December 30 - When Tired and Weary, Remember Eternity!

Today's Scripture: Revelation 21

Central Thought: Heaven is a wonderful place.

    When I was a child, we used to sing a hymn that went something like this: 'It will be worth it all when we see Jesus.” I always assumed it was speaking of heaven, and I was right. If you are like me, sometimes you get tired and weary. Life is full of worries, fears, concerns, and challenges. As someone once said, 'for me a change of trouble is as good as a vacation!”


    Yet we must always live with eternity in mind. A lot of us, however, are just a little bit suspicious about heaven because the Bible is not specific about what it will be like. If we were honest, we would also admit that we are just a little bit afraid of the entryway, which is death.

    Author and Professor Lewis Smedes used to ask his students if they wanted to go to heaven when they died. Everyone would raise a hand. Then he'd ask, 'Be honest now—who would like to go today?” A few would raise their hands slowly; giving what they thought was the correct answer, looking around to see if they were the only ones. They were. Most people wanted a rain check. They were ready to die—just not today.

    Then Professor Smedes would ask who would like to see the world set straight once and for all tomorrow: 'No more common colds, no more uncommon cancers. Hungry people would have plenty; no one would lift a finger to harm another; we would be at peace with everyone, even with ourselves. Anybody interested in that?” There would be a frenzy of hand-lifting. Then Smedes would point out that if that new world is what you really want, then heaven's where you'd like to be.[1]
    Heaven is going to be a wonderful place. Revelation 21 speaks of heaven being a place where we won't cry, we won't deal with death or pain. We will live in perfection. Perfect bodies! Perfect relationships! Perfect understanding! Don't be afraid of eternity. Don't be afraid of death. It is we who are in the land of the dying trying to get into the land of the living!
    As you go throughout your day today, keep your eyes on the prize. Live for the line, not the dot. Realize that eternity is going to be a very long time and that the difficult circumstances you are walking through are temporary. And remember. What will make heaven incredibly wonderful will be the presence of God Himself.
Devotional Prayer: God help me to realize that my pain and suffering is temporary and that life with You is eternal. I give You this day in the realization that You see the beginning from the end and have everything under control.

Today's Bible Reading: Malachi 1:1-2:17; Revelation 21:1-27; Psalm 1:1-9; Proverbs 31:10-24

[1] John Ortberg, 'Our Secret Fears about Heaven,” Today's Christian Woman (July/Aug 2003): pp. 39-40.