Waiting for Jesus

trust

I wonder what it will be like seeing Jesus for the first time…

After all the time spent getting to know someone so deeply who you’ve never seen, never touched, never spoken to directly…all of it will change in a moment and suddenly there’s no more hoping anymore, no more wondering anymore, no more waiting anymore…

Jesus will be right there in front of your face.

Staring into your soul.

Touching your hand.

Embracing you.

Satisfying the deepest places of lack in your heart.

Finally.

I’ve always wondered how Jesus will be able to be with everybody in the New Heaven and New Earth if there will be so many people up there…

I just don’t know what I would do if I had to wait in line to see Jesus!

Waiting in line to see Jesus?

Hmm…

I would get so antsy waiting to see Him!

I don’t know if I could wait…I would find myself cutting the line and sneaking up to Him tapping Him on the shoulder from behind. Jesus, I’m sorry but I just couldn’t wait in line to see You…I need to see You now! But what about everyone else? I can’t just cut everyone else. Natalie, be patient…I will see you shortly… Sigh. But No, Jesus, I need You now! Please don’t make me wait anymore… I can see it now all playing out. Surely Jesus wouldn’t tell me to go away…

Surely this is not how it will be!

Surely we won’t have to wait in line to see Him!

So I try to remember He is omnipresent. God’s Word says He is everywhere and always with us (Jeremiah 23:23-24, Isaiah 57:15, Acts 17:27, Ephesians 4:6, Psalm 139:7-9).

But I still wrestle with this fear because, logistically, how can one physical entity be with me and be with everyone else too when we are all together in eternity?

The Bible says in Revelation 21 that there will be no crying in heaven and no pain. No sorrow and no anxiety. Nothing bad!

Yet when I think about having to share Jesus with billions of other people it makes me think I will hardly get to see Him and it stresses me out. But I don’t want to take away other people’s opportunity to see and be with Jesus either. So what will we do? If there is no stress in heaven, I know I won’t be stressed out. So somehow it has to work out and be okay.

I just hope that God is able to be with every single person at the same time in some supernatural way that only He can do!

Then I wonder…

What if Jesus gets sick of me?

I just want to go and find Jesus wherever He is and be with him 24/7 so I fear that He will get tired of me wanting to be with Him all of the time. What if He is having an important discussion with someone really high-up like Moses or Peter or his own mother Mary and then I’m right there having to wait to get to be with Him. I don’t want Jesus to get tired of me for always trying to be with Him. I get so scared that I will scare Him away.

I really need God to help me with these fears. Because I’m realizing that the way I view my future relationship with Jesus in Heaven is also what I fear in real relationships. I fear loving someone so much that I lose them. I fear pushing them away.

So I’m asking the Lord to help me see me the way He sees me and to believe that He does want to be with me just as much as I want to be with Him.

I love this verse in Jeremiah 31:3 as a reminder to my heart that Jesus loves me more than I believe:

“the Lord appeared to him from far away.
I have loved you with an everlasting love;
therefore, I have continued to extend faithful love to you.” (emphasis mine)

We all need to focus on the “continued to” part.

I know I do.

God loving you is a continual thing, not a one-time thing.

Real love never stops.

Real love never gets tired of you.

Real love never neglects you.

Real love pursues you forever no matter what.

Jesus won’t stop loving me. He wont stop loving you either! No matter how much I think I’m bugging Him, no matter what I do to fail Him, no matter how I mess up, Jesus will never get tired of me. He will never get tired of you. He will continue to love me. He will continue to love you. I can’t even describe how much this truth comforts.

I want you to know that Jesus will love you forever and He will never get tired of you being with Him!

I mean, Jesus possesses a kind of love that is radically different from anything we could fathom…He loves sinful people like you and I…and He came and died while we were still in the middle of our mess…He extends His hand to us while we are still in the middle of our mess…that’s love! Love that will never stop! Love that you can count on. Love that goes on and on and on…

Romans 5:7-8 affirms this,

“For one will hardly die for a righteous man; though perhaps for the good man someone would dare even to die. But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.” (emphasis mine)

That’s love.

My heart is at peace knowing this kind of love exists.

It’s what reminds me that God’s omnipresence has to be real because if God loves us that much, there is no way that we will be left standing in line waiting to see Him in Heaven.

He will make a way to be with each and every one of us all of the time. That’s just what I believe. I know Jesus’ heart of love would not neglect any one of His children even for one second. So we can be confident that we will have access to Jesus forever at every moment.

