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The Spirit himself testifies with our spirit that we are God’s children. Now if we are children, then we are heirs – heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ, if indeed we share in his sufferings in order that we may also share in his glory. I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us. Romans 8:18

Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal. 2 Corinthians 4:16-18

No eye has seen, no ear has heard, no human mind has conceived the things God has prepared for those who love him. 1 Corinthians 2:9

I recently listened to a podcast sermon by Timothy Keller on the Lord’s prayer, specifically the first two words, “Our Father”.  He was preaching about the incredible blessings we have because God is our Father. He talked about the inheritance we have because God is our Father. Normally the father must die before one receives the inheritance, but with God, we receive the inheritance when we die. And that inheritance is mind blowing. It is really difficult to understand how great it is.  Keller used two examples to try and explain it, as it relates to our earthly life and how it should shape and inform our view of heaven and our inheritance.

In one of his illustrations he asked his listeners to imagine that they had a trillion dollars in a Swiss bank account. Then he said to imagine that you are pick pocketed and lose 5 dollars. What would your response be? Would you fret and moan and feel despondent because you lost 5 dollars?  No. You probably wouldn’t give it a second thought because of your huge Swiss account.

Keller reads the Romans 8 verses and says that’s what we should think about anytime something bad happens to us. Even when tragedy strikes in some way.  We shouldn’t be too concerned about it, because of our eternal inheritance. It is not even worthy to be compared to the glorious bliss and eternal happiness and joy that awaits all Believers when they get to heaven.

In another example he mentioned the word molecule. I do not exactly remember what he said about “molecule” .  But it got me to thinking about how small a molecule is. Perhaps what Keller was getting at is that no matter how big our problems seem to be, in reality they are as small as a molecule compared to the glorious riches and peace and hilarious joy we will experience in heaven when we are in the direct presence of God.

I thought of another example on my own. While it’s not as good as Keller’s, it helped me sharpen my perspective on this matter. I thought of the sun. The sun is huge. The sun is incredibly hot. Sometimes the painful experiences we have to endure seem as big and as hot as the sun. We wonder how we can ever survive the terrible situation we are going through. We cry out to God, “Why?” We scream, ” Help me! ”  We trust he is with us, walking beside us in some cases, carrying us in others, as we go through burning turmoil.

Perhaps God is also asking us to have some perspective. Our sun is a star, one of trillions in the universe. Our sun seems huge to us, but it  is only average size compared to the multitude of stars that fill the sky. Likewise, the horrific situations that we may be enduring, are nothing that overwhelm our omnipotent Lord. They are a shock to us, but didn’t catch God by surprise. And he assures us with his Word, that they are not worthy to be compared with what we will experience in our eternal glory that awaits.

So far we have been contemplating how to think correctly about all the negative life experiences we go through, but I would like to look at the other side of the coin. I believe C.S. Lewis somewhere wrote to his readers that they should imagine a happy time. A supremely joyous experience that they could enjoy in their lifetime. He doesn’t say think about a time when you were really happy, but imagine the happiest event that you can possibly dream of.  Lewis says that that imagination, that that blissful dream, cannot compare to the reality of the joy, peace and wholeness that we will have We we receive our glorious inheritance in Christ Jesus.

Meditating on these scriptures has helped me look at my own life experiences and expectations. It helps me to soberly consider the highs and lows that I either rejoice in or endure, and realize that no matter what, none of it can come close to comparing to the happiness I will enjoy when I am in the eternal presence of my good, good Father.

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