Genuine faith is active and alive. It captures our imagination. With God’s help it propels us toward victory.
“Do you not know that those who run in a race all run, but only one receives the prize? Run in such a way that you may win.” – 1 Corinthians 9:24
“I press on toward the goal for the prize of our upward invitation by God in His Son Jesus.” – Philippians 3:14
“Also if anyone competes as an athlete, he does not win the prize unless he competes according to the rules.” – 2 Timothy 2:5
This imagery was important to Paul. He was dedicated to fighting the good fight, finishing the course, and keeping the faith. These are three powerful metaphors for a man or woman of faith.
The soldier pleases his or her Captain. The athlete is devoted to whatever it takes to achieve the finish line. The farmer cultivates and waits on God for everything needed for a successful harvest. Each one receives his or her own reward.
Faith is destination oriented. We run to win, and we can count on God to teach us what this means. We do not live the way we do for what we can get but to share in what belongs to God.
“Here is a statement with depth that you can count on: If we died with Him by embracing His path of faith, we will also live with Him for eternity, and if we endure in our trials as He did in His, we will also reign with Him in the Kingdom of Heaven.
If we deny His work and His invitation, He will also deny us.
Yet if we are lacking faith, He remains faithful, for He cannot deny what He Himself has purchased with His own blood – you and me!” – 2 Timothy 2:11-13
From this and other threads from the God Story we are taught there are bigger things going on. Massive. Did you know it is our destiny to judge angels? What? – 1 Corinthians 6:3
We are being prepared to reign with Christ.
What are you anticipating about heaven, and in what ways does this make you hopeful? Excited? Blown away as you think it through?
It can be challenging to articulate our hopes for heaven. We are provided seeds which can grow into a greater understanding. Here are a few thoughts which make me expectant.
REUNIONS OF JOY
We will be reunited with people we have loved but have lost. Old friends will rejoin in an environment of perfect peace and forgiveness. We’ll meet men and women of faith from every century. And we will see God! This is something to anticipate for sure.
ALL THINGS MADE NEW
There are so many beautiful things about living, but deterioration is inescapable. As life moves forward (and sometimes grinds) the idea of perpetual renewal is difficult to grasp. When Jesus says He is making all things new, He is explaining that one of the inherent qualities in heaven is never-ending freshness and newness. As this happens old things fade away and new things take their place.
NO MORE WEEPING
So much of our energy is consumed by negotiating turbulence, imperfection, and trauma. What will happen when these drop away like shedding a heavy coat? There is a terrible beauty to suffering, but how glorious will it be to live in a suffer free zone – forever!
Our turbulent world is so fragmented that it is hard to see a pure and healthy flow unencumbered by sin, yet this is exactly where we are headed. To an uninterrupted connection of the glory of God between Himself and His creation. Beautiful!
To be crowned with Christ will be amazing.
Looking forward to this with you, faithful God-friend!
Dave and Burnadette