“And in this fellowship we enjoy the eternal life he promised us.” 1 John 2:25 (NLT)
It was a beautiful summer evening in downtown Greenville, South Carolina. We were there visiting friends and decided to walk through the historic district and Falls Park. We walked toward a very unusual bridge, known as The Liberty Bridge, and starting heading across the bridge. The Liberty Bridge is unusual because it does not make its way straight across the Reedy River to the other side. It is a suspension bridge in the shape of a curve. It is further unusual because the railing is all cables and almost becomes invisible as you get out on the bridge. Visually this bridge is very challenging. It was so unusual that one of the people we were with became very disoriented. We had to help him off the bridge and help him gain his proper orientation.
The reason that The Liberty Bridge completely changed the orientation of this person was perspective. As we all walked out onto the bridge for the first time our perspective totally changed. To a certain degree it felt like we were floating. Everything felt a little bit off because of the design of the bridge. However, if we looked up and toward the opposite end of the bridge we were able to regain the proper perspective. We ended up watching as this disorientation took place with many people. It became all about the change in perspective. With the right perspective people could handle the bridge. With the wrong perspective they became disoriented.
Over the years that I have been a pastor and youth director before that, I have found this is also a common issue among followers of Jesus Christ. When we lose our proper perspective on life and faith we become spiritually disoriented. If our perspective is on us, our needs, our concerns, our plans all of the time we will get off course and disoriented. If our perspective is on God, loving God, and one other, loving others, we will find complete joy. We will enjoy fellowship with Jesus Christ the Son and with God the Father. Paul writes, “And in this fellowship we enjoy the eternal life he promised us.” It’s all about our perspective.
The Apostle Paul is telling us that when we focus on God’s perspective we experience compete joy. The world throws us curved bridges with cable railings that extend over deep canyons that can be difficult to navigate. If we keep our perspective on loving God and loving others, we will be able to handle life’s challenges. Keep your orientation on Christ and you will never get disoriented again. It is a matter of having an eternal perspective. When we follow Christ we begin to enjoy a glimpse of eternity here and now. We begin to enjoy the eternal fellowship we will have by grace through faith in Jesus Christ. God’s kingdom comes and God’s will is done on earth as it is in heaven. If you want to experience complete joy, keep an eternal perspective.
This Sunday we will continue the message series “Complete Joy.” We will talk about having the proper perspective and experiencing the complete joy God desires for us. I look forward to sharing more about this with you. I can’t wait to see you in church!