Let your heart be refreshed today knowing there will come a day when we get to step into eternity with God forever. And I pray for you that you would know God loves you and He will never get tired of you! He will never grow weary with you! He will never stop loving you! It’s not possible. Let Him love you. I pray that you would be overcome with peace and comfort today. Thank you, Jesus.

“Then I heard a loud voice from the throne:

“Look! God’s dwelling is with humanity,
and He will live with them.
They will be His people,
and God Himself will be with them
and be their God.


He will wipe away every tear from their eyes.
Death will no longer exist;
grief, crying, and pain will exist no longer,
because the previous things have passed away.”

-Revelation 21:3-4-

 

 

“Shine A Light” by Elevation Church

Hope of Heaven & The Hope of Christ: An Eschatological Imperative

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The topic of “heaven” is one of the most penned topics in the realm of prose and poetry, and one of the most illustrated points of artistry. Countless television shows describe individuals’ having out-of-body experiences involving heaven. Movies depict those who claim to have gone there. Heaven remains a fascination for humans. And while some might deny the potential of heaven’s existence, it’s hard to deny the appeal that it has in a world where hope often withers in the shadows of human depravity. So it seems that this only proves the point that this present world is not our hope. It’s not our home. It’s not our entire reality, nor should it ever be.

We are in need of an eschatological imperative to invade our lives. Hope of heaven. The hope of Christ.

Without it we risk meaningless living, in a state of inconsequential reality regarding eternity. Our lives won’t mean very much without the hope of heaven. Or without the hope of Christ. We’ll grow stale. Bitter. Complacent. We need heaven to enter our reality. We need Christ to remind us why we’re here in the first place. To glorify God, to love others, and to desire Jesus as the treasure above all else.

Jesus teaches about the kingdom of heaven as an imminent reality in so much of the gospels that it seems He wants us to have heaven on our minds. If you’ve ever heard the saying, “you’re no earthly good when you’re so heavenly minded,” it’s quite the contrary. God desires us to “look for the blessed hope and the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior, Christ Jesus,” as it says in Titus 2:13.

But notice that our hope for heaven is wrapped up in our hope of Jesus Christ. It is not an isolated hope for eternal paradise. Not at all. Crucially, we long for the day when we see our Savior. And this is the eschatological imperative pushing through the crevices of our hearts. Demanding us to open our eyes. To look to Jesus. To hope for Jesus’ return.

To expound upon eschatological imperative, the word “eschatological” comes from the Greek word “εσχατοϛ” meaning “last; furthest; or most remote.” Pretty simple word. Thus, a pretty simple connection that eschatology (with root εσχατοϛ and ending “-ology,” or “study of”) means study of “last things.” Or the study of things that pertain to the end of the ages and ultimate realities. And an “imperative” is a must or a necessary essential. A logical must.

So, possessing an “eschatological imperative” means that it is necessary and essential for one to operate from a perspective of last things in everything that one does.

But not just any last things. We focus on last things that are important to God as pertaining to scripture. Things that are last (yet to come). And things that last (forever). Namely, Himself. His coming. And the hope of heaven. For God is the Alpha and the Omega (Rev: 1:8; 21:6; 22:13). The beginning and the last (Isaiah 44:6; Rev: 1:17). And He will come to rescue us through Christ (Isaiah 66:18; John 14:18; Rev. 22:12). As we focus on Christ as our last thing, or our ultimate obsession and our end goal, the hope of heaven penetrates our worldview of what it means to live as a Christian. It’s an earth-shattering, eschatological perspective. An eschatological perspective intertwined in 1) the alpha-and-omega, all-encompassing characteristic of God, 2) the return of Christ, and 3) the hope of heaven, where we have eternal communion with our God.

It’s all about God and always will be. For “God is the best thing that exists,” as Louie Giglio puts it so well. He is what we live for.

It helps me to be reminded in the midst of my current situation that there is more to life than this. Whatever season you’re in, it won’t last forever. But God will last forever (1 Chr 16:34; Psalm 45:6) . No matter how broken our world becomes, it won’t remain broken forever. Jesus is coming back to make all things new (Rev 21:1-4). Our lives may not endure past 100 years on this earth. But our life with God will endure forever (Rev 22:5). These are essential truths that should awaken hope in the midst of today’s burdens. That God lasts forever. Jesus Christ is coming back soon. And we hope for heaven.

