rebelling against low expectations

Focus Your Imagination on Heaven

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How often do you pause and imagine the day you’ll stand before God?

Do you close your eyes and imagine a world with no anger, no bitterness, no sadness, no loneliness? Can you taste the sweetness of freedom? Can you feel life overflowing the cup of your soul? When your heart will realize that the war it has fought on Earth, the battles won and lost, are all over and done with forever? That you can finally rest?

What do you imagine?

Beloved, one day we will stand facing him. The God we’ve never seen, the everlasting arms that constantly held our lives, the eyes that traced us with tender love, the Savior who won both our hands and souls—and the Father who has called us his children.

We will touch the holes on his hands, and know without a doubt they were for us. We will kiss the scars on his feet. We will, trembling, reach out to touch his cheek. We will lift our eyes first to his delighted smile, and slowly to his beautiful eyes. Tears will rise and spill to see his eyes overflowing with love. He will, so gently, put out a hand to wipe them away. We will feel both the strength and tenderness in his arms as we lean upon his breast.  And we’ll be filled with such joy, it will never be emptied.

What do you imagine?

The world tells us to imagine what our career will look like in thirty years. It tells us to imagine what car we’ll buy after college. It tells us to imagine a society with no consequences to our sinful actions. It encourages us to imagine ourselves as satisfied and fulfilled, if we were just engaged to that person, or had that job. It tells us to imagine heaven above, and no hell below. It tells us to imagine no nations, no wars, and no division.

Yes, some of these things are worthy to dream of and strive towards. We should think on some of these things seriously, as they are “noble, beautiful, true, pure, and good.” But as Christians, our imaginations should not be set only—or even mainly—on earthly things; they should be set on the precious hope we have in heaven. We have a hope stronger, greater, more sure, than any counterfeit to be proffered to us here.

We have a hope stronger, greater, more sure, than any counterfeit to be proffered to us here. Click To Tweet

If you’ve been a Christian for some time and have been praying, you’ll know that our visions for others and for the world—though, if God-given, very powerful—don’t often turn out the way we want. That friend hasn’t yet turned to Christ, that family has not returned to the Church, that nation is still under a terrible and cruel tyranny after generations. We must remember that it’s part of the story our Creator is scripting. We can’t place our hope in what we now see, because it will ultimately fail us—“this world is passing away, and all that is in it,” (1 John 2:17a).

Here are two places to provide the foundation for all your mind imagines.

God’s ability to hold everything together.

When you watch the news and see the riots, terrorism, bomb threats, and economic troubles wracking many countries—it seems difficult to believe it’s all working together in a good God’s plan. But God has a reason for everything. He knows your disillusionment, your discouragement, and he longs for us to know that all is working together for our joy and his glory.

Everything, absolutely everything, is working together for your good. The God who holds the world in his hands also holds your life. What power! One of our gifts as Christians is the vision we can hold for the future, because our God is a God of making the impossible possible. Share that vision with the world.

God is a God of making the impossible possible. Click To Tweet

Your eternal treasure that waits for you.

However much we may lose in this life, we have a treasure waiting in Heaven. A great treasure, something more beautiful and fulfilling to satisfy us for, well, forever—and the center of it all will be Jesus Christ. When the storms hit and you’re walking through dark valleys—when God messes with your life plan—remember you’re not part of this world.

Your home is not here. The God of all mercy and grace is preparing a surprise in the next life that will absolutely blow your mind. Think on this, and imagine. Because it’ll be even better than your wildest dreams.

Your imagination is a God-given gift. Even in this broken world, you can imagine the treasure waiting for you when your long journey has ended—your very great prize.

And his name is Jesus.


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About the author

Anna Northup

is a college student and edits for her school's Christian publication. She hopes to one day reach hurting women with the Gospel through her career, words, and lifestyle, and is passionate about knowing and sharing Christ. She loves Jesus, writing, coffee (and anything that combines them), Audrey Hepburn movies, Elisabeth Elliot, and anything soul-stirringly beautiful.

By Anna Northup
rebelling against low expectations

The Rebelution is a teenage rebellion against low expectations—a worldwide campaign to reject apathy, embrace responsibility, and do hard things. Learn More →

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