31. October 2020

Eternal Paradise

By Mark Shields

Inch by inch anything is a cinch because of confidence in God. We can trust in God’s plan for us and expect good to happen! In today’s passage, the attitude of those whom God made promises was one of optimism because they were always looking forward to a better place. They were always looking forward to the treasures of eternal paradise rather than short term rewards of this world.

Reading Hebrews 11:13-26, the writer gathers together the names of those passing their faith to the next generation. The people mentioned in the passage never received all that God had promised on earth but kept what kept them going was their vision of heaven. Abraham was willing to sacrifice his son Isaac because he had faith that God could raise him from the dead.

Isaac blessed Jacob and Esau, Jacob blessed each of Joseph’s sons, and Joseph spoke about the exodus of the Israelites from Egypt. Moses chose to be mistreated rather than be known as the son of the Pharaoh’s daughter and enjoy the treasures of Egypt. Rather, he was focused on the greater reward of fulfilling his purpose for the glory of God and looking forward to spending eternity enjoying the treasures of heaven.

Material things are short term but the great victory in life is putting off the earthly rewards for the long term eternal rewards. Let our attitude towards these heroes of faith written about in today’s passage be one of honor like a soldier who sacrifices their time on earth for eternal glory. The take away from today’s passage is that we should patiently fulfill our purpose on earth knowing that God has a long term plan.

The world can be a very discouraging place with a lot of negative things building on the inside like fear, frustration, and anxiety. These negatives bubble up and are spewed out similar to a volcanic eruption but people of faith look forward to the promises of the future. They maintain faith with an attitude of optimism that allows them to flourish in the future.

The photo below was taken while traveling up Mt. Haleakala on the Hawaiian island of Maui. It’s dormant now but when active, the lava-flow formed about 75 percent of the island. In fact, all the Hawaiian island were formed from volcanos. Today, these islands are a tropical paradise and the destination of millions who travel there on vacations each year.

This day with You Lord, we are thankful that our life on earth is temporary. We go through difficulty, pain, frustration, etc. but because of Christ, we look forward to eternal paradise. We can flourish in grace now and look forward to living in paradise forever. Help us to carry out Your purpose in our life knowing that You have a future for us that is beyond what we could ever imagine. Amen

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