Winning Rewards

  • March 9, 2012
  • #7790

Joni shares that enduring trials on earth will bring great reward in heaven.

I'm Joni Eareckson Tada and can you remember being in second grade?

I just bet you can. And I also bet you loved your teacher and your favorite thing was recess, or sitting in the cafeteria with your friends, or maybe a field trip to the zoo, right? Remember back in elementary school when one of the kids was the class hero because he had an especially neat yo-yo? To all the other kids, what mattered most in the world was to own the same kind of yo-yo. But when you were in high school, you no longer cared about yo-yos, did you? Then what mattered was being on the varsity team, or owning a sporty car, or being popular with a certain crowd. Yo-yos? Well, that sure was kind of silly thinking about it, but driving a nifty car into the school parking lot? Hey, now we’re talking status, right? 

In the same way, when we reach heaven – when we get our perfect hearts – the things that matter so much to us here on earth, honestly, they will not seem important anymore. The passion of our heart now is free time, vacation time, a person we love, a job we enjoy, a hobby we’re passionate about – fly fishing, quilting, maybe a coffee klatch with really good friends, golfing (hey, there’s a good one), and maybe even your daily exercise routine you love. You love this stuff! You hate having to give this stuff up. You look forward all week long to them. 

But in heaven the passion of our hearts – and this will be our passion because our hearts will have been changed – our passion will be to honor Jesus who alone is worthy of our time, our affections, and our preference. Maybe he’s not now, but He will be in heaven. And that’s why I so love my wheelchair Yep, I do. My wheelchair, unpleasant (and at times as awful at it seems) is what God is using to change my heart attitude and to make me prefer God over the things of this earth. My wheelchair is making me more faithful to Him. And the more faithful I am to Jesus, the more rewards will be stored up for me in heaven. So do you see it? Our earthly sufferings don’t just aid us today – they’ll serve us in eternity. Now I don’t know exactly what these rewards and treasures will be, but they’ll be worth it. Just like that yo-yo was worth everything in second grad or the car in 12th grade. 

Oh, if in our trials we are faithful to Him, if through them He remains our preference and passion, those sufferings are going to win us rich rewards in heaven. Like II Corinthians chapter 4 says, “For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen, that’s eternal.” It’s not merely that heaven will be a wonderful place in spite of all our sufferings on earth, it will be a wonderful because of them. Because like I said, my wheelchair, as difficult as it is, is what God is using to get my focus off the “yo-yo” things of this life and place them on the high prize, Jesus Himself.

Friend, right there is the only way to get your heart fixed on heaven… you’ve got to see Jesus as more preeminent, as more worthwhile, as more wonderful than the things you enjoy on earth. I talk more about this in a little video I posted this week at joniandfriends.org and I really want you to stop by my radio page and see it. I know you are going to enjoy the insights, so fire up your computer when you get home and go to joniandfriends.org to see this little video in which I talk about a fresh perspective on your sufferings. Because remember, God wants us to fix our eyes on the glories and grandeur of heaven. Fix our eyes on Jesus.

Previously aired as program #7055 on 5/15/09.

© Joni and Friends

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