Here’s my premise – what we know can make us joyful.  Not what we have, where we find ourselves in life, or even what we’re doing in our lives.

Think back to a happy trip or vacation or event that was still in your future.  It might have been your wedding, graduation, a change in jobs or an upcoming trip.  You’d wake up in the morning, search your mind and immediately feel excited/ content when you thought about this ‘happy occasion’ to come.  Yet your current circumstances might still have included:

  • A grey rainy morning
  • A final exam to get through
  • Bills to pay
  • An unpleasant job to rush off to
  • A host of chores awaiting you
  • Unresolved conflicts
  • A health problem

Yet…because of what you knew awaited you, you could still feel joyful.

Well here is what we can feed our minds and direct our thoughts to:  If we are in Christ, then an amazing inheritance awaits us.  Listen to how Spurgeon describes what the Father and the Son lovingly planned:

There was a time before all time when God only was, the uncreated, the only existent one.  The Divine Three – Father, Son, and Spirit –lived in blessed camaraderie with each other, delighting in each other.  Oh the intensity of the divine love of the Father to the Son….The Father’s love made him resolve to show forth the glory of his Son.  The mysterious story which has been gradually unfolded before us has only this one design – the Father would make known his love to the Son and make the Son’s glories to appear before the eyes of those whom the Father gave him.

Spurgeon continues to set the Fall and the plan of redemption in this context referring to ‘the countless hosts of elect souls, ordained forever to a joy exceeding bounds’ as the goal and purpose of Christ’s life and work on the cross.  We as Christians make up this ‘Bride’ for whom the Son died.  Spurgeon writes that our ‘destiny is so high that no language can fully describe it.  God only knows the love of God and all that it has prepared for those who are objects of it’ i.e:  us!!!!!

Now do you see how WHAT we know can make all the difference in how we feel?

This has come home to me in recent months as I have been memorizing and meditating on some chapters in 2 Corinthians.  You know that verse that goes, “But we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all surpassing power is from God and not ourselves” (ch 4, vs 7)?  I now think that the treasure we have is this KNOWLEDGE.  For right before that verse Paul talks about how ‘the Gospel illumines the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Christ’

The Holy Spirit is the deposit that confirms or guarantees that this knowledge is true and reliable.  But it is knowing what awaits us that gives us power and joy no matter the trials we undergo.  Suffering IS part of this world, it’s not a ‘whoops’.  Only Christianity acknowledges that fact and sets it in a context we can live with rationally.

So, despite pain….. Evil …… suffering…. drudgery…. problems……injustice and a whole plethora of awful things that make up this world:

So, despite beauty….. Love…..kindness…..loveliness…creativity….uncanny unselfishness and a whole host of wonderful things that make us want to cling to what is good and right with this world:

..let us consciously set our minds on what IS guaranteed and IS unchanging and IS more than we can ask or imagine, our inheritance in heaven, the wedding banquet planned for us, the Bride of Christ.  To make a very earthy comparison, we can be like the boy who whistled while mucking out horse manure from the barn, knowing that a pony awaited him.

*quotes from Randy Alcorn’s  book, We Shall See God – Charles Spurgeon’s classic devotional thoughts on Heaven  (2011 Eternal Perspectives Ministry)