Updated: Mar 28
Heaven & Hope
Chances are, if people are not thinking about hope these days, they’re feeling the need for hope. Christian faith is all about hope. Not a shallow, sentimental hope, or just sunny-side-up optimism, but a real living hope that makes a difference here and now, today.
Hebrews 6:19 says: “We who have run for our very lives to God have every reason to grab the promised hope with both hands and never let go. It’s an unbreakable spiritual lifeline, reaching past all appearances right to the very presence of God where Jesus, running on ahead of us, has taken up his permanent post as high priest for us…” (The Message)
C.S. Lewis points out that this hope is anchored in something beyond us – namely in a vision of the current (not just the future) reality of heaven and all that means…
Hope is one of the Theological virtues. This means that a continual looking forward to the eternal world is not (as some modern people think) a form of escapism or wishful thinking, but one of the things a Christian is meant to do. It does not mean that we are to leave the present world as it is. If you read history you will find that the Christians who did most for the present world were just those who thought most of the next. The Apostles themselves, who set on foot the conversion of the Roman Empire, the great men who built up the Middle Ages, the English Evangelicals who abolished the Slave Trade, all left their mark on Earth, precisely because their minds were occupied with Heaven. It is since Christians have largely ceased to think of the other world that they have become so ineffective in this. Aim at Heaven and you will get earth ‘thrown in’: aim at earth and you will get neither. (Mere Christianity, (1952; Harper Collins 2001) p. 134.)
Give yourself permission to ponder heaven so that you are strengthened for today. So be encouraged, friends! Jesus is Lord of heaven…and earth.
[If you’d like to look into this more, I recommend John Eldredge’s book All Things New (https://www.amazon.com/All-Things-New-John-Eldredge/dp/1536692999 from Amazon; or even better, buy from a local bookstore!) The website/app ransomedheart.com is also a great resource for encouraging resources.]
Bob Jacobs is Pastor of Westminster Church, Rapid City. He shares a deep commitment to see our community thrive in love for one another, especially in trying times like these. If you're interested in more of Bob's writings, check out his personal blog at www.brittlecrazyglass.wordpress.com.