“The eternal God is your refuge, and his everlasting arms are under you.” —Deuteronomy 33:27, NLT
My Sunday school teacher recently made a statement that sent my jaw to the floor: “One of the implications of Christ being the Alpha and Omega is that he sees every moment of your life equally perfectly vividly. Six days ago, six months ago, six years ago—he sees it all just as vividly as he sees this very moment.”
We are fickle. We tend to let our pride skyrocket after a moment of strong faith. Then we doubt our salvation after a moment of foolishness. God isn’t swayed by moments in time the way we are. He alone sees the whole of us: our good and bad, our past and future, every success and failure—equally perfectly vividly—yet he still loves us fully. What a comfort!
Peter must’ve been similarly comforted when he pleaded with persecuted churches to remember that God isn’t constrained by time like we are: “Do not forget this one thing, dear friends: With the Lord a day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years are like a day” (2 Peter 3:8).
Why is this the “one thing” we must not forget? What hope can this give us in the highs and lows of life? Consider how God’s unique ability to see past, present, and future—equally perfectly vividly—can fortify our souls.
Do you remember what you prayed for a few years ago? You pleaded with God through tears, trusting he’d provide even though you couldn’t see how. Then days, weeks, months, even years passed. You didn’t see his answer. Maybe you still don’t see his answer. Don’t forget this one thing: This prayer is still before God with the same intensity and clarity as if you were praying now. Not one prayer is misspent. Not one act of faith forgotten. Not one tear evaporates into meaninglessness (Psalm 56:8). Even if you forget your prayers, God remembers each one and will answer in his timing (John 15:7).
God’s perfectly vivid knowledge extends to our obedience as well: That afternoon three months ago when you stepped out in faith even as you trembled. That time in high school when you sat with the outcast. That moment 20 years ago when you responded to unfair criticism with love. God hasn’t forgotten. He sees each moment and is as pleased by your faith as if it just happened. All of your efforts will continue to glorify him forever.
What are the implications of God’s perfectly vivid knowledge of our past hardships? Notably, God does not say, “That happened 15 years ago; we’ve moved on from that now.” Perish the thought. God is just as grieved today by past difficulties and injustices as he was when they happened. And he’s just as committed to bringing justice for wrongs done and eternal healing for those who’ve been hurt (Psalm 9:7–10).
God’s commitment to us is clearest in the most significant moment of the past: the cross. Every time you sin, God sees the sacrifice of Christ perfectly vividly. His memory never lapses; not a millisecond passes when the work and benefits of Christ don’t fully apply to you. Every promise God has ever made is still fresh on his mind as if he spoke it to you just now. Human commitments often ebb and flow as time passes; God’s do not (2 Timothy 2:13).
One of the biggest emphases in self-help culture is living in the present. Countless books, seminars, and meditation classes are dedicated to helping people achieve this end. Why? Because every person struggles to live in the moment; our minds inevitably wander to the past or the future.
Thankfully, this isn’t so with God. Because God exists outside time, he isn’t preoccupied with what will happen tomorrow. He isn’t distracted by what happened in the past. God is fully present, perfectly attentive, and passionately engaged with your prayers and actions—just as engaged as he would be if there weren’t any other humans on the planet.
This makes Jesus uniquely able to help you with each new struggle as it arises. He’s an always-fresh Savior. He doesn’t offer stale advice or suggest a strategy that worked in a different season or for a different person. Unlike any other counselor, Jesus always understands your emotions, circumstances, and point in sanctification perfectly. He alone can give you exactly what you need, no matter the circumstance.
“Vivid” is the last word most people would use to describe their understanding of the future. While our pasts may be fuzzy, we’re all completely blind to what’s ahead. The future of our families, churches, jobs, homes, aspirations, nations, and world is unknowable. Unsurprisingly, fear of the future consistently ranks among the most prevalent and crippling phobias.
Yet there’s One who sees the future as vividly as we see this present moment. Unlike anyone else, God isn’t subject to guesswork regarding the days, weeks, and years ahead. In fact, God doesn’t only see the future; he ordains it (Proverbs 19:21; Isaiah 46:9–11). In his love and kindness, he ordains it all for our eternal good and safety (Romans 8:28–30; Ephesians 1:3–14; 2:7).
We can rest today not because we know tomorrow but because we know the loving character and faithful promises of God. As Corrie ten Boom is quoted as saying, “Never be afraid to trust an unknown future to a known God.”
Believer, your past, present, and future are all safe in Jesus’ arms. He isn’t waiting to see how you perform before granting his love. He has promised never to leave you (Hebrews 13:5), and he will hold your hand through all that’s ahead (Psalm 73:23; Isaiah 41:10, 13). So rest in your sovereign Lord who rules over the entire universe—even over time itself.
Note: This article is also published on The Gospel Coalition.
Blake Glosson is a pastoral resident at Chapelstreet Church in Geneva, Illinois, and an MDiv student at Reformed Theological Seminary. He has been published by The Gospel Coalition and Crosswalk.com and republished and/or referred by Eternal Perspective Ministries (Randy Alcorn), Challies.com (Tim Challies), Moody Radio (here, here, and here), The JOY FM (The Morning Cruise with Dave, Bill, and Carmen), ChurchLeaders.com, The Aquila Report, Monergism.com, and numerous other sources. Previously, he served as the director of young adults at New Covenant Bible Church in St. Charles, Illinois.
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Read “The Day ‘Darkness Rejoiced As Though Heaven Had Lost’” here.
Read “Three Ways to Glorify God in Worry and Anxiety ” here.
Read “In Suffering, God Isn’t (Simply) Teaching You a Lesson” here.