When seeking Jesus for encouragement for any difficulties that you (or one of your friends or loved ones) may be experiencing, the Lord brought to mind the life to come. When I revisit some of the scriptures on the glory of heaven, compared to the pain, sorrows, and problems of this life, it’s a wonderful assurance to know that, as the old song goes:

After the toil and the heat of the day,
After my troubles are past,
After my sorrows are taken away,
I shall see Jesus at last!

After the heartaches and sighing shall cease,
After the cold winter’s blast,
After the conflict comes glorious peace:
I shall see Jesus at last

We have a wonderful future ahead! Let’s not get so focused on the difficulties of the present that we fail to keep heaven in mind. God knew that His children would need His assurances of a heavenly future to give them hope. His Word tells us to “think on the good things, the true things, the pure things, the lovely things, those things that are excellent and praiseworthy and of good report.”2 What a fitting description of heaven!

John told us about the new heaven and new earth, and I think it bears repeating when we need to adjust our focus upward.

“Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and the sea was no more.

“I saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, ‘Behold, the dwelling place of God is with man. He will dwell with them, and they will be his people, and God himself will be with them and be their God.

“‘He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away.’ And he who was seated on the throne said, ‘Behold, I am making all things new.’ Also he said, ‘Write this down, for these words are trustworthy and true.’”3

“After this I looked, and behold, a great multitude that no one could number, from every nation, from all tribes and peoples and languages, standing before the throne and before the Lamb, clothed in white robes, with palm branches in their hands.”4

In this world we have no lasting city, but we’re seeking the city that is to come: “a city that has foundations, whose designer and builder is God.”5

Eventually, we’re going to arrive in that “better place, that is, a heavenly one” that we’re desiring and looking for. “No eye has seen, nor ear heard, nor has the heart of man imagined what God has prepared for those who love him.”6

Jesus said: “My Father’s house has room to spare. If that weren’t the case, would I have told you that I’m going to prepare a place for you? When I go to prepare a place for you, I will return and take you to be with me so that where I am you will be too.”7

We can make God’s promises about heaven a part of our foundation of faith, just as we have done with the knowledge of our salvation. We can stand on these promises during times when things look dark. God didn’t have to tell us in advance of the tremendous realities that await us in heaven. He could have kept it a surprise. But He knew that this vision of the future would motivate us and help us to continue overcoming the struggles of the daily life we face.

As blessed as we are by His salvation, and as vital as our place is in this world as His messengers, of course we can expect challenges, we can expect troubles, we can expect that there will be struggles. But, even in that, we are not alone. He showers us with His blessings as He guides us through the difficulties of this life. He is always greater than our troubles.

When you need renewal, when you feel weary, keep reminding yourself of the realities of heaven. Then, remind yourself of what He’s doing on this earth and the importance of your purpose and place as one of His children. Face your difficulties with faith and courage, knowing that through your example you can give others the opportunity to find hope in Jesus and the truth they hunger for.

  1. “After,” by N. B. Vandall, 1932
  2. See Philippians 4:8.
  3. Revelation 21:1–5
  4. Revelation 7:9
  5. Hebrews 11:10
  6. Hebrews 11:16; 1 Corinthians 2:9
  7. John 14:2–3