Hope Now with Long-Term Rewards
By Rick Warren
— July 16, 2011
“Since we are his children, we will possess the blessings he keeps for his people, and also we will possess with Christ what God has kept for him! For if we share Christ’s suffering, we will also share his glory! I consider that what we suffer at this present time cannot be compared at all with the glory that is going to be revealed to us.” Romans 8:17-18 (TEV)
A Harvard study found that the more long-term your thinking is, the more successful you will be in life. And the more short-term your thinking is, the less successful you will be.
Unsuccessful people only think about the here and now – what feels good now, what is nice now, and what gives results now. But if you think in the long-term, you will have greater success, because you are willing to put up with short-term pain to gain long-term benefits.
The reason America is in the financial mess it’s in right now is because of our inability to delay gratification. We don’t know how to say no. We say, “I want it and I want it now, even if I have to charge it and can’t pay for it,” and the debt has caught up with us. That’s what little kids do. They don’t know the difference between “no” and “not yet.” They have to have it now.
If you want God’s blessing on your life, you must focus on the long-term, not the short-term. You can’t allow hopelessness that comes from short-term thinking to take hold in your heart or you will get discouraged and give up too soon.
As Christians, we have the longest-term perspective of anybody – it’s called eternity – because we know life doesn’t end at death. We will transition to the eternal life which is going to go on forever and ever. So we live in light of eternity, not in light of current popularity, current comfort, and current conditions.
If you are feeling hopeless because of current struggles you are experiencing, keep in mind the words of the Apostle Paul: “[W]hat we suffer at this present time cannot be compared at all with the glory that is going to be revealed to us” (Romans 8:17 TEV).
In heaven, there will be rewards for you based on the stewardship of your time, money, talents, and the things that God put in your hands. Did you manage them well? Did you use them wisely? Did you live for the here and now with short-term thinking, or did you focus on the long-term and store up treasure in heaven?
Take a look at this new curriculum from Saddleback Resources: Raising Your Kids without Raising Your Blood Pressure.
© Copyright 2011 Rick Warren. Used by permission.