Updated: Dec 10, 2018
Once we have experienced a revelation of God's eternal presence during seasons of earthly loneliness, desire Him above all else, and intentionally redirect our thoughts to the beauty we can share being eternally connected to Jesus, we will start to experience restoration in each area of our lives. It doesn’t all happen at once, and it may not come in the way we expect, but when we choose to see our earthly journey through the lens of Heaven, we can experience eternal transformations that will bring peace, joy and the restoration our hearts longs for.
As we face the trials of this life and the sting that comes from the pain we experience in our present lives, as we intentionally fix our eyes on Jesus and the eternity to come, we can trust and believe that 1) what we are facing on this earth is only for a season. 2) we can trust that God is with us turning every hard time around for His good 3) we can stay connected to him 24/7 through prayer, His Word and praying in the Holy Spirit and 4) that we can live a life of abundance as our desires, goals and action align with God’s perfect will and plan for our lives.
Here are nine passages to encourage and remind believers of the benefits of intentionally living singled out and set apart for God:
1) Intentionally determine in your heart that the trials you are facing right now are only for a season.
God shows us that on this earth everyone will experience ups and downs. We were not guaranteed that our earthly lives would be pain-free because we live in an imperfect world. However, we must stay encouraged in the promise that this is only for a season. “To everything there is a season, a time for every purpose under heaven: a time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to uproot what is planted; a time to kill, and a time to heal; a time to break down, and a time to build up; a time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance; a time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones; a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing; a time to gain, and a time to lose; a time to keep, and a time to cast away; a time to tear, and a time to sew; a time to keep silence, and a time to speak; a time to love, and a time to hate; a time of war, and a time of peace” (Ecclesiastes 3:1-8 MEV)
2) Intentionally hold on to the eternal promises of God.
God knows the beginning from the end, and we do not. The longing we feel right now will not be satisfied with anything the world offers. That the eternal hope God placed in our hearts is only found in Jesus. “What benefit does the worker have in his toil? I have seen the task that God has given to sons of men to be concerned with. He has made everything beautiful in its appropriate time. He has also put obscurity (eternity) in their hearts so that no one comes to know the work that God has done from the beginning to the end. I experienced that there is nothing better for them than to be glad and do good in their life. And also, that everyone should eat and drink and experience good in all their labor. This is a gift of God. I have perceived that everything that God has done will be lasting. And to this there is nothing to be added, and from it there is nothing to be taken away. (Ecclesiastes 3:9-14 MEV).
3) Intentionally reflect on how Jesus stayed eternally connected to God.
Before Jesus left this earth, he was about to face the ultimate rejection from those He came to save. He was about to experience what we felt without the presence of God. However, He knew that the pain he was about to experience was for a moment--a life changing moment that would change history. “Do you now believe? Listen, the hour is coming. Yes, it has now come that you will be scattered, each to his own home, and will leave Me alone. Yet I am not alone, for the Father is with Me. I have told you these things so that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But be of good cheer. I have overcome the world.” ( John 16:31-33 MEV).
4) Intentionally know that you have an eternal Savior living inside of you!
Jesus overcame so we could overcome. Without Him, all hope was lost. We may experience a “good and peaceful” life on this earth, but it will not make any difference because without Jesus, we are guaranteed an eternity in hell. However, through the sacrificial love of Jesus, we all can experience eternal life. “I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me.” (Galatians 2:20 MEV).
5) Intentionally remain in Jesus.
Knowing about eternal life through Jesus is a start in the right direction, but it isn’t enough. Jesus told us that we need to intentionally stay connected to His Holy Spirit to fulfill our eternal destinies. “Remain in Me, as I also remain in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit by itself, unless it remains in the vine, neither can you, unless you remain in Me. “I am the vine, you are the branches. He who remains in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit. For without Me you can do nothing. As we remain in Him and He remains in us, we are empowered to do what He called us to do in this earth.” (John 15:4-5 MEV).
6) Intentionally see past your earthly roles.
We may have many roles in our earthly lives. We may have the role of parent, pastor, caretaker, teacher, manager, spouse, leader, student, etc., but that is not who we are. We are the hands and feet of Jesus living inside of us to reach a lost and dying world! Every earthly role we play is temporary and will be forgotten, but what we do as Christ’s ambassadors last forever. “For I create new heavens and a new earth; the former things shall not be remembered or come to mind.” (Isaiah 65:17 MEV).
7) Intentionally align your earthly desires with God’s eternal plan.
Our lives are not wasted and meaningless! Our lives aren’t over because we didn’t get everything we expected or wanted. At the end of this age, our lives are just about to begin! When we desire the eternal riches of God, it is worth more than we will ever gain on earth. “The Lord is the portion of my inheritance and of my cup; You support my lot. The lines have fallen for me in pleasant places; yes, an inheritance is beautiful for me. I will bless the Lord who has given me counsel; my affections also instruct me in the night seasons. I have set the Lord always before me; because He is at my right hand, I will not be moved. Therefore, my heart is glad, and my glory rejoices; my flesh also will rest in security. For You will not leave my soul in Sheol [pit, abyss, destruction], nor will You suffer Your godly one to see corruption. You will make known to me the path of life; in Your presence is fullness of joy; at Your right hand there are pleasures for evermore.” (Psalm 16:5-11 MEV).
8) Intentionally believe that through Jesus, there is eternal transformation!
We must think about how much Jesus has done for us already and will continue to do if we trust Him in every season. “We also were once foolish, disobedient, deceived, serving various desires and pleasures, living in evil and envy, filled with hatred and hating each other. But when the kindness and the love of God our Savior toward mankind appeared, not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to His mercy He saved us, through the washing of rebirth and the renewal of the Holy Spirit, whom He poured out on us abundantly through Jesus Christ our Savior, so that, being justified by His grace, we might become heirs according to the hope of eternal life.” (Titus 3:3-7 MEV).
9) Intentionally live eternally restored!
God promised that those who are in Christ will be made new. Receive it, believe it and live it!
“The Spirit Himself bears witness with our spirits that we are the children of God, and if children, then heirs: heirs of God and joint-heirs with Christ, if indeed we suffer with Him, that we may also be glorified with Him.” (Romans 8:16-17 MEV).
No matter who or what hurt us in this life, restoration begins when we see, believe and act upon the fact that God is preparing us for Kingdom eternity and using us to bring others into Kingdom eternity. If we live our lives knowing that this our only purpose for being here, and that our purpose is vital to the Kingdom of God, then we will see our lives in a whole new way!