Hope For The Future

heaven

 

No eye has seen, no ear has heard

no mind has conceived

what God has prepared for those who love him.

~ 1 Corinthians 2:9

 

Is your future uncertain?  Here on earth, yes.  We don’t know what is coming tomorrow, in 6 months, in 5 years.  We can predict, plan, pray, and try to maneuver our lives in a certain direction but ultimately we just don’t know.  How does that feel?  For me, it feels mostly OK, until life throws a curve ball and then I realize that all the planning and preparation for my future may just not apply in the particular situation I am facing.  Stress and worry creep in, and the peace and certainty about my future begins to fizzle out.

It is during those times that I seek my footing again with the one constant I know.  God.  I have spent most of my life getting to know him, his character and his word.   And yet, I still feel there is so much more to know.  It is not because he is a mystery, although there are parts of him that are, but because his character is so solid, so unchanging, so ‘knowable’ that I can’t seem to get enough.  It’s like when you are with someone who you really enjoy–you just want to be with them all the time, because knowing them, and them knowing you, fills you up.

This is the God that has prepared a “certain” place for us in our eternal future.  And the more we know him here on earth, the more we can look forward to our uncountable years together in heaven.  The notes in my Application Study Bible say this about the verse above:

“We cannot imagine what life has in store for us, both in this life and for eternity.  He will create a new heaven and a new earth (Isaiah:17, Revelation 21:1), and we will live with him forever.  Until then, his Holy Spirit comforts and guides us.  Knowing the wonderful and eternal future that awaits us gives us hope and courage to press on in this life, to endure hardship, and to avoid giving into temptation.  This world is not all there is.  The best is yet to come.”

Can we begin to believe that each and every day–that the best is yet to come?  It can lessen our discouragement in this earthly life–this is but an appetizer of the feast before us.

Have a blessed week,

Amy

 

 

Our Future

Written By Amy

I hope you have a great weekend.  Easter was last weekend, and I don’t want to forget what we celebrated already.  Here are some words about Jesus from The Prodigal God, by Tim Keller.

“Jesus had not come to simply deliver one nation from political oppression, but to save all of us from sin, evil, and even death itself.  He came to bring the human race home.

Therefore he did not come in strength but in weakness.  He came and experienced the exile we deserved. 

Jesus, unlike the founder of any other major faith, holds out hope for ordinary human life.  Our future is not an ethereal, impersonal form of consciousness.  We will not float through the air, but rather will eat, embrace, sing, laugh and dance in the kingdom of God, in degrees of power, glory and joy that we can’t even imagine.” p. 103, 104

Whatever life has presented to you today, in this season, have hope!  Our future in Jesus, with God, is amazing, and promised to us.

A Little Perspective From Mexico: “The Buffet of Heaven”

  Written By Amy

“Anthropological evidence suggests that every culture has a God-given, innate sense of the eternal–that this world is not all there is.”       p.xvii  Heaven, by Randy Alcorn

Jonathan and I arrived in Playa Del Carmen late in the afternoon after a smooth flight down from Denver.  We were in cheerful spirits as we arrived at our hotel and got settled in our room. We had one mission….to find food.  We had eaten very little during our day of travel and we were beginning to have the deep rumbling of hunger pains. Sure we could find a restaurant serving chips and salsa, we started walking the expanse of the hotel (which stretched about a quarter-mile lobby to beach).  As our hunger increased, our food hopes diminished.  Each staff member we spoke with sent us to a different location, only to find the last of the food scraps being wiped up as we got there.   We were getting desperate.  Defeated, we wound our way back through the jungle paths to the lobby area where we decided we would wait with our hunger for the buffet dinner to open at 6:30.

As we entered the lobby we spotted a gathering of folks, sitting around tables near the bar, and they were eating….popcorn! Like two dancers in a choreographed routine, I beelined for the only open table while Jon went to the bar to ask for some popcorn.  He returned to the table empty-handed with the news that they were currently popping more and would deliver some soon.  It had been hours since we had eaten and we were completely famished!  In slow motion (not really, but go with this) we turned our heads simultaneously toward the opening double doors from the kitchen, and smiled as a waiter with a large platter full of popcorn bowls appeared, heading toward us!  We waved and he delivered a small brown bowl of white popcorn.  It was amazing.  I have never tasted popcorn so good.  The white puffed kernels disappeared into our mouths in seamless unison. Our hunger began to diminish and the next bowl was delivered.  Consuming the second bowl, I felt satisfied.  Almost truly content…all because of a few kernels of puffed air.  I could have gone to back to our hotel room right then actually believing I was full.

