“And so, today we are called to be faithful, not because our work will come to fruition in the near future. Rather, we do it because it lays the foundation upon which our spiritual descendants can stand and then build. Hope lies not in the day after tomorrow but in the generations to come, and we must not allow the setbacks of today to discourage us from fulfilling our obligations to them.
The New Testament model of the Christian life points to precisely this kind of thinking. We are to hold fast to a form of sound words, we are to follow the teaching of the apostles, and through faithful worship and witness we are to pass the faith on to future generations. Paul knew this well, and thus he was able to see all of the personal setbacks and suffering of his ministry as a light, momentary affliction compared to the eternal glory that is to come. All of us need that future orientation if we are to fight today’s battles without losing heart. We need to relativize our present, and indeed ourselves, in the context of the larger divine plan of which we are privileged to be a small part.”