Approximately 4 years ago, I started to experience illness and pain that seemed very mysterious. When I was diagnosed with a brain tumor 8 months later, I started to realize that I could soon be letting go of everyone and everything that was important to me. The years of pain that I’ve experienced since, has given me more insight to the depths of the hope that we have in Christ.
So often we Christians here in America live such comfortable lives, that we start to think of heaven as an extension of this life. Yet most Christians around the world and throughout history have lived lives of trial, suffering, poverty and struggle so that the realities of heaven has meant so much more for them. Heaven, the place that our Lord has said he has gone to prepare for us is what we look forward to when all tears, all sorrows, all illness and sickness and death is gone. We live today with God’s mediating grace and we share in much that is good in nature and the goodness and kindness shown to us from others, but everything is still marred by sin, death, decay and sickness.
But there will soon come a time when all is made new. Our hope is not in this world order. Our hope is never in the winds of political change or the wealth we are able to amass. Today, I am struggling with divisions and decisions that need to be made in Christ’s body. But all the mistakes, failures, and weaknesses of myself and others…all the hurts and trials, come into proper perspective when we look at that larger picture of the reality of heaven and hell, glory and judgement. The pain, struggles and trials of this life, while they might seem so large and looming today, pale in comparison to the joy and glory that we have in Jesus Christ and His sure promise of eternity with Him, paid for at the cross and sealed at the Resurrection of Jesus from the dead.