Finally, it was time for dinner.  We now, less frantically, headed for the restaurant.  As we entered we were greeted by a pretty Mexican woman who directed us to the buffet. Wow!  Tables upon tables of meats, cheeses, pastas and desserts. On the left, warm aromas of soup and roasted duck wafted through the air, and a panorama of yellow, orange and green fruits greeted us on the right.  Food steamed and chilled, bubbled and fried.  As I piled my plate full of more than I could possibly eat, I had the humorous thought that just a few moments ago I was feeling almost full and satisfied on a small bowl of popcorn. How could I have known what was waiting for me?

This, my friends, is how we do life.  We are mostly content and mostly satisfied with all that is, our life, which is really like a brown bowl of white popcorn. Our relationships, our homes, our ambitions, our career, our walk with God…they satisfy us to a degree. We are hungry for contentment, peace, love, joy, and our life fills that hunger in us…mostly.  But we are being tricked by the false satisfaction of this world.

Do you know how we can tell if we are being tricked?  We take away all the bright shiny distractions that temporarily fill us and we really look at our brokenness…our failures, our sin, the parts of our personality that we have worked to fix our whole life but are still crippled.  We can tell when we feel the weight of the world upon us, and we begin to lose hope that we will be truly happy, ever.  Our problems appear insurmountable, and God seems distant.  Yes, our popcorn gives us a false sense of contentment.  Soon, our bodies will burn up the energy and we will be hungry again.

But what if there is more than this, a brown bowl of white popcorn-for-a-life…a good life, maybe even a great life, but one that leaves us constantly searching for more?

There is…it is called “The Buffet of Heaven.”

What if we were to live our life today with the full knowledge that IT is just the appetizer to something more.   That just beyond the last breath of this life is an awakening to a new life that is absolutely beyond our wildest imagination….a life that is filled with so much color that if we were to look back it would be as if our old life was viewed in black and white.  A life filled with such strong sensory charges that the most fragrant earthy perfume was a dull odor in comparison.  A life that truly fills a deep deep soul hunger for what we were always searching for….the Love of God in a real tangible form.

Heaven is that, and much more.

The book, Heaven, by Randy Alcorn is a thorough look into the possibilities of the eternal life waiting for us:

“The eternal Heaven, the New Earth, is our true home, the place where we will live forever with our Lord and with each other. The great redemptive promises of God will find their ultimate fulfillment on the New Earth.” p.44

“All your life an unattinable ecstasy has hovered just beyond the grasp of your consciousness.  The day is coming when you will wake to find, beyond all hope, that you have attained it.”p.31

“Heaven’s riches are rooted in Heaven’s God.” p. 320

Because the things of this earth tend to satisfy our hunger for meaning, although temporarily, we can begin to believe that this is all there is to our existence.  We become content with things or successes, or just “making it through another day.”  Our life becomes a search for one food source to another…even though often when we arrive, the restaurant is already closed.  Here is what CS Lewis has to say about this:

“Most of us find it very difficult to want “Heaven” at all–except so far as “Heaven” means meeting again our friends who have died.  One reason for this difficulty is that we have not been trained: our whole education tends to fix our minds on this world. Another reason is that when our real want for heaven is present in us, we do not recognize it. ” p. 21

How do we recognize our want for heaven?

The bible says, “Set your hearts on things above, where Christ is seated at the right hand of God.”  Colossians 3:1  How do we do this?

We long for Christ.  We pursue him and get to know him personally.  We live our lives with expectant waiting of the promise of eternal life given to us when we except Christ as our savior.  We begin to have a deep joy, because we have the persepctive that the problems of this life are temporary, fleeting.  We have hope for a better life, a forever-life in the presence of God which diminishes the pain and struggle of our current circumstances.

I believe that God never allows us to feel completely at peace and at home here on earth.  He lets us be a little hungry, and allows suffering to “unfasten us from this earth and set our minds on what lies beyond.” p.xix

And what about the food in Heaven?

“If it seems trivial or unspiritual to anticipate such things (a buffet!), remember that it’s God who promises that on the New Earth we will sit at tables, at banquets and feasts, and enjoy the finest foods and drinks.  And to top it off, our Father promises that he himself will prepare for us the finest foods (Isaiah 25:6).” p. 309

When we are tempted to be satisfied on dry popcorn, and our feelings are dulled into believing this is all there is to life we must remember that there is a grand buffet waiting for us, and when we meet God face to face our hunger will be forever satisfied and our joy forever complete.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...