“But if we hope for what we do not see, we eagerly wait for it with perseverance” (Romans 8:25).

SINCE THE CHRISTIAN’S INHERITANCE IS TO BE RECEIVED IN THE FUTURE, THERE IS A GAP THAT HAS TO BE DEALT WITH. While we wait for the realization of our hope, there is the possibility that we may forsake the Lord and forfeit the inheritance we would otherwise have received. Between now and the end of our earthly sojourn, we “have need of endurance, so that after you have done the will of God, you may receive the promise” (Hebrews 10:36).

Hope. Paul said that “if we hope for what we do not see, we eagerly wait for it.” A great part of the power of hope comes from its eagerness. Appreciating how far the value of eternal life excels anything we possess right now, we passionately strain ourselves toward it. And the key to appreciating its value is the vividness with which we contemplate it. Just as those who accomplish great worldly goals are those who keep their goals clearly in mind, those who aspire to heaven need to concentrate on it with a keen focus.

Perseverance. Hope alone is not enough; it must be accompanied by perseverance. As we “eagerly wait” for the redemption of our body, we must wait for it “with perseverance.” In the common vernacular, we would say that a person must not only keep on, but keep on keeping on. During the gap between now and the end, we will have many opportunities to give up and quit the faith. And we can be sure that our adversary the devil will tempt us to do exactly that. As powerful as our hope is, it will do us no good if we don’t support it with a daily decision to persevere in the faith.

Even in Jesus’ lifetime, we see there were people who said they wanted to follow the Lord but were easily turned away (Luke 9:57–62). So I have often wondered if the Lord does not still use difficulties and discouragements to separate those who are determined to go to heaven from those who can be dissuaded.

Christ has loved us with a love that is stronger than any mood or momentary inconvenience. The question is: with what kind of love do we love Him? We wait to see His face, but do we “wait for it with perseverance”? Are our souls tied to the doorpost of heaven?

“Perseverance is the rope that ties the soul to the doorpost of heaven” (Frances J. Roberts).

Gary Henry — WordPoints.com + AreYouaChristian.com

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