“Looking unto Jesus, the Author and Finisher of our faith, Who, for the joy that was set before Him, endured the cross… (Hebrews 12:2)
When Jesus went to the cross to pay the price for man’s sin, He endured the greatest “fiery trial” that has ever been experienced. This verse tells us that He was able to look beyond the cross to “the joy that was set before Him.” In other words, He was able to see things from the perspective of Eternity. We need to learn from His example!
I have included here some words from the Bible that will help us keep our perspective when we are going through the fiery trial. The point of including these verses here can be illustrated with a couple of memories.
There are two “trivial” memories from my childhood that still serve to teach me a valuable lesson about time and eternity.
I remember when I was a nine-year-old boy on the Sunday that I moved up from the “Primaries” Sunday School class in our small-town church to the “Juniors” Sunday School class. After I, and a few other boys, had been taken to our new class, the 13-year-olds in that class were taken out and promoted to the “Intermediates” class. I remember thinking thoughts to the effect, “Good grief! I’ll be here forever!” I literally couldn’t conceive of the time required for me to get from the age of nine to the age of thirteen! Now, of course, the whole thing is a fading, distant memory.
I had a similar experience in the ninth grade watching my first basketball game as a high-schooler. About three rows behind me were some loud, boistrous high school senior boys. I looked back at them and had the same thoughts I had had as a nine-year-old in that Sunday School class. I couldn’t conceive of the time required for me to get from high school freshman to high school senior! And again, of course, the whole thing is a fading, distant memory.
Through the years, those two little trivial memories have served to remind me that all of life is like that. We look back with amazement that things we thought would never come, have come and gone. And so it will be with life itself.
We tend to get so absorbed with the things of this life, that we do not really grasp the fact that it will soon be over! We will be looking back, after passing through some trials and on into eternity, thinking, “Wow, that was fast!” The fiery trials of this life will seem but dim memories.
With those thoughts in mind, consider the following Scriptures…
“For what is your life? It is even a vapour, that appeareth for a little time, and then vanisheth away.” (James 4:14)
“The last enemy that will be abolished is death.” (1Corinthians 15:26)
“Since then the children share in flesh and blood, He Himself likewise also partook of the same, that through death He might render powerless him who had the power of death, that is, the devil.” (Hebrews 2:14)
“And He shall wipe away every tear from their eyes; and there shall no longer be any death; there shall no longer be any mourning, or crying, or pain; the first things have passed away.” (Revelation 21:4)
“For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” (Romans 8:38-39)
“Therefore we do not lose heart, but though our outer man is decaying, yet our inner man is being renewed day by day. For momentary, light affliction is producing for us an eternal weight of glory far beyond all comparison, while we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen; for the things which are seen are temporal, but the things which are not seen are eternal.” (2 Corinthians 4:16-18)
“Weeping may last for the night, But a shout of joy comes in the morning.” (Psalm 30:5)
“For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory that is to be revealed to us.” (Romans 8:18)
“Blessed is a man who perseveres under trial; for once he has been approved, he will receive the crown of life, which the Lord has promised to those who love Him.” (James 1:12)
“But in all these things we overwhelmingly conquer through Him who loved us.” (Romans 8:37)
“But just as it is written, Things which eye has not seen and ear has not heard, and which have not entered the heart of man, all that God has prepared for those who love Him.” (1 Corinthians 2:9)
“That the proof of your faith, being more precious than gold which is perishable, even though tested by fire, may be found to result in praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ.” (1 Peter 1:7)
“And after you have suffered for a little while, the God of all grace, who called you to His eternal glory in Christ, will Himself perfect, confirm, strengthen and establish you.” (1 Peter 5:10)