A Heavenly PerspectiveJuly 6, 2018 Pastor's Pen
Perspective changes everything.
A student may panic from receiving a C+ on their latest exam, but knowing that they’ve already been accepted into their favorite grad school can lessen the blow. A person may freak out at seeing a $1,000 credit card balance, but knowing that a $3,000 check is coming in the mail may alleviate some of that stress. And a guy planning on proposing to his girlfriend can feel a lot less anxious if he knows that she’s been eagerly waiting for him to pop the question.
Perspective also determines how we handle the busyness and distractions of life. There’s no denying that life can be overwhelming. If we’re being honest, we often find ourselves captivated with the “cares of the world and the deceitfulness of riches and the desires for other things” (Mark 4:19). Meeting assignment deadlines, preparing for job interviews, figuring out where to live and settle down; all of these decisions and questions easily transfix our minds and consume our thoughts.
The hectic nature of life is why we need a reminder of our guaranteed future. When we think properly about the future, it helps us keep a right perspective of the present. For example, take a look at Revelation 21:
1 Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and the sea was no more. 2 And I saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. 3 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. 4 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.” 5 And he who was seated on the throne said, “Behold, I am making all things new.” Also he said, “Write this down, for these words are trustworthy and true.” 6 And he said to me, “It is done! I am the Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and the end. To the thirsty I will give from the spring of the water of life without payment. 7 The one who conquers will have this heritage, and I will be his God and he will be my son.
The Book of Revelation depicts the certain future reality of all believers. In chapter 21, John exhibits the creation of the new universe, the heavens (sky) and the earth. He foretells the beauty and perfection of our coming home. We will experience God’s presence intimately and without any cloak or concealment (21:3). We will dwell in a land free of pain, suffering, and tears (21:4). And the long-awaited glory of God will shine radiantly before all of the redeemed (21:22). Everything will be made new with the perfection first found in the Garden of Eden. Paradise Lost will be found.
When we deal with the distractions and struggles of modern life, reflecting on our future home helps us to remember that the worries of this life are transient and trivial. Regardless of what difficulties this lifetime may bring, we remember that it is not the “end all.” God’s eternal kingdom will be far more glorious and wonderful than we can even fathom. Though the Lord does call us to steward our life on earth well and for His glory, we need to remember that our citizenship is ultimately of heaven, not earth (Phil 3:20).
When we have an eternal perspective, we will be able to respond to life’s distractions and difficulties with a biblical mindset. Although meditating on heaven will not end our problems entirely, it will help us develop a more Christlike attitude towards life’s struggles and interruptions. As we focus on attention and affections on the eternal future, God will help us see that the beauty and perfection of our future far outweighs the pleasures and delights of this world. And when we have a right perspective of our future home, we will join the rest of the saints in saying, “Maranatha.” Come Lord Jesus, come.