For here we do not have an enduring city, but we are looking for the city that is to come. (Hebrews 13:14)
Many of you will be familiar with the Bible verses below. They are representative of hundreds more like them and they all have one thing in common. Let’s look at the verses and find out what links them all.
And the God of all grace, who called you to his eternal glory in Christ, after you have suffered a little while, will himself restore you and make you strong, firm and steadfast.” (1 Peter 5:10)
The Lord your God is with you, the Mighty Warrior who saves. He will take great delight in you; in his love he will no longer rebuke you but will rejoice over you with singing. (Zephaniah 3:17)
There is surely a future hope for you, and your hope will not be cut off. (Proverbs 23:18)
For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. (Jeremiah 29:11)
The thing that interests me is that these are all examples of verses that God has used to speak to His children, over many centuries, in times of difficulty and need. They encourage and give renewed hope and strength to the buffeted soul. They have inspired struggling saints to press on and not give up hope. They have breathed new life into the weary and oppressed. They have brought a sense of His love and compassion to our hearts.
However, there’s a danger that, focussing on the ‘here and now’, we miss something far greater that God wants to reveal to us. As we read these verses, God also wants us to look beyond to the ‘there and then’, because these verses have an even greater hope, and even greater promise in them than just for the present time. They are not just for now…they are for eternity.
Let’s look at these verses again, and instead of thinking of them in the ‘now’, let’s think about what they teach us about what eternal life with Christ will be like in Heaven.
1 Peter 5:10 tells us that God himself will restore us and make us strong but, as wonderful as it is to receive strengthening from the Holy Spirit here and now, we will never be stronger or firmer or more steadfast than we will be with Christ in His ‘eternal glory’. No more wavering, no more stumbling. We will be eternally ‘strong, firm and steadfast’.
Zephaniah 3:17 tells us that the Lord will delight in us and rejoice over us with singing. Can you imagine that? If Christ rejoices over us with singing while we are on earth, how more so when we are in Heaven? What a glorious thing it will be to hear that jubilant song from His own lips!
In Proverbs 23:18 we hear that our future hope is sure. I don’t know about you, but I’m shouting “hallelujah” to that one. My hope of seeing Him one day face to face ‘will not be cut off’!! That is something to rejoice about.
Jeremiah 29:11 declares that the Lord plans to prosper us and give us hope and a future. What brighter, more prosperous future could we have than living forever in Heaven with Christ? That beats any future we may have now.
As Spurgeon said:
“Christian, meditate much on Heaven, it will help thee to press on, and to forget the toil of the way”.
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