Why is it that some people complain all the time, while others seem to boost the spirits of those around them? Why are some folks suspicious and grumpy and others just seem happier on the inside? One of the differences is an attitude of hope, a joyful, optimistic expectation of good things coming.
But what is the best object of hope? I’d say it’s heaven. Paul once told some people he had heard about their “…faith and love that spring from the hope that is stored up for you in heaven and that you have already heard about in the word of truth, the gospel. – (Colossians 1:5)
Don’t misunderstand: these were no Pollyanna types with saccharin-sweet, vapid smiles, aimlessly drifting through life by pretending things would be better in heaven. This was no “pie in the sky, by and by” crowd. These were people bearing up under the harsh realities of vicious persecution. But with hope from which their faith and love sprang forth!
So, how could they, or we, know that hope for heaven is anything more than wishful thinking? Jesus tells us, in the strongest and simplest terms, that’s how.. Speaking of heaven, He said,
“…if it were not so, I would have told you. I am going there to prepare a place for you.” – (John 14:2b)
That is my favorite line in the Bible. Jesus didn’t lie to people, fostering false hopes. One of His trademark expressions was, “I tell you the truth!” Following Jesus comes with real hope, hope for eternal life in heaven. If it wasn’t so he would have told us. And hope just makes everything else better.