"But he, being full of the Holy Ghost, looked up steadfastly into heaven, and saw the glory of God, and Jesus standing on the right hand of God." (Acts 7:55)
We've read about Jesus, sang songs about Jesus, and felt His presence. However, none of us have laid our eyes on Him. When Stephen was being stoned, the Bible says he looked into heaven and saw Jesus. Can you imagine that? The person we've taught about, preached about, and told others about will be visible to us. We'll finally be able to worship, praise, and adore Him in person.
Looking forward to seeing Christ is a great way to carry the hope of heaven in our hearts when we're suffering. Just beholding His beautiful face will be reward enough.
Christians Have Reason to Rejoice through Suffering
"Therefore we are always confident knowing that, whilst we are at home in the body, we are absent from the Lord: (For we walk by faith, not by sight:) We are confident, I say, and willing rather to be absent from the body, and to be present with the Lord." (2 Corinthians 5:6-8)
While we look forward to spending eternity with Jesus, we don’t want to leave this earth to do so. We don’t want to leave our loved ones. Yet, suffering compels us to yearn for the relief we’ll find in the presence of the Lord. When we’re suffering, we can hang on to the hope that to be absent from the body is to be present with the Lord. And in His presence, we will find fulness of joy.
From threats of coronavirus and other illnesses to tragic accidents and other catastrophic events, suffering is real, and it's grievous. Christians can rejoice while suffering. We can know and have confidence that suffering and death aren’t the end. We have an assurance of more. We have the hope of eternal life. And that’s what we have to hold in our hearts when we are suffering. If you're currently suffering, know that God is with you. He has not forgotten about you. Carry the hope of heaven in your heart, knowing that God will deliver you in due season.
Photo Credit: © Getty Images