What Are You Looking For?

What are you looking for as you go through life?

Peace?

Love?

Justice?

A good time?

Happiness?

We might find those in some measure. Some of them are God’s good gifts. Some are a foretaste of heaven.

But none will be perfect. This world is fraught with strife, selfishness, conflict.

And such characteristics are not just out there. They’re in our hearts as well.

Whatever troubles or pleases us about this life, none of it will last. Peter says some day “the elements will melt with fervent heat; both the earth and the works that are in it will be burned up” (2 Peter 3:10b).

If we’ve staked all our hopes and dreams on this earth, we’ll be in trouble.

Since this earth won’t last forever, what should we do? Peter goes on to say, “Therefore, since all these things will be dissolved, what manner of persons ought you to be in holy conduct and godliness, looking for and hastening the coming of the day of God, because of which the heavens will be dissolved, being on fire, and the elements will melt with fervent heat? Nevertheless we, according to His promise, look for new heavens and a new earth in which righteousness dwells. Therefore, beloved, looking forward to these things, be diligent to be found by Him in peace, without spot and blameless” (2 Peter 3:11-14, NKJV).

Others passages echo this truth:

For our conversation (citizenship) is in heaven; from whence also we look for the Saviour, the Lord Jesus Christ: Who shall change our vile body, that it may be fashioned like unto his glorious body, according to the working whereby he is able even to subdue all things unto himself (Philippians 3:20-21, KJV).

For the grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men, teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly in the present age, looking for the blessed hope and glorious appearing of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ, who gave Himself for us, that He might redeem us from every lawless deed and purify for Himself His own special people, zealous for good works (Titus 2:11-14, NKJV).

And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment: So Christ was once offered to bear the sins of many; and unto them that look for him shall he appear the second time without sin unto salvation (Hebrews 9:27-28, KJV).

Other translations say “wait for” instead of “look for,” but the Greek definitions can be translated either way. We wait with expectation, with eagerness, looking for Him.

Only with Him will we find perfection. Only in heaven will there be no sin, no sorrow, no crying, no pain–none of the negative things that taint life here.

Is this just escapism from reality? No, it’s arriving at reality. We look forward to our true reality, our true home. C. S. Lewis called this life the Shadowlands. In The Last Battle, when the children and animals realize they’re in a new Narnia, the Unicorn says:

I have come home at last! This is my real country! I belong here. This is the land I have been looking for all my life, though I never knew it til now. The reason why we loved the old Narnia is that it sometimes looked a little like this.

Aslan told the children, “The term is over: the holidays have begun. The dream is ended: this is the morning.”

It was only the beginning of the real story. All their life in this world and all their adventures in Narnia had only been the cover and title page: now, at last they were beginning Chapter One of the Great Story which no one on earth has read, which goes on forever; in which every chapter is better than the one before.

Elisabeth Elliot has quoted George MacDonald as saying, “If you knew what God knows about death, you would clap your listless hands.” I remember reading somewhere that one reason God doesn’t tell us much about heaven is that we would look forward to it so much, we wouldn’t be able to get anything else done here.

I admit, there’s much I still enjoy and look forward to in this life. There’s much I’d like to do. One of the most important things I desire is to be a positive influence in my grandson’s life, and hopefully, at some point, in the lives of future grandchildren. God has given us a strong survival instinct. One preacher once said that one reason our bodies start falling apart as we get older is to ready us to let loose of them. “So we do not lose heart. Though our outer self is wasting away, our inner self is being renewed day by day. For this light momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison, as we look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen. For the things that are seen are transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal” (2 Corinthians 4:16-18).

I need the reminder that this life isn’t all there is. Imagine a rope stretched out east and west farther than we can follow, and let it represent eternity. The piece of the rope in front of us is taped off for a few inches. That taped part would represent the whole of life on earth for all time compared to eternity. Time is short. Eternity is long.

But before we look for Him to take us there, we have to look for Him here. Jeremiah 29:13 (ESV) says, “You will seek me and find me, when you seek me with all your heart.” If you don’t have a saving relationship with Jesus, if you’re not sure of heaven, please read here.

We enjoy God’s blessing here. But we know this world isn’t all there is. Like Abraham, we “[look] forward to the city that has foundations, whose designer and builder is God” (Hebrews 11:10).

Are you looking for Him?

(I often link up with some of these bloggers)

25 thoughts on “What Are You Looking For?

  1. I so agree with you, Barbara. I love many things here and I’m not ready to leave the lives of my family and friends. But I also long for the perfection of seeing our Savior face to face one day for eternity.

    • Excellent post, Barbara! And very timely. I’m currently reading a book “Imagine Heaven” wherein the author examines reports of NDEs (near death experiences). It’s a good, well balanced book. It makes me long for that place and being face to face with my Savior. But right now. there is work to be done! Thanks for your thoughtful post.

  2. This tiny slice of history is important because it shapes our eternity, and yet compared with the vast expanse of eternity, it’s only a blink, But what a precious blink it has been…

  3. This goes so well with my pastor’s sermon from this morning – we don’t belong here. We’re not anxious or impatient for Jesus to come back or for the Lord to call us home, but we are ready. While we’re here, we need to live for eternity, not just for today. Amen.

  4. As the years pass, I realize how the value of each day and how quickly my time here on earth is in comparison with eternity. I am most grateful for every blessing I have enjoyed in my life, recognizing they come from His hand. Yet they remind me – “This life is not all there is.” He has even more for His people.

    • It does seem to be going ever faster. I want to just slow down and savor. I think part of the conflict is being separated from loved ones. When when all our loved ones are with us in heaven–how wonderful!

  5. Pingback: What Are You Looking For? | Stray Thoughts – Reformed faith salsa style

  6. Really such a comforting post, to think that, when we get so stressed about earthly things, they really are not the things that matter. Eternity does, and how wonderful to think that we’ll spend it with Jesus! I echo your hope to pass on a godly heritage to our kids and grandkids while we’re here.

  7. Barbara, thank you so much for the reminder that this life isn’t all there is. Thank you also for the reminder of how I am to live my life while I am still here from 2 Peter 3. While it is always my heart’s desire to live a holy and godly life before others (and for God) it isn’t always that way.

  8. Yet, if all we want out of heaven is to be rid of sorrow, strife and hardships – we will not find joy there, contentment, happiness unless we know Him and want to be with Him. Your post drove home the need to know our Savior, to lean in to Him, to talk to Him, to want to be there in heaven with Him just as much as we want Him here with us in between the title and cover page. Praying daily that my heart loves Him more and more alive, real and overflowing! Moving post, Barbara! ~ Maryleigh

  9. Beautiful post, Barbara. I’m looking forward to Heaven, and I’m trying to do what I can to leave a spiritual legacy for my loved ones. I wanted to be remembered as someone who loved well–Jesus and others.

  10. Pingback: A La Carte (June 14) – christian-99.com

  11. This beautiful post was a true blessing to me today, Barbara! It reminds me this earth is not my home – such a hope-filled reminder!

  12. What a lovely post, Barbara. We are truly travelers here and though I appreciate so much of the beauty, I find I long for the perfection of heaven the longer I live. Thank you for these hopeful words!

    Blessings,
    Tammy

  13. Pingback: June Reflections | Stray Thoughts

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