Beyond the Mountains

  • July 21, 2017
  • #9190

If you are struggling with cares and burdens of this world, take heart, the Lord has promised to bring us into His heavenly kingdom.

Beyond the Mountains

I’m Joni Eareckson Tada with a great verse from Hebrews Chapter 13.

It’s a Bible verse for every weary Christian, every tired soldier in the Lord's army, and it says simply this, “For here we do not have an enduring city, but we’re looking for the city that is to come.” You know, E. W. Patten has a great story to tell about this Bible verse. He describes a great world conqueror who was leading his victorious army back to Italy, back to home. The campaign had lasted over a year and his men were tired and weary. Onward they marched over rivers and plains and through wooded forests until they reached the foothills of the towering Alps. Here the thinning ranks of the worn and tired soldiers began to falter as they trudged on over mighty mountain passes. As they climbed higher and still higher, the blinding snow and storms well-nigh discouraged the stoutest of hearts. Stopping on a precipice where he could look back over all his men and be heard by them, and pointing upward, the general shouted, "Men, beyond the Alps lies Italy! Italy! Waving fields, beautiful orchards, sparkling fountains! Mothers and fathers, wives and children! Home! Ah, sweet home!”

And what do you know, fainting hearts revived; tired muscles found new strength. Onward and upward the army pressed against every obstacle and they won! They reached home.

Now, picture another scene. All over the world are Christian soldiers. The Lord is our Captain, and many of you, these soldiers, have won decisive battles against the Enemy, great victories over sin, you along with them. You’ve trudged along life's rugged highway, and perhaps you’ve become worn and weary in the conflict. Long have you marched homeward bound. And now this great company has reached great mountains of difficulties and hardships, wars, and surmounting opposition by the world, the flesh, and the devil. It is the mighty Alps. But to this vast army, their Captain shouts, "Christian soldiers, beyond these mountains of many hardships lies home, Heaven—waving fields of living, green, kingly forests with never-fading foliage, sparkling fountains, The Tree of Life, the River of Life, long lost friends, mothers and fathers, brothers, sisters, husbands, wives, children!" Thank God, we're nearing our heavenly home because it’s so invigorating.

I want to thank Mr. Patten for this encouraging allegory, because sometimes we forget. As Christians we forget that we are looking for a city that is to come. This world is not our home. We really are heading to the land we were born for, the city of the great King. So today, if your heart is burdened, if you feel weighted down with the cares of this world, if pain and disappointment have robbed you of your focus, take heart, be of good courage. You are a citizen of a heavenly kingdom, and soon you will walk through gates of pearl into your eternal home where there will be no more war, no more pain or sorrow. The victory will be settled, once and for all, and your Savior will have for you rest and reward. That’s right, rest and reward.

So, as it says in Isaiah 35, “Strengthen the feeble hands, steady the knees that give way, say to those with weary hearts, ‘Do not fear. Have courage for your God will come and rescue you.’” Oh friend, I hope those are soul-stirring words for you today, no matter where you are in the battle. Take heart. Heaven is just on the horizon for us all.

© Joni and Friends

 

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