May 24, 2013

Hebrews 11:39-40 These were all commended for their faith, yet none of them received what had been promised. God had planned something better for us so that only together with us would they be made perfect.

Here we are back to God knowing better than any human being, and therefore being all the more worthy of our faith and trust. To our eyes, it seems manifestly unfair that the saints of the faith whom the writer has been talking about would not receive what had been promised them. It’s not a matter of their never receiving what had been promised, but when they received it. We are face to face with the difficulty, from our standpoint, that we are in the flow of time and God is outside of it. Physicists agree that time is dependent on matter. God is not matter, but He created all matter, simply by speaking it into being, as it tells us in Genesis 1. God, who is totally transcendent, has a plan by which all of His children will be brought to glorious perfection, but it is beyond our intellect to grasp at this point, because we are conditioned to being material and time-bound. I recently heard the testimony of a man who had what is called a near-death experience, and what struck me was what he said about time being totally irrelevant in heaven. My wife Cathy has had a near-death experience, but that’s not a detail she noticed, or at least remembered so that she could report it. People speak of looking forward to being with their parents or grandparents in heaven, but our fellowship will be just as sweet with Abraham, Isaac, and the countless, nameless saints of history, and it will all be glorious.

Personally, I look forward most to perfect fellowship with my Lord, but I am sure that there will be unlimited other blessings as well, and it will all be beyond our power to describe or even comprehend right now. I am sharply aware of the pain of separation that we experience on earth, but I have the assurance that for those who are in Christ, such separation is strictly temporary. I do look forward to fellowship with saints of every age, because I’ve had a taste of fellowship with brothers and sisters in Christ from a wide variety of countries and backgrounds. My focus right now needs to be on taking as many more with me as possible! I’m not to promise them an instant solution to what they see as their problems right now, because their perception, and mine, is often distorted. Rather, I am to point them to a heavenly Father who loves them enough to send His Son to die for them, and is absolutely trustworthy. My obedience to Him must be unconditional, and that is the commitment I am to encourage in others as well.

Father, thank You for my current experience of shingles. It’s something I’ve known about, but never experienced. It’s hardly fun, but it’s one more thing to look forward to leaving behind me! Thank You that today is my 44th wedding anniversary. That’s certainly a testimony of Your grace, blessing, and faithfulness! Thank You that however many more You give us here, we have an eternity of fellowship with one another and with You to look forward to. Praise God!

About jgarrott

Born and raised in Japan of missionary parents. Have been here as an adult missionary since 1981.
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