According to researchers, back in 2015 one-quarter of the world’s population suffered from nearsightedness. That was a 66% increase from 1970. Today, nearsightedness is said to affect about one-third of the world’s population. People who are nearsighted can only see clearly what is close to them, what is right in front of their faces.
What has triggered the growth of this eye problem? Experts believe that the upsurge in nearsightedness is related to the increased time children are spending indoors staring at computer screens.
Reading that statistic reminded me that physical nearsightedness is not the only issue our society faces. We are all in danger of being spiritually nearsighted, too. We are often so caught up with what we can see up close in the life that goes on around us, that we lose sight of the big picture God wants us to see.
In a recent blog, Dr. Paul Tripp listed some difficult issues that we often see right in front of our eyes. [https://mailchi.mp/paultripp/wednesdays-word-8-19-2020-what-benjamin-franklin-said-about-eternity]
– The scream of the toddler who has had a toy wrenched from his hands by his older brother is more than a cry of protest.
– The hurt inside the teenager who has been mocked by a peer is more than adolescent angst.
– The tears of a mom at the end of a talk with a lost and wayward daughter are more than an expression of parental grief.
– The resentment of the man who has just been laid off by a boss who didn’t seem to care is more than anger at a career injustice
– The gardener’s frustration that her weeds grow faster than her flowers is more than a fight with the forces of nature.
– The curse of the older man at his inability to get his leg to do what he intended for it is more than frustration with an expiring biological clock.
– The sad silence around the casket of a dear one is more than the grief of the bereaved.
These are all heartbreaking evidences of the broken world around us, and they capture our attention all too quickly. When we focus on these things, we are nearsighted, seeing only the things that are up-close.
Christians can focus on these things too much as well. We Christians suffer many of the same things that non-Christians suffer, but of all the people in the world, Christians should not be nearsighted. We can look beyond the troubles of this world—even the menacing troubles of 2020—and realize that we have two huge advantages. Some of them are present. Some are future. Both are real.
Let’s look first at the present blessings we have. These should never be dimmed by any present troubles in this broken world.
First, because Christians have been adopted into God’s family (see Romans 8:14-15), we have amazing blessings available to us right now. The first one is that all our sins have been paid for: “There is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus” (Romans 8:1).
Christians also enjoy an ongoing friendship with the Creator. Our relationship with God is so intimate that we can talk to Him as our “…Abba! [or “Daddy”] Father!” (Romans 8:15).
As they say on the TV info commercials, “And that’s not all!”
In addition to all the present benefits God makes available to us, He has also written Christians into His will. We are promised that one day we will inherit everything that Jesus has inherited. Believers are “… heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ….” (Romans 8:17).
Now I know what some of you are thinking, “Promises about the future don’t do a thing to help me with what I need now.” You’re wrong about that. They do. Let me explain.
Picture it this way. Imagine that you are living from paycheck to paycheck and that the financial struggle is getting exhausting. Then one day you get an official notice in the mail from a lawyer. Someone has passed away, and your name was listed in the will. In six months you are going to inherit a large sum of money. Now how do you feel about your money problems?
Your lack of money is no longer a big deal, right? Soon you will be wealthy. That is how Christians should feel when they look at God’s riches that lay ahead for them.
Don’t just look at what you see right in front of you. Look farther ahead. Even if you have all the health and wealth you could ever ask for right now, it means little when you look at the length of eternity. Jesus asked, “What does it profit a man to gain the whole world, and forfeit his soul?” (Mark 8:36).
Don’t live your life forgetting the forever. “… the things which are seen are temporal, [or temporary] but the things which are not seen are eternal” (2 Corinthians 4:18).
Because Jesus has paid for your eternal inheritance, you need to “… repent and turn to God….” (Acts 26:20). If you contact me, I’ll send you a free booklet that explains more.
When you do that, you can cure your nearsightedness. Instead of focusing on the problems around you, you can live confidently in the light of eternity.