Too many Christians live as though this life here on Earth is all we’ve got. We wonder why good things happen to bad people and bad things happen to good people. We get upset when life seems unfair. We cry out to God when another tragedy makes headlines. We don’t understand when a life-threatening diagnosis affects someone close to us. Unfortunately, we live in a fallen world. Nothing is perfect here. It is Paradise Lost. We are merely pilgrims and sojourners here making the most of the time God has granted to us until we go to our real home in heaven for all of eternity to be present with our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. There it will be Paradise Regained. What a splendid day it will be when we can finally be at rest in our eternal home!
Jesus never spoke of life here on Earth being comfortable or easy. Quite the opposite is true. He reminded us that in this life there will be trials and tribulation and testing. Every kind of evil imaginable is lurking out there. Our adversary the devil prowls about the Earth seeking whom he will devour. He keeps the lost in darkness and tears down the weak. This world is a nasty and vile place, and the only good within it comes from God. Christ suffered for us at the hands of the wicked, and we in turn gladly rejoice at the sufferings we endure for His glory and His kingdom. What a marvelous and powerful thing it is to behold a Christian–who despite all that is thrown at him or her–sings praises and gives thanks to the Lord with joy on the lips and gladness in the heart. It is in these moments an unbeliever gets a sense that this person has a hope greater than this life. Not simply a wish or a desire, but a true faith in something yet to come.
Heaven is the hope we have as Christians. It’s not a fantasy or a fairy tale. Nor is it in irrelevant to our lives in the here and now while we dwell on Earth. There are powerful and relentless spiritual forces hard at work every single day. We must live everyday with an eternal perspective. Life is not about looking out for number one. Luxury, power and fame will never truly satisfy the longing in our hearts. We are bondservants of Christ Jesus! He is our Maker, our Master, our Lord, our Redeemer, and our Heavenly Father. We are here to fight on His team and to win souls to Christ. Someday we will give an account for our lives in heaven before His throne. God is preparing a place right now for you and me. As Christians we are all children of God and heirs to the throne. We share in both His sufferings and His glory. In the end, we want our Lord to see that we have been good stewards of all He has entrusted to us, and we’ve made an eternal impact on the lives He placed in our path. There is nothing more sweet than hearing our Master say, “Well done, good and faithful servant!”
Nothing can separate us from the love of Christ when we remember that everything on this Earth is fleeting and temporary. It is here today and gone tomorrow. Moth and rust will destroy it, it will wither and fade, and it will one day return to the dust of the Earth. The souls of men will live forever in all of eternity long after their lives here on Earth have expired. We must remember that even those who smite us are never too far beyond the reach of God. Our God can do what man deems impossible. As Christians, we should give a cup of cold water to even our worst enemy because he may be a Saul ready to become a Paul. He might one day become an incredible witness for Christ with an inspiring testimony. What if every person we met could see the hope of heaven in our eyes, on our minds, in our hearts and through our deeds? It could become contagious!