We look for a kingdom yet unseen (John 18:36; 1 Tim 1:17). A kingdom that is coming on clouds of glory with a rider in white coming to rescue His beloved (Rev 19:13). We anticipate the wedding supper of the lamb (Rev 19:7). We let the hope of heaven seep into the crevices of our hearts that we may be renewed afresh despite a world of chaos. I need that hope. We all do, if we’re honest.

Especially since I can find it so easy to lose sight of just what it means to possess an eschatological imperative. I drift from focusing on the last and most important thing. I drift from focusing on what’s to come. I focus too much on what I can see. Too little on what I don’t see. And the hope of “last things” becomes cloudy in the distractions of today. And I can find myself too worn out to even think about “right now” things, much less “last things.”

Most of the time, we have a wrong eschatological perspective of life. Our “last things,” or ultimate things that should matter before God, are usually self-seeking “first things.” We may spend more time fixating on our own agendas, working towards our own goals, worrying over petty problems, or wishing wishes that never come. Too often we shout “me first” when it should be “me last.” Because it’s always easier to get what we want. It is. But sometimes, deciding to be okay with the tension that accompanies not getting what we want can be good for us.

For me, I’ve realized that I need to stop avoiding anxiety. It may sound odd that this would be helpful rather than harmful. But I’ve learned that I need to be okay with not having control over the things I want to be in control of. And then I have to confront anxiety or fear head-on. I have to let it go and embrace it, if it comes. But in the midst of letting go, I’m finding freedom in being okay with whatever happens to come my way…even if that means feeling overwhelmed with things I no longer have control over. God is renewing my perspective in light of eternity.

And I know it’s hard to think with a mind postured towards heaven in all that we do. I know we have a lot of distractions. I know we still have daily responsibilities. But may we let it be a spiritual discipline that develops into a pattern of habitual thinking, to continue looking towards our ultimate aim to be with Christ eternally. Like David in Psalm 43:5, I pray that we would respond in this manner: “Why are you cast down, O my soul, and why are you in turmoil within me? Hope in God; for I shall again praise Him, my salvation and my God.”

My only cure for anxiety is an eschatological perspective. An awakening of sorts. A wake-up call to the reality that life is far more dependent on what I don’t see than what I do see. Hebrews 11:1 says, “Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.” The impending reality of heaven in our midst should cause us to pause and thank God for the hope He has given us in His Son Jesus Christ. To be with Him one day in glory. To enter into peace and rest. To be accepted as one wholly loved and completely understood. This is our hope. And this “hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out within our hearts through the Holy Spirit who was given to us,” as it says in Romans 5:5.

Hope in Christ changes today by curing our anxiety for tomorrow with the truth that forever begins soon. Yes, forever begins soon.

Jesus proclaims in Revelation 22:7, “Look, I am coming soon!” and again in verse 12, “Look, I am coming soon!” John writes down these powerful words of Jesus as he recalls his experience of this revelation. In Revelation 22:20, he writes, “He who testifies to these things says, “Yes, I am coming soon.” Amen. Come, Lord Jesus.” (emphasis mine). John wanted Jesus to come now. He was ready. He was expectant. His experience and relationship with Jesus further fed his desire to see Christ’s return. So we must ask ourselves: do our relationships with Jesus feed our desire for His return?  We need this kind of longing to keep us hopeful in the midst of what we face here on earth.

I’m finding that as I position my heart towards heaven and my hope in Christ, I don’t worry so much about what is happening now as I used to. I’m learning to take an eschatological look at my circumstances and realize that it is nothing in light of the age to come. There is a “last” thing up ahead that initiates eternity. Jesus will return! And He’s here now with us through His Holy Spirit. Our lives are minuscule compared to His greatness and inconsequential to forever with our Savior.

As we ponder what it means to live life postured towards heaven, may we embrace the very perspective of Jesus. The One who came to earth from heaven and taught us about the kingdom to come. The kingdom of God. The Alpha and the Omega. The first and the last. For our inheritance is “imperishable, undefiled, unfading, and is kept in heaven for you,” as is says in 1 Peter 1:4. 

“But our citizenship is in heaven, and from it we await a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ.” – Philippians 3:20

Questions for Today:

  • How are my ultimate hopes impacting the way that I live daily?
  • Why is it important that we hope in Jesus Christ as it relates to heaven and not hope in the isolated reality of heaven?
  • How can I live my life with an eschatological imperative?
  • What next step is Jesus asking me to take  in my walk with Him?

“Heaven and Earth” by Hillsong Worship