2 Corinthians 4:18 “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.”
You are or will become what you dwell upon. This is why God admonishes the believer to look “at the things which are not seen.” God knows that when you look at those things which you cannot see, that you will be looking at the eternal which will bring joy within your soul. The secret to living a joyful life is to look on the eternal.
What does it mean to “look?” It means to fix your eyes on the eternal. It means that you choose not to look at the temporal, but you purposely place your focus of life on that which is eternal. God knows that the eternal never changes because it is eternal. He also knows that you will live a life of disappointment when you dwell on the temporal because it ends, leaving you empty. Let me point out several observations about how you can live your life looking on the eternal.
First, you choose at what you look. You cannot live in the flesh and expect to look on the eternal. You cannot feed yourself negative and expect positive to come out of your life. One of the greatest battles you are going to have to fight is the battle to control what you choose to look at. Satan will bombard you with temporal things, but you must have the character to direct your attention towards the eternal.
Second, it takes faith to look at the eternal. One reason God commands the believer to live a life of faith is because He knows that you cannot have an eternal viewpoint without living by faith. It takes faith to see the Judgment Seat is where your rewards will come. The way that the saints in Hebrews 11 kept going despite not receiving the promise for which they lived was that they kept an eternal viewpoint which kept them from being discouraged at not receiving the promise for which they were living. You cannot have an eternal view for life without choosing to live by faith.
Third, only the eternal gives joy. Many people live an empty life because they live for the temporal, but the temporal is temporary leaving them empty. You only find joy by living for the eternal. What gives you joy as you live looking at the eternal is that nothing in life can take away your faith-view of knowing that the eternal will come one day. It is the hope that a better day is coming because of your eternal focus is where you find joy as you walk through the hardships of life.
Fourth, you can’t make it through tough times without looking at the eternal. In verse 17, God talks about our affliction being but for a “moment.” Your affliction will only seem to be a moment when you live with an eternal view in mind. When you live for the temporal, your view of the trials you face are encapsulated with the years that you live. When you live for the eternal your trials are viewed as being compared to eternity, which makes them seem but for a moment.
The way to have an eternal view of life is a directional choice. If you live looking down at the immediate, you will be overwhelmed, which will cause you to live a life of anxiety. If you choose to live your life looking up to the eternal, the problems that life throws your way won’t faze you. Let me challenge you today to live your life for the eternal, and you will find that you can face any problem in life.