Life is hard and our burdens are heavy.
Jesus warned us that it would be so: “In this world you will have trouble….” (John 16:33a)
But then, he gives us hope: “But take heart! I have overcome the world.” (John 16:33b)
We could all use some hope in our lives.
And Jesus knows it.
That’s why he says, “take heart! (Be encouraged! Don’t lose hope!) I have overcome the world.”
The word, “overcome” here in the Greek literally means, “to subdue; conquer, overcome, prevail, get the victory”. (Strong’s Dictionary of Bible Words)
Jesus overcame the world by subduing, conquering, prevailing, and getting the victory over death itself!
“Death has been swallowed up in victory.’
55 “Where, O death, is your victory?
Where, O death, is your sting?”
56 The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law. 57 But thanks be to God! He gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.” (1 Corinthians 54b-57)
By his death and resurrection, Jesus conquered the grave and gave us the rock-solid hope that his followers will be resurrected as well to live forever on the renewed earth, as heaven and earth are remade to become our idyllic home forever. (2 Peter 3:10-13, Revelation 22:1-5).
God wants us to think and dream about our heavenly home so that we don’t get discouraged and lose heart on the journey.
“Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. 17 For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. 18 So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.” (2 Corinthians 4:16-18)
Have you thought about Heaven lately?
It’s not a waste of time – it’s essential to keeping our hopes alive and helping us to see our burdens as “light and momentary” in the grand scheme of things.
Jesus says, “Take heart! I have overcome the world!”
Will you take a few minutes to meditate on that wonderful truth today?
It will lighten your load and encourage you to keep going.
Okay… take a deep breath... feel the weight of the world sliding off your shoulders... and let this meditation on Heaven bring you peace…
(The following meditation on Heaven is written by Tiffany Chacon as found on her website, “Mommy of Mayhem, Christian Motherhood in a Chaotic World". It is reprinted here with permission.)
What do you think of when you think of Heaven?
What makes your heart sing?
What makes you feel whole?
Where are you when you are truly at home?
For me, Heaven is the shoreline at dawn, me atop a chestnut horse. Loose reins, galloping at the edge of the water. The ocean sprays up under his hooves, splashing us. The scent of saltwater fills my lungs and I breathe deeply. I am standing up in the stirrups, hands in my horse’s mane, urging him forward. We are going nowhere – simply running for the sake of it. The wind in my face, the rising sun warms my cheeks. My steed is surefooted and strong; we work as one across the terrain. I drop my reins and outstretch my arms as he gallops forward. I am free.
Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom.
2 Corinthians 3:17
Heaven is a quiet walk with my Lord in a copse of live oak trees. It is a hidden place, one that no one knows about but me and Him. My fingers brush against the trunks of trees, the vines crisscrossing through the forest. My feet crunch the leaves below as the sun winks at us through the branches. The forest opens up to a river: pure water cascading down a waterfall, pooling into an inviting pond. Without a second thought, we run and jump into the water. It envelopes us. We swim freely, twirling and jumping like children in the water. We float on our backs, looking up at the brilliant blue sky. I realize that the pain that has so often pervaded my body is gone. Even as my subconscious reaches for it, this pain that has been an old friend, a dear enemy, I know it will never come back. My body is free, fluid, perfect. I am whole.
He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away.
Heaven is a good book on a rainy day, curled up in an overstuffed chair with a soft blanket and a large cup of tea. The fireplace flickers beside me, giving just enough warmth and light for me to read. The story is an adventure, a tale of romance and bravery. I devour the pages, wondering what will come next. I cry, I laugh, I gasp. When the book ends, I realize it is never finished. I am part of the story, and the story is part of me. I am home.
And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Behold, the dwelling place of God is with man. He will dwell with them, and they will be his people, and God himself will be with them as their God. Revelation 21:3
Heaven is a throne room, filled with more people than I’ve ever imagined. A light fills the room – the most beautiful light we have ever experienced. The light is made of colors and sounds and textures I’ve never fathomed. It fills each one of us and tears of love, of hope, of relief stream down our faces as we clasp hands. I want to turn to the person next to me, to ask, Is this real? Are you seeing this, too? Because it feels too good to be true. And yet, I cannot look away from the light because it is too beautiful, too captivating, too lovely. And then, a voice sings out. A heavenly soprano sings in a language I don’t know, and yet I understand. One by one we join in song – it is a song we have never sung before, and yet we know all of the words. Everyone sings with full voice, no one holds back – we know our voices are beautiful to Him. The song takes form and lifts up into the light, joining with the light into a dance of love, freedom and joy. The room shakes with the power of the song, the floor trembling beneath our feet, and we sing louder. We are His.
And the city has no need of sun or moon to shine on it, for the glory of God gives it light, and its lamp is the Lamb. By its light will the nations walk, and the kings of the earth will bring their glory into it, and its gates will never be shut by day—and there will be no night there.
What do you think of when you think of Heaven?
(Reprinted with permission from https://mommyofmayhem.com/blog/)