Dreaming of Heaven
I have a confession; I have never felt a genuine happiness that has lasted longer than a few days. Now, don’t feel sorry for me, or get mad at my husband. I consider myself a cheerful person, and I could bore you for hours with the many blessings and things that bring me happiness daily. My husband, family, my work for the church, my home, and writing, even a day at the beach. These things have brought me tons of happy moments! So, what in the world could I be talking about? How could someone with all that not feel true, lasting happiness?
It is because this world is not the end all, be all, of my existence, and it shouldn’t be yours either. The Bible is very clear about this. 1 John 2:15-17 tells us, “Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world—the desires of the flesh and the desires of the eyes and pride of life—is not from the Father, but is from the world. And the world is passing away along with its desires, but whoever does the will of God abides forever.”
I used to worry about moments of melancholy that would sneak up on me. Especially when it would come a few days after I had a wonderful event. Like my birthday celebration, or the publication of my first book, these are magnificent accomplishments! A birthday for me is a miracle. The doctors never gave me a lot of hope to see very many of them, let alone 60! And to be a writer has been a lifelong dream. I should be dancing around the room (or at least wheeling energetically) and I did for a few days. But now I am already looking for the next big thing. If you feel the same way, let me assure you, we are not alone.
The Apostle Paul said in Philippians 1:21, “For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain.” He dedicated his life to bring others the knowledge of Christ and His love, in persecution and plenty, happily living for Christ, but looking forward to his heavenly home.
Martin Luther said, “I would not give one moment of heaven for all the joy and riches of the world, even if it lasted for thousands and thousands of years.” After doing my research for my book, I learned a little of what Martin’s life was like. He loved and enjoyed his time with his wife, Katie. He loved his six children and counted them all as blessings from God. He loved to drink Katie’s homemade beer! He shared God’s message in seven thousand sermons in 36 years! Who wouldn’t want all of that to last for thousands of years? Yet he longed to join Christ in heaven.
The great Billy Graham said, “My home is in Heaven. I’m just traveling through this world.” He knew his mission was to share the gospel, and that is what he spent his life doing. No one would doubt what an amazing life he had. Along the way, he met Presidents, kings and queens, and a massive number of regular people too. He had a wonderful family, lived in a beautiful home, and made a tremendous success for Christ in his lifetime; but yet he desired to go to his heavenly home.
Our Bible verse for today reminds us not to love this world or the things of this world. These men had an incredible number of reasons to be attached to this world, but none of those things brought them lasting happiness, only the promise of eternity with Christ. We should never feel bad that we feel unfulfilled by the events and treasures of this world. If you are working in your relationship with the Lord, you need to expect it.
It’s not that we are hard to please or never satisfied, it’s just that new cars, vacations, luxury homes, and having a bestselling book (not that my book will ever be) can only bring us temporary joy. Because the desires of the flesh and the desires of the eyes and pride of life—is not from the Father. I don’t want you to think that we shouldn’t enjoy the blessings of this world, but if all you live for is those blessings, that is all you will ever have.
Not one of our possessions will last forever, not my car. It will rust away. Not my book. It will turn to dust and no one will remember it. Even if my son and daughter have children and they have children, and so on, one day my whole life and achievements will disappear. We need to put away our old, selfish, sinful nature, and the desire for material riches and possessions of this world. Because, The world is passing away along with its desires. One day and it could be soon, the world will cease to exist the way we know it, and Jesus will come back and separate the chaff from the wheat.
So, we need to live for the things that will never fade away; love the people in our world and enjoy the excellent gifts God bestows to us, but always being careful not to elevate any of them to first place in our hearts and lives. I believe John MacArthur said it best, “We don’t seek to escape this life by dreaming of heaven. But we find we can endure this life because of the certainty of heaven. Heaven is eternal. Earth is temporal. Those who fix all their affections of the fleeting things of this world are the real escapists, because they are vainly attempting to avoid facing eternity - by hiding in the fleeting shadows of things that are only transient.”
Let’s be joyous every day, dance around the house, or wheel energetically, being thankful for the blessings of this life, as we fix our affections on the life to come!