Dreaming of Heaven – Article 25

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DREAMING of HEAVEN for Kids

Answers for the Kid in all of us, from 3-103.
A series by Amy Jo Roland on excerpts
from Randy Alcorn’s book, Heaven for Kids epm.org

Do we really look forward to going to Heaven??

What do you suspect about God?  Do you think He is trying to trick us, to punish us if He can?  Do you suspect that he just wants us to have whatever we want no matter the effect on our character and how we treat others?  Or do you suspect that God has something deeply fulfilling and wonderful in store and that this difficult “character building” life actually will mean something in the end?  At Roland’s, we have deeply enjoyed writing these articles in the hopes that you get excited about Heaven.  Yet, we realize that many people still struggle with the idea of living in a place they don’t understand and may be confused about.  It is difficult to picture Heaven even with the descriptions in the Bible, and we may fear of losing many of the things we love about this life.  Hopefully, if you have been following along or have read “Heaven For Kids” for yourself, many of your fears are being relieved as we have taken a closer look at just how “down to Earth” Heaven may actually be.  But some of us may still struggle with the idea of change and the relative unknown.  This article is dedicated to rethinking our perspective on Heaven.  Feel free to ask, as Randy Alcorn does, do we really look forward to going to Heaven??

 

“…let’s be honest.  Are you really looking forward to going to Heaven?  Maybe in seventy or eighty years, right?  After you’ve done all the things you want to do.

Think about some things you do look forward to:

  • Christmas or another favorite holiday
  • Your birthday, your sister’s birthday (well, maybe not), or even your dog’s birthday
  • Going to your favorite place (like a water park, the beach, the woods, the river, or maybe SeaWorld or Six Flags
  • The last day of school and the start of summer vacation
  • Seeing a movie you’ve been told is really, really good
  • Getting the next book in your favorite series

 

“Why do you look forward to those things?  ‘Duh,’ you might say.  The answer is obvious.  Because of what you already know about these things, you use your God-given imagination.  You can almost taste, feel, smell, hear, and see all of the wonderful things you expect.

“For example, if your birthday’s coming up, you might taste, feel, smell, hear, and see chocolate cake with thick frosting, the laughter of friends, and presents.  Maybe you’re looking forward to seeing cousins, aunts, and uncles you haven’t seen in a while.  Or perhaps you’re counting on getting lots of cool presents.

“But guess what?  Looking forward to Heaven is no different.  In fact, looking forward to Heaven is even better than looking forward to Christmas or your birthday!  Yet many people find that hard to believe because they don’t know how to picture Heaven.  They don’t know how to look forward to it.

“Does that describe you?”

You may be able to read Alcorn’s question and answer earnestly, “Yes, I love the idea of being in Heaven forever with Jesus!”  If so, that is wonderful!  Maybe Alcorn’s writing has been inspiring for you, or maybe you have had a parent or pastor who has taught you to love the Bible’s teaching on eternity.  It is a wonderful thing to be able to celebrate the truths of scripture and to long for the secure hope of being with Jesus forever in the restored Kingdom of God.  But was it always that way for you?  How long did it take for you to learn the truth about Heaven?

And how about your neighbors and friends?  If you have people in your life who struggle with their understanding about Heaven, I would encourage you to remember that understanding comes as a process.  You can’t rush a good thing, and we must have patience with those who still avoid thinking about Heaven because they don’t understand it.  I heard a talk once from a wise man who taught me to consider how long it takes me to grasp truth when it is time to have patience with other people.  God works in His own time, and He may work slowly from our perspective, but that is because He is patient with us.  So, we must be patient with others.

And anyway, we all struggle sometimes with wanting to hold onto things in this world.  We all have secret fears from time to time that God is going to take away something that we cherish in Heaven.  No one ever said that faith is easy, and if they did they probably have misunderstood it.  By definition, faith is believing what we have not fully experienced and seen for ourselves.  Faith involves trust in God’s character based on what He has done in the past.  So you might say that remembering what He has done in the past is an essential part of getting excited about what He says He will do in the future.

So, we have two things to remember.  First, remember the things God has done in history, in the Bible, in our families, and in our own lives that show how much he cares for us.  This will help build our faith that He is preparing a good place for us in eternity.  And then, remember how long it is taking us to learn to get excited about Heaven when we are tempted to judge others who may not be as far along the path.  God doesn’t ever “waste” time, and He doesn’t want us to waste it either by forgetting the good things He has done.

 

Remember the days of old;
consider the years of many generations;
ask your father, and he will show you,
your elders, and they will tell you.

Deuteronomy 32:7

www.epm.org

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Roland Funeral Service

712-243-5492 in Atlantic –
where Heaven books, CDs, and DVDs are available.

See our blog and collection of these columns at

www.rolandfuneralservice.com/blog

rolandfs posted at 2013-8-2 Category: Heaven