Think About Heaven

  • March 7, 2012
  • #7788

Joni shares that suffering moves our eyes from this world and sets them on Heaven.

Getting what we want seldom turns out to be what we hope.

Hi, this is Joni Eareckson Tada and that’s so true, isn’t it? Getting what we want is never as wonderful as our imagination told us it would be. The long-awaited vacation ends up being too short and too expensive. College assignments make high school homework feel like child’s play; and your knight in shining armor turns out to be an average husband with lots of dents and chinks in his character; and that promotion you received at the office? Well, mostly it brought nothing but extra pressure and headaches and you wonder if your pay raise was worth it.

The good things in life rarely turn out to be as satisfying as we expect, and even when those good things do satisfy, the satisfaction never lasts very long, does it?! This is exactly why God tells us in the Bible – specifically in Colossians 3:2 – He tells us (and I love this part) set your hearts on heaven. The pleasures of this life were never meant to fill us. They’re merely meant to whet our appetite for what’s to come. Life’s joys are solely meant to cheer and inspire us as we trek through this earth toward heaven. I think it was C.S. Lewis who said that our Father refreshes us on the journey with pleasant inns, but He will not encourage us to mistake these inns for home. 

Trouble is we do mistake them for home, don’t we? It’s hard to think about heaven when it seems so far away. Besides, we’ve got to die in order to get there and who wants to think about that, right?! So God gives us a little help in getting our minds on the hereafter, but He does it in a way we usually don’t appreciate at first. Samuel Rutherford, a 17th century pastor, described it this way. He said:

“If God had told me some time ago that He was about to make me as happy as I could be in this world, and then had told me that He should begin by crippling me in arm and limb, and removing me from all my usual sources of enjoyment, I should have thought it a very strange mode of accomplishing His purpose. And yet, how is His wisdom manifest even in this! For if you should see a man shut up in a closed room, idolizing a set of lamps and rejoicing in their light, and you wished to make him truly happy, you would begin by blowing out all his lamps; and then throw open the shutters to let in the light of heaven.”

What a great quote. That’s exactly what God did for me when He sent a broken neck my way. He blew out all the lamps in my life which lit up the here and now and made it so exciting. I tell you the dark despair that followed wasn’t fun, but it sure did make what the Bible says about heaven come alive. One day when Jesus comes back, God is going to throw open heaven’s shutters, and there’s not a doubt in my mind that I will be fantastically more excited and ready for it than if I were on my feet. Why? Because suffering prepares us for heaven like nothing else. Broken necks, broken arms, broken homes and hearts, they all crush our illusions that this earth can ever really satisfy, can ever really “keep its promises.” Suffering moves our eyes from this world – which God knows could never satisfy us anyway – and suffering sets our eyes on a life to come. Heaven then becomes our passion. 

Wanna join me in this delight over heaven? Would you like to fire up your passion about heavenly things? Get your heart set on things above? Then please visit me today joniandfriends.org and click on a little video in which I talk about these very things and much more. Join the conversation at joniandfriend.org and get prepared for heaven!

Previously aired as program #7053 on 5/13/09.

© Joni and Friends

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