God's Work in Shattered Dreams

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I think what I need is a very clear vision of what I have to look forward to—and that gets me back to the question, “What does God have for us?”

“Therefore he is the mediator of a new covenant, so that those who are called may receive the promised eternal inheritance” (Heb. 9:15).

"So we do not lose heart. Though our outer self is wasting away, our inner self is being renewed day by day. For this light momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison, as we look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen. For the things that are seen are transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal" (2 Cor. 4:16-18).

"Let not your heart be troubled. Believe in God; believe also in me. In my Father’s house are many rooms. If it were not so, would I have told you that I go to prepare a place for you? And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and will take you to myself, that where I am you may be also" (John 14:1-3).

"And this is the promise that he made to us—eternal life" (1 John 2:25).

Thinking about eternal life is all well and good. But does eternal life necessarily mean good life? I say yes—a wholehearted yes!

I believe eternal life is all things wonderful! John describes it like this:

"And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Behold, the dwelling place of God is with man. He will dwell with them, and they will be his people, and God himself will be with them as their God. He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away" (Rev. 21:3-4).

I don’t imagine heaven is a place of clouds, harps and wings. I believe heaven is very much like what we are familiar with in terms of earth—He does refer to it as the new heaven and the new earth. I tell my kids we will get to enjoy all the wonderful things this earth has to offer but it will be perfect! No fear, no worries, no violence, no pain. What’s not to like about that?

Recognizing what I have to look forward to helps me press on through sorrow, pain, trouble, challenges and even things that are pretty good by this world’s standards to strive to live a life of peace, joy and service here.

“When the Bible speaks of the new heaven and the new earth, it is not speaking of an alternative to this world; it is speaking of the healing and restoration of this world. This gives Christians a reason to participate in restoring this fallen world. Furthermore, because Christians know that there is a perfect world coming, they don’t put all their hope in the current world. Christians can sacrificially serve others because they value the things of the coming world more than the things of this world.” —Tim Keller

And the most important part of heaven is Jesus.

Oh my goodness—epiphany! The vision, the goal, the hope, the joy, the thing to look forward to is Jesus!

“There will be little else we shall want of heaven besides Jesus Christ. He will be our bread, our food, our beauty, and our glorious dress. The atmosphere of heaven will be Christ; everything in heaven will be Christ-like: yes, Christ is the heaven of His people." —C.H. Spurgeon

I guess there is something—I mean Someone—I want to keep as my focus, my focal point as I run this faith race.

“A continual looking forward to the eternal world is not a form of escapism or wishful thinking, but one of the things a Christian is meant to do.” —C.S. Lewis

I pray as we all run this race we will keep our eyes on the prize, on Jesus.

Sue Birdseye is an author and single mom of five kids that range from 4 years old to 17 years old. Her book, When Happily Ever After Shatters, is in bookstores. This is adapted from her blog, uptomytoes.com.

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