“Therefore, preparing your minds for action, and being sober-minded, set your hope fully on the grace that will be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ.” 1 Peter 1:13
My hope is in God. But often it is in God to meet and fulfill all of my current needs, calm my worries and anxieties, and make all of my hopes & dreams come true on this earth. If not today, one day.
Again I find myself reading a common theme, to set our minds. Here it is on “the Grace.” Verse 4 goes on to define this grace as “an inheritance that is imperishable, undefiled, and unfading, kept in heaven for you.” A commentary beautifully describes it this way, “The grace that saved us at first, the grace that comes to us, filtered in drops during our earthly experience, is poured upon us in a flood at last”
When Peter instructs us to “Set your hope fully…” he means for us to cultivate hope, to stir up hope. Hope in Jesus’ return and our eternal salvation in heaven. I don’t know about you, but I couldn’t feel any more far from heaven if I tried. When was the last time you contemplated the pearly gates? I’ve definitely had moments where I wished I was with God and no longer dealing with the constant struggles on this earth, but thinking about heaven as a reality — as my future home–well it almost feels more fairy tale than fact.
So what will heaven look like? Revelation 21:10-27 describes it like this:
“It shone with the glory of God, and its brilliance was like that of a very precious jewel, like a jasper, clear as crystal. It had a great, high wall with twelve gates, and with twelve angels at the gates…..walls made of jasper, and the city of pure gold, as pure as glass.The foundations of the city walls were decorated with every kind of precious stone….The twelve gates were twelve pearls, each gate made of a single pearl. The great street of the city was of gold, as pure as transparent glass. I did not see a temple in the city, because the Lord God Almighty and the Lamb are its temple.The city does not need the sun or the moon to shine on it, for the glory of God gives it light, and the Lamb is its lamp. The nations will walk by its light, and the kings of the earth will bring their splendor into it. On no day will its gates ever be shut, for there will be no night there.The glory and honor of the nations will be brought into it. Nothing impure will ever enter it, nor will anyone who does what is shameful or deceitful, but only those whose names are written in the Lamb’s book of life.”
“Now I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away. Also there was no more sea. Then I, John, saw the holy city, New Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband” (Revelation 21:2).
There will be no tears and no pain…
“And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes; there shall be no more death, nor sorrow, nor crying. There shall be no more pain, for the former things have passed away” (Revelation 21:4).
All the Ms. America’s can finally rest easy with peace on earth….
“The wolf and the lamb shall feed together, the lion shall eat straw like the ox, and dust [shall be] the serpent’s food. They shall not hurt nor destroy in all My holy mountain,” says the LORD (Isaiah 65:25).
We will still have homes & land & farming….
“They shall build houses and inhabit them; they shall plant vineyards and eat their fruit” (Isaiah 65:21).
And our many vasts deserts will bloom fruitful gardens
“The wilderness and the wasteland shall be glad for them, and the desert shall rejoice and blossom as the rose” (Isaiah 35:1).
With the current state of affairs in our broken, sometimes devastatingly heartbreaking world and lives, I believe it would do us all a load of good to stir up, not only hope for God to show up in our earthly lives (and he will and he does!), but to learn about, ponder, look to, and hope in the torrential downpour of grace that will be bestowed upon us when Jesus calls us to our new eternal home.
1 Peter goes on to say: “All flesh is like grass and all of it’s glory like the flower of grass.The grass withers, and the flower falls, but the word of the Lord remains forever.” (1 Peter 1: 24, 25)
I love that our lives are compared to living objects of loveliness. Even in the hard things here in this world, there’s so much beauty that surrounds, so much life. It may be fleeting, but as we hope for the real, not fairy tale, imperishable glory of heaven in our futures, let us also open our eyes to the bits of grace that God is dropping on us here as well!
“Though you have not seen him, you love him. Though you do not now see him, you believe in him and rejoice with joy that is inexpressible and filled with glory, obtaining the outcome of your faith, the salvation of your souls.” 1 Peter 1:8,9