Many times when I am struggling with difficult circumstances in life, I find it very helpful to look forward to good things on the horizon. Right now I'm taking advantage of some vacation time that I've been looking forward to. But when our life seems to be swirling out of control it becomes obvious that there is nothing else to look forward to in this empty life. These difficult times afford us the opportunity to turn our minds to things above where we can find true hope of a better life. In Christ we have already begun this better life but when we think of heaven we are looking forward to the fulfillment of what has begun in seed form now.
And not only the creation, but we ourselves, who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we wait eagerly for adoption as sons, the redemption of our bodies. For in this hope we were saved. Now hope that is seen is not hope. For who hopes for what he sees? But if we hope for what we do not see, we wait for it with patience.
I've written a list of the specific things I hope to experience in heaven after the resurrection. I was reminded of this list when my brother-in-law sent me a link to a choir singing the Hymn "Praise My Soul the King of Heaven." I hope to explore each entry on this list individually in future posts. The thing hoped for is first and the counterfeit or opposite is in parentheses.
1) Euphoria Forever (Drugs, Alcohol, and Addictions)
2) No Emotional or Physical Suffering (Abuse, Suffering)
3) True, Lasting, and Fulfilling Significance – True Love, the Summum Bonum, Eudaemonia (Apathy, Emptiness, Evil). For more on true love and eudaemonism see here.
4) Final Maturity in Existence (Failings, Foibles, Lessons Not Learned)
5) A Never Ending Sabbath Rest (Exhaustion, Vanity of Work, Emotional & Physical Weariness)
6) A Never Ending String of Interesting Activities (Boredom, Endless Search for Distraction)
7) Victory Over the Enemies of God and Over Sin (Failures, Sins, Persecutions, Martyrdom)
8) A New Heaven and a New Earth (The Sin-Cursed Earth and Heavens, Entropy)
9) A Glorified Body (Aging, Disease, Blemishes, Ugliness)
10) A Renewed Mind and Much to Occupy It (Weak Minds, Errors in Logic, Lack of Creativity, Blandness)
11) New and Exciting Things (Nothing New Under the Sun)
12) Perfected Community of Important People (No Connections, Few Friends)
13) Singing and Music Beyond Imagination (Endless Search for New and Better Music, Sin-Cursed Musical Expressions, Ungodly Music)
14) Riches and Wealth Beyond Measure (Poverty, Economic Confusion, Misaligned Resources)
15) Rewards and Recognition (Oversights, Stolen Ideas, Fading Crowns)
16) Final Justice For All (Injustice, Mass Murder, Disenfranchisement, Oppression, Scandal, Perversion, Abuse)
17) The Relationship We Always Wanted – Adoption into the Royal Family of God! (Low Birth, No Prospects)
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