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Understanding time and suffering

Photo: Unsplash/Maria Teneva
Photo: Unsplash/Maria Teneva

Time is a fascinating concept, especially when viewed through the lens of Christian theology. Have you ever paused to ponder its nature? Many grapple with the question of why a loving God permits suffering. From our finite human perspective, it often seems inexplicable. However, when we consider the brevity of our earthly existence in comparison to the eternal life promised by God, the picture begins to shift.

From our vantage point, whether we live for a millisecond or a million years, our time on Earth is but a fleeting moment when contrasted with the boundless expanse of eternity. In this light, our sufferings, though real and painful, appear almost inconsequential. The Apostle Paul alluded to this in Romans 8:18, stating, “I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us.”

Yet, this is just one angle of understanding time. Let’s flip the perspective and attempt to see it from God’s standpoint. God exists outside the bounds of time, in a realm where eternity stretches endlessly. To Him, time as we experience it is but a blink of an eye. When we transition to this timeless eternity with God, the limitations of earthly time vanish. Imagine spending a trillion years exploring a single subject, such as weaving, without exhausting any time for other pursuits. Or walking hand in hand with a loved one through a celestial meadow for a billion years without missing a moment with everyone else in Heaven.

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Revelation 21:4 provides a profound promise for this timeless existence: “He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.” In this eternal state, all suffering is eradicated, and joy becomes infinite and unending.

However, this dual perspective on time carries a sobering realization. From the eternal, timeless realm, any amount of earthly suffering, no matter how brief, could be perceived as an eternity of pain when juxtaposed with endless bliss. This thought is indeed unsettling. Even a millisecond of pain on Earth, when measured against the backdrop of a timeless eternity, could feel like an eternity of suffering. This concept underscores the severity of our earthly experiences and amplifies the significance of our spiritual state. 

We are inherently spiritual beings. Our flesh and blood are temporary, but our spirits are eternal. As Christians, we believe that our spirits will continue beyond the death of our physical bodies. Hence, the crucial matter of salvation becomes paramount. It’s a call to introspection and decision. If you haven’t yet embraced Jesus as your savior, consider the implications of eternity. The risk of missing out on the eternal joy and peace promised by God is a risk too great to take.

While our earthly sufferings might seem insurmountable, they are but fleeting shadows in the grand tapestry of God’s eternal plan. By accepting Jesus and embracing our spiritual nature, we can look forward to an eternity devoid of pain and filled with unending joy. It’s a compelling invitation to secure our place in God’s timeless, loving embrace.

Jerry McGlothlin serves as the CEO of Special Guests, a publicity agency known for representing guests who are dedicated to helping preserve and advance our Constitutional Republic, and maintaining a Judeo-Christian ethic.

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