Eternity is a game changer. Once you accept that eternity is where we’ll spend the majority of our time, the pains, the moments of happiness, our goals, our disappointments, they all pale in light of eternity. After all, even years of pain are just a drop in the ocean of eternity. Even death is just a moment, just a temporary setback when compared to eternity. Any injustice, anything that may seem awful will not last.
Think about it. If all we have is now, the temporal, this life, then any pain, any injustice, any part of this life can be potentially overwhelming. Even momentary pain can seem unjust or unwarranted. If 70+ years is all we’ve got, and most of the time not even that, then, of course we’d cherish the short amount of time we have, of course we’d take any slight made against us in this life and blow it completely out of proportion.
This may be why some people have a problem with correlating a good God with the pain and evil that exists. They’re living with only the promise of today in their hearts because they cannot accept the truth of eternity. And with only today promised to us, any pain is magnified, any injustice is enlarged and becomes the only truth that we can see, the only truth that matters.
But when you factor in eternity, pain, even pain that leads to death, only really leads to greater and longer life. Like a really bad day compared to a year or 30 years, pain, injustice and death are a memory, a fleeting moment that is soon surpassed by years of good days, years without pain and a lifetime without death.
The problem, of course, is that a lot of people don’t acknowledge eternity. And really, with only this lifetime to consider, life becomes a little pointless. Life becomes moments of filling space, relieving boredom. Happiness becomes your chief concern, because that’s all we can consider when this is all there is. What’s the point of helping others when everyone will eventually die and this short mortal existence will be over? What’s the point of anything when we will all die and leave it all behind anyway?
But, if there is an eternity, imagine our momentary happiness compared to a time without end. Imagine our momentary pain in light of a lifetime of lifetimes. As Paul said in Romans 8:18, “For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory that is to be revealed to us.” For Paul, who firmly lived for eternity, any present suffering was just a drop in the ocean, a second of all eternity.