Jump Start # 2493
2 Peter 3:12 “Looking for and hastening the coming of the day of God, on account of which the heavens will be destroyed by burning, and the elements will melt with intense heat.”
Christmas is now just a few days away. The little ones are getting excited. It’s always a big day for them. Their little faces will light up with joy as they see all the presents around the Christmas tree. In many ways, it’s more fun for the big ones just to watch the shouts of joy and excitement from the little ones.
But as disciples of the Lord, there are things we look forward to. Our verse is the first of three immediate passages in which Peter uses the expression, “Looking forward.” Here in our verse, it’s looking forward to the day of God. The next verse, looking forward to a new heavens and earth. Then, looking for these things leads us to being righteous and holy people.
There are many things in life that a person looks forward to. Kids look forward to the end of the school year. Those in love look forward to their wedding day. Expectant mothers look forward to holding their baby. After decades of working, many look forward to retirement. I always look forward to the grandkids coming to visit.
Looking forward, anticipating, longing, wanting, wishing, hoping—those are all strung together within the heart. And, as disciples, there are things that we ought to be looking forward to.
Here are a few things that comes to my mind:
- Sunday Worship. Gathering with God’s people. Getting to blend our voices together. Being in the presence of God. Hearing God’s word taught. Opening the Bible and being taught, challenged and moved to be a better person. Things are so different on Sundays. Our schedules are different. Things seem to move a little slower on Sunday than they do a Monday morning. We tend to do better on Sundays. Satan seems farther away on Sundays. Encouragement, hope, Heaven, those are just a few of the things that fills our hearts on Sundays. I wish every day was a Sunday!
- Resurrection Day. I’ve done way too many funerals in my life. The heavy hand of death seems final. We know, by faith and by the Scriptures, that when Jesus comes, the dead will be resurrected. Not just a few of them. Not just the best of them. All of them. I’ve seen too many families walk away from the cemetery with tears in their eyes. The grave closes and that is it, so it appears. But a day is coming, and there will be a resurrection. The dead in Christ will rise first, is what the Thessalonians were told. That will be scary, wonderful and amazing.
- Reunions in Heaven. There are many beloved righteous people that I miss. I long to see them again, this time in Heaven. There, we won’t have to watch the time. There, we won’t have to go anywhere else. There, we won’t be bothered by weather, problems or troubles. I miss seeing Billy. He made me pens that I still use to this day. There are two men named Dick that I miss. They were encouragers in my life. I’d like to see my mom again. It’s been a long time. I’d like to tell her about all those great grandkids that she never got to meet. Can you imagine? It brings tears to our eyes just thinking about it.
There are always some who will doubt this. How do you know we will know each other on the other side? There are passages that indicate that. The rich man knew Lazarus. He knew him by name. Otherwise, what is Heaven like, a giant concert or ballgame, with thousands of strangers? That doesn’t sound very encouraging. We like being with people we like. And, then someone has to say, “Well, what if my mom isn’t there? There’s not supposed to be any tears in Heaven and if she’s not there, I will cry?” I don’t know. Trust God. If He can make this complex universe in six days, trust that He’ll take care of that. Maybe your memory will be adjusted. Maybe the righteous will seem like your only family. Don’t worry about it. Make sure you get yourself there.
- Seeing God’s face. That comes from a passage in Revelation 22. We’ve sung about God. We’ve studied God. We’ve told others about God. We’ve prayed to God. But, just imagine, we actually get to see Him. We get to see His face. That implies closeness. That implies relationship and fellowship. That implies love, acceptance and forgiveness. Here, we’ve seen sunrises and sunsets. We’ve seen rainbows and the birth of children. We’ve seen smiles and hugs. We’ve seen oceans and mountain tops. We’ve seen snow and rain and sunshine. We’ve seen the beauty of nature. We’ve seen unusual things. We’ve seen some things that we wish we never did. We’ve seen the ugly side of human nature. We’ve seen sin. We’ve seen temptation. We’ve seen hatred and prejudice. But one thing we haven’t fully seen, is the face of God. Someday, we will see Him. I expect no words will come out of our mouths. I expect we will just gaze upon Him. I expect we won’t believe that we are actually there.
Looking forward…there’s much for us to be looking forward to. The best is still yet to come. Hang in there. Keep marching toward Zion. Don’t let troubles and trials sidetrack you. Don’t give up. You have to finish. You have to keep the faith. Just think, what’s still to come.