Heaven's Promises

  • June 20, 2008
  • #6820

Joni encourages listeners to focus their faith on the coming glory rather than the hardships of today.

Have you had those days that when we get up in the morning, almost from the start everything seems to go wrong.  When it comes to my morning routine, just getting me ready for a normal day takes a huge effort-for me and my helpers who get me dressed and sitting in my wheelchair.  And then there are those inevitable complications of my paralysis that make the process that much slower and sometimes take even longer!

Well, we all have our hard days and forgettable moments.  But let's just imagine-picture this--that you find yourself enduring the worst morning you can remember.  I'm not talking about spilling the coffee or burning the toast or having an argument with your teenager, or getting stuck in a traffic jam.  What I mean are events that could utterly devastate you, casting a deep shadow over your marriage, your health, your children, your finances, your dreams, or your nearest and dearest friendships.

You might find yourself wondering, "How can I survive the day?  How can I make it through?  How can I go on?"  Now as long as we're imagining, picture this:  someone you trust completely gives you an ironclad promise that by later that day, sometime in the afternoon, your serious issue will be resolved and you will find yourself full of joy and having the time of your life.  Wouldn't that change your perspective for the morning?  Wouldn't that give you the courage to hold on and walk through the hours of that difficult day?

That's what God's promises do for us.  Just consider the thief dying on a cross alongside Jesus.  This man, beyond all argument, was having the worst morning of his life.  He'd just been crucified, and the only thing he had to look forward to was a terrible death.  But as the minutes slipped by, he turned to another man crucified next to him - it happened to be the Son of God just a few feet away.  And then, in those last few hours, the thief did the best thing he'd ever done in his life - he cast his lot on Jesus, saying to him, "Oh, remember me when you come into your kingdom."  And the Lord in turn gave him an iron clad promise that by day's end he'd find himself in the most joyful, the most amazing, wonderful paradise.  And it was all to happen in the same day.  Wow! 

Now even though the searing agony did not relent, in reality everything had changed for that thief.  Because now he possessed something he hadn't possessed before - or even imagined possessing - when this worst-of-all mornings had started.  He had begun the morning with a death sentence, but by afternoon he had the promise of Paradise today. 

Friend, every minute of your hardships today draws you nearer to a radiant, glorious, happy paradise.  So focus your faith today on the glory side - when you reserve some of your thoughts on the glory of heaven, believe me, it'll change everything, especially your outlook on the rest of the day.

©  Joni and Friends

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