Forever

Does this life mean more to you than the one to come?

Does eternity mean less to you than being a being a big winner in your career? Or, the envy of everyone else in your marriage? Or, going all out to enjoy the pleasures of this life?

There is nothing wrong in investing ourselves heavily in this life, brief as it is.  But God wants us to look for our ultimate satisfaction in him as John Piper says.

And our brief lives on earth are really just a preparation for a wonderful eternity with God.  Nothing on earth can compare with the joys of being with God in the world to come.

That’s the intriguing argument of noted author Paul David Tripp, author of Forever.  I am so captivated by this thought that I am writing about it even before finishing his book.

“No matter who you are, where you are, and how old you are, you long for a perfect world and struggle with the fact that the address where you live is anything but perfect,” declares Tripp.

Yet, we keep hoping that we can achieve perfection in our lives on earth.  We try to fulfill our dreams of success or ultimate pleasure in the here and now.

So even Christians – myself included – tend to push God into the background as we pursue our earthly goals.  We tend to think that we must get what we want now.

Tripp says that the problem is that “we live with a destination mentality instead of a preparation mentality”. In other words, we feel that we have to pack in everything we can into this life because that’s all there is – we feel we can only achieve what we want in our existence on earth.

But this view of life fails to grasp that “our complete, present, personal happiness is not what God is working on in the here and now,” writes Tripp.

“Living with a preparation mentality . . . means living with the knowledge that God is using the disappointments and difficulties of this world to prepare us for the next. God uses the pressures of the present to craft us into the kind of individuals with whom he would choose to spend eternity.”

Tripp goes on to say that God is using the present world “to produce three things in me – longing, readiness and hope”.  I am to long for more of God, prepare for the time when I will see him face to face, and build a lively hope in the joys to come.

The apostle Paul summed this up well in his great statement: “For to me, living means living for Christ, and dying is even better.” (Philippians 1:21)

Instinctively, I believe Tripp is right.

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