“Though now you do not see Him, yet believing, you rejoice with joy inexpressible and full of glory . . .” (1 Peter 1:8).
HEAVEN OUGHT TO BE OUR MOST JOYOUS THOUGHT. We do not see our Lord right now, but we believe that someday we shall see Him and remain in His perfect presence forever. In that hope, we “rejoice with joy inexpressible and full of glory.”
But in practical, everyday terms, does heaven really mean as much to us as we say it does? We are, after all, very busy with the details of living in the here and now, and since we’ve grown accustomed to the idea of going to heaven, many of us may be guilty of taking it for granted. If we’re honest, we may have to admit that the concept of heaven has grown stale and the joy of thinking about it has disappeared. But how can we do that? How can we possibly have a casual attitude about heaven?
The first thing that should be said is that we need to make sure we are indeed going to heaven. Paul wrote, “Examine yourselves as to whether you are in the faith” (2 Corinthians 13:5), and we need to make a practice of doing that on a fairly regular basis.
But second, we need to acquire the habit of thinking about heaven more often. One way to do that is to engage in the old-fashioned discipline of “counting our blessings,” consciously and deliberately enumerating to ourselves the things that we have to be thankful for. When we “count our blessings,” heaven will always be at the top of the list. And with that list in hand, we are then ready to meditate on this great blessing, to think about it, and, yes, even daydream about it! If we don’t find ourselves daydreaming about heaven, at least now and then, it really should cause us to question whether it means as much to us as we say it does.
But not only should we cherish the thought of heaven; I believe that we should show that we cherish it. It should come out in our conversation, our demeanor, our tone of voice, and even our countenance. There is no denying that, as we grow older, our faces come to be a mirror of the contents of our hearts. So what do those who see your face every day know about your enthusiasms, the things that mean more to you than anything else in the world?
“When you speak of heaven, let your face light up. When you speak of hell — well, then your everyday face will do” (Charles Haddon Spurgeon).