(1Pet 2.11) Now because we are saved, we are always anxious to leave this place and reach out to that heavenly place which is bestowed upon us. It seems like you and I are not very comfortable in this world living as strangers. Isn’t that true?
Even apostle Paul spoke about his own life and he describes the difficulties faced by believers like you and me while living in this foreign, sin-cursed world. There are several times when we look at the burdens of life and want to keep moving on towards that heavenly home, a house of many mansions as promised by our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Today I would like to explain on the journey of life where we suffer hardship and travel with a hope to reach our home.
We are only pilgrims and sojourners on this earth; therefore we are just passing by to a better existence. Hence we should never forget the fact that this is not our home and abstain from fleshly lusts, which would destroy our prospects of that spiritual home.
(Job 14.1) This is indeed a description of life! Despite of all his care and skill, and learning and wealth, life is a weary pilgrimage, and is burdened with many woes. Look at the richest man in the world: Steve Jobs, even he has got problems.
(2Cor 5.6-9) The servant of God who has the earnest of the Spirit to give everlasting grace and comfort, with a promise of a glorious resurrection body and the eternal fellowship of the Lord Jesus Himself, cannot but despise the brief sufferings and persecutions of this life, and be constrained by the love of Christ.
God allows us to pass through all the events of life, all the trails, the tragedies and the traumas to prepare us for glory. All of us have pressures and hardships in life and God uses the pressures of this life to remake us into His perfect image. In other words we are being molded as we live our life facing troubles and adversities for a very short time but we are being prepared for a greater life which lasts forever.
Hardship (Illustration) As we all know Job was one of the wealthiest men who lived in the patriarchal age who had several servants working for him and owned several cattle. He had one wife with ten children and God also said ‘that there is none like him in the earth’. He was blessed with everything a man can ever have. But later on as we read when Job was being tested, all his possessions were stolen or killed. His children were destroyed by a great wind, later he was even stricken with boils all over his body. He suffered several hardships; he turned from the wealthiest of all men to nothing. In spite of all this suffering, Job worship God and let’s see what he says in (Job 1.2-22)
But today we face difficulties in life; the journey of life is not easy. Isn’t it? Several family problems, social problems and so on but in spite of all this are we still worshiping and serving God like Job? Brethren it is common to face trials and hardships in life but what makes us different from the rest of the world is that we have a hope for our future. A living hope and not a dead hope that is exactly what makes our journey of life different from others.
(1John 3.3) (Col 1.5-6)The same person who has reconciled us to God by His blood who has made us partakers of eternal happiness is none other than the Creator and Lord of all, manifested in human form who is able to furnish us for every good work. The ground of our hope is Christ, but the evidence of our hope is in our heartsmightily working through His word.
(Rom 8.24-25) That one thing which holds us or keeps us surviving is that hope we have in our hearts. Whatever we do, worship on the first day of the week or the mid-week bible classes or even Four Seas College is because we have a hope to survive which can take us to our heavenly home. A place at the end of our journey!
Hope (Illustration) A number of years ago researchers performed an experiment to see the effect hope has on those undergoing hardship. Two sets of laboratory rats were placed in separate tubs of water. The researchers left one set in the water and found that within an hour they had all drowned. The other rats were periodically lifted out of the water and then returned. When that happened, the second set of rats swam for over 24 hours. Why? Not because they were given a rest, but because they suddenly had hope!
Those animals somehow hoped that if they could stay afloat just a little longer, someone would reach down and rescue them. If hope holds such power for unthinking rodents, how much greater should is effect be on our lives.
(Jam 4.14) Has any of you seen how vapor disappears? Because it is not even appropriate to say if you have seen vapor appear, it vanishes away in no time. So have you seen vapor disappear? That how our life is, appears for a little moment and we cannot even be for certainly what is going to happen the next moment.
(1 Pet. 1:3-5) While eternity rolls forward, the glory of Heaven will never fade away and the residents of Heaven will endure in that glorious city forever. Brethren, we are citizens of heaven and there is a place waiting for all of us called our ‘Spiritual Home’ which never fades away. A home which can never be broken down or destroyed but is everlasting and we are being ready to be revealed in the last time.
(Heb 11.8-10) (Illustration) Look at the example of Abraham, the father of faith. He obeyed and feared God, if we look at his life we see that though he was a wealthy man having several servants working for him. He never decided to settle down anywhere, he was looking forward for the promised land- the land flowing with milk and honey. The same place which was promised by God and kept moving in settlements, pitching tabernacles. Though Abraham spent most of his life in hardship moving from place to place he had a home in mind which was Canaan. Today we are on journey brethren facing several hardships; remember our home is heaven let us not store up treasures in this world for we have a permanent home ahead of us. All of us are like saints whose home is heaven and as pilgrims traveling towards our home. Let us not store up treasures on earth as we travel where moth and rust doth corrupt and where thieves can break through and steal.
When one understands that this world is not my home, I’m just a passing through; it makes it easier to accept the inevitable. That which is physical is temporal. That which is spiritual is eternal. We do not ever need to lose sight of this truth. Abraham fully understood this. He chose to dwells in tents or tabernacles rather than a permanent house though he was a well to do man. He kept moving from place to place as he was commanded by God (Heb 11.8-10) Abraham realized the physical was not permanent and therefore he refused to put his hope and trust in this world. This is a valuable lesson we can all learn today.
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