Bible Study: What Is an Eternal Perspective?
Written by Jenn Arman | January 6, 2013
What is an eternal perspective?
As Christians, we often refer to “eternity” as “forever” or “for all time,” but those aren’t exactly accurate descriptions of eternity. Words like “forever” and phrases like “for all time,” despite the extended length of time they describe, still describe time. Does that make sense? I know it can seem a bit confusing and I’m not going to pretend that I can explain it all perfectly, but I hope this will help you rethink your perspective on eternity and eternal things.
Eternity is outside of time. Eternity is timelessness; that is, there is no “concept of time” within eternity and eternity doesn’t exist within the boundaries of “time.” I’ve been thinking about this because Christians talk about eternity a lot. We talk about God being eternal, and many of us assume we know what “eternal” means, but eternal has a much deeper meaning than just “forever.”
The eternal God is your refuge, and underneath are the everlasting arms. He will drive out your enemies before you, saying, ‘Destroy them!’ (Deuteronomy 33:27 NIV)
This verse says “the eternal God” is our refuge–eternal, outside of time. God experiences all the separate and distinct moments of my life in an instant. He experiences my past, present and future instantaneously. He is and has experienced my future, though I haven’t yet, because He is not bound by time.
I don’t know about you, but that actually gives me great peace. By the time I experience my future, God already will have seen and experienced it. He really does hold us in the palm of His hand. God is outside of our time-bound existence.
My sheep listen to My voice; I know them, and they follow Me. I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; no one will snatch them out of My hand. My Father, who has given them to Me, is greater than all; no one can snatch them out of My Father’s hand. I and the Father are one (John 10:27-30 NIV).
An eternal perspective is one that views a much larger picture than the one we see in our time-oriented lives. Having an eternal perspective helps us to focus on things that transcend time like God, grace, mercy, love, faith and hope, instead of losing ourselves in our circumstances. An eternal perspective also assures us that God has a reason for the things He does, the things He allows and the answers He gives, even if we never understand the reason in our “time.”
Girls, do these thoughts on eternity affect your understanding of God? What are your thoughts on eternity and having an eternal perspective?