I mentioned the promise of Heaven – the comfort that gives and the hope it offers – last week. I have received several sweet comments, thoughts, emails, and prayers…and I am so very grateful for each one. Without a doubt, they have made a difference. As I said on Friday, hope changes everything. The promise of Heaven changes everything. Truthfully, it really should change everything. The truths of Heaven not only make a difference but they should change me. I can think of four (or five) specific ways that Heaven, and eternity, should not only impact but change me. Perhaps I will mention just a couple today and finish up on Friday.
At the end of last year, I posted this acrostic on Heaven. No need to repeat myself but Heaven is my future home where I will spend eternity. Not only with loved ones who have gone before me but with Jesus! It is a place of joy and victory where there is no more heartache or sorrow. And, yes, that just scratches the surface! I truly believe all of that. And that changes my –
THOUGHT PATTERNS and ATTITUDE. No doubt, there is much in life that is hard. That breaks our hearts and grieves our souls. But when I focus my thoughts on eternity, I more easily remember that this life is temporary – and fleeting. The troubles and hurts are real but if I refuse to dwell on them, or allow them to consume my thoughts, they do not have to overwhelm me. Or defeat me. Similarly, my attitude will be different when my thoughts are focused correctly. Rather than living as a victim of circumstances and life’s trials, I can continue living the abundant life Christ offers me. Fear, sadness, discouragement, or even hopelessness do not need to define me.
BEHAVIOR. If I am going to keep the attitude and keep my thoughts focused on eternity, I must order my days. I will have to focus my time and have priorities that point toward things of eternity. There are not only demands on our time but also limitless opportunities for using our energy each day. I don’t want to waste time and energy on things that are completely temporary. Daily I must seek His wisdom on where and how to use the hours I have each day. To know where to say yes and when to say no. To realize when I am wasting time and to know what is needed, helpful and best.
OUTLOOK. This is not only similar to my behavior and to my attitude but is also a result of my changed behavior and attitude. When both of those of eternity focused, I more easily distinguish being fruitful from simply keeping busy. I do not long to simply be happy but am able to be joy-filled. I am also much more content rather not resigned to circumstances. Again, this all is part of that abundant life He offers. I mention it repeatedly because, apart from the gift of salvation, I don’t think there is a much sweeter gift offered. And I don’t want my thoughts (that are so prone to quickly spiral downward), or my poorly prioritized days or just a lousy outlook to rob me of that gift. The gift of abundant life here as I journey toward Heaven!
John 10:10 “The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.”