fact, on the surface, Ecclesiastes can be a confusing and depressing book to read. Solomon spent his life searching for happiness and satisfaction by pursing wisdom, folly, riches, sex, gourmet food, and strong drink, only to declare that everything is “vanity” or futility. So much of life seems to be unfair!

We often come to the same conclusion. What is point of striving? Why bother to do what is right? Death comes to the righteous and the unrighteous alike. Shouldn’t we just, “eat, drink, and be merry?”

The ultimate reality is that death is not the end of our lives. We need to live with an eternal perspective. No matter how unfair things appear during our earthly lives, we can be confident that God is a righteous judge. He is the ultimate defender and comforter. We can be confident that He will ultimately set everything right.

No matter what happens to you today, live with an eternal perspective. Remember that this life is just a fleeting moment in the vast stretch of eternity. We must live with eternity in view and strive to please our Heavenly Father above everything else. That’s why Solomon concludes Ecclesiastes with these words:

“Here is my final conclusion: fear God and obey His commandments, for this is the entire duty of man. For God will judge us for everything we do, including every hidden thing, good or bad.”

Ecclesiastes 12:13-14

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