I can’t wait til heaven! I am so sick of all this mess!
I hear that a lot. I even say it a bunch myself. And we are to have an eternal perspective, looking to Jesus. Meanwhile, is there no joy here? Is it just one constant trial after another with no reprieve, no end in sight until heaven? Are we to live in a constant state of discontentment while waiting for Jesus’ return? NO!!!
I see way too many Christians living like that though—just enduring this life with stinking thinking. That’s not making the Gospel attractive to a hurting world. It’s not what Jesus promised either.
“These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.” (Jn 16:33)*
I propose that we can experience snippets of heaven, foretastes if you will, TODAY!
You will show me the way of life, granting me the joy of your presence and the pleasures of living with you forever. (Ps 16:11)**
These are not future pleasures only, but available this very moment, even in the midst of a trial. It’s the feeling and sensing that I talked about in my recent blog Increased Capacity: The Wonderful Cycle of Knowing God.
As we abide in Christ and His Word, the outcome will be His joy, peace, etc. (Jn 15, Gal 5:22-23). As believers, Christ dwells within us. If He is ruling over our hearts as the rightful King, then His joy is also ours. We do not have to wait until heaven. We can have it NOW. That’s good news for us impatient types!
This type of joy gives us strength and hope. That old song “The Joy of the Lord Will Be My Strength” used to baffle me. But having suffered many trials, I now understand. The only thing that got me through those difficult times was Christ. Abiding in Him not only gave me strength, wisdom, comfort—whatever I needed in the moment, but also joy. When He met my need I sensed His love and care. That brought me joy, even when He did not remove the problem. God never promised He’d eliminate difficulties; only that He’d be there with His all-sufficient grace (2 Cor 12:7-10)
Experiencing the joy of the Lord keeps me going, helps me to endure and persevere, and gives me the hope of a better future.
I can have joy despite the presence of pain because I have the presence of the Lord!
That is available for you as well! Be thankful for His presence; enjoy all He has to give you now. Keep yourself in a position to receive by remaining in the Vine. A much better time is coming, but let’s rejoice now as well as then. That’s making the Gospel appealing to a lost world!
Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal. (2 Cor 4:16-18)***
*New King James Version (NKJV) Scripture taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved.
**New Living Translation (NLT) Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright © 1996, 2004, 2007, 2013, 2015 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved
***The Holy Bible: New International Version®. NIV. ® Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 by International Bible Society. Used by permission of Zondervan Publishing House. All rights reserved.