For in this tent we groan, longing to put on our heavenly dwelling, 2 Corinthians 5:2 (ESV)
When we look at a world broken with suffering beyond comprehension, it sometimes seems impossible to find joy, hope, or peace. We can't help but be constantly reminded of the suffering around us and the brokenness within us, we are burdened, but we can have courage, for we have a Savior that suffers with us and a Savior who promises peace. For He is God on the mountain, and He is God in the valley.
We are stuck in the tension that Paul writes about in his letter to the church in Philippi. “For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain. If I am to live in the flesh, that means fruitful labor for me. Yet which I shall choose I cannot tell. I am hard pressed between the two. My desire is to depart and be with Christ, for that is far better. But to remain in the flesh is more necessary on your account.” (Philippians 1:21-24) On the one hand, we feel deep within the yearning from the Spirit for our heavenly home, but we also see the mission field before us. Living in this tension requires patience and an undying faithfulness to the present circumstance God has placed each one of us in intentionally.
In John 16, Jesus puts our time on earth into a simple yet powerful illustration. We are to think of it like a woman in childbirth. In the words of Jesus, "Truly, truly, I say to you, you will weep and lament, but the world will rejoice. You will be sorrowful, but your sorrow will turn into joy. When a woman is giving birth, she has sorrow because her hour has come, but when she has delivered the baby, she no longer remembers the anguish, for joy that a human being has been born into the world. So also you have sorrow now, but I will see you again, and our hearts will rejoice, and no one will take your joy from you." (John 16:20-22)
This earth is truly NOT OUR HOME.
We are in a VERY temporary dwelling, one that is, without a doubt, prone to destruction, pain, and trial. As said earlier, this should make us yearn for our true and eternal home built in heaven. When we truly know that this dwelling is temporary, our vision changes. Our main and only desire becomes to know Jesus and serve the builder and creator of our eternal dwelling. Make it your goal to please him, and remember the time you have on this earth is short, worldly pleasures are fading, and trials are coming—but there is a true home in heaven waiting for us. A home that is free from destruction, death, trial, pain, and tears. A home with unceasing joy...so be of good courage. There will be a day when our sorrow turns to joy and when death is no more. Let us wait both eagerly and patiently for this day, for as we learned last week in Romans 12, the reason this day has not yet come is for the salvation of God’s children. For He does not wish for any to perish but for all to reach repentance and come to the knowledge of the truth. He is patient with us; may we also be patient for His return. And may it produce in us a boldness to declare His salvation to the broken world around us that is in desperate need of it.
2 Corinthians 5:1-9... For we know that if the tent that is our earthly home is destroyed, we have a building from God, a house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens. For in this tent we groan, longing to put on our heavenly dwelling, if indeed by putting it on we may not be found naked. For while we are still in this tent, we groan, being burdened—not that we would be unclothed, but that we would be further clothed so that what is mortal may be swallowed up by life. He who has prepared us for this very thing is God, who has given us the Spirit as a guarantee. So we are always of good courage. We know that while we are at home in the body we are away from the Lord, for we walk by faith, not by sight. Yes, we are of good courage, and we would rather be away from the body and at home with the Lord. So whether we are at home or away, we make it our aim to please him.
Thank you for your promises that stand forever.
Thank you for your promise of a future home.
Give me unceasing peace, patience, and joy in the midst of the destruction and trial that surrounds me on every side.
Help me be of good courage and walk by faith and not by sight.
Thank you for our future hope and our present peace found in the sacrifice of Jesus.
Give me the strength to make it my aim to please you in all that I do.
Lord Jesus, come!