What Incredible Hope We Have!

Of all the people on earth, believers in Jesus Christ have hope. Incredible hope.

God gives us many promises that he will bless us in this life. He promises to meet our needs. He promises to protect us and deliver us from evil. He promises to lead and guide us. He promises to give us his joy and peace. He promises to care for us when we go through hard times and comfort us in sadness. Jesus promises to never leave us nor forsake us. He promises to “make us lie down in green pastures and lead us beside still waters” (Psalm 23). God gives us many reasons to hope in him in this life.

But our hope in Jesus is not primarily for this life. As Paul says in Colossians:

We always thank God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, when we pray for you, since we heard of your faith in Christ Jesus and of the love that you have for all the saints, because of the hope laid up for you in heaven…CO 1:3-5

As much as God gives us hope for things in this life, our ULTIMATE HOPE is laid up for us in heaven.

It is “laid up.” God is keeping it there safe and sound. It won’t disappear. We won’t get to heaven, full of hope, and hear God say, “I’m sorry, your hope is no longer here. I gave it to someone else.” NO! Our hope is “laid up” in heaven. It is waiting for us. And we won’t be disappointed. Our hope is more amazing and wonderful and beautiful than we can ever imagine.

What is the hope laid up for believers in heaven?

Although we can’t possibly fathom how wonderful it will be, God tells us a few wonderful things to look forward to in his word. Here are a few aspects of the hope laid up for believers in heaven:

We will gaze upon the infinite beauty and glory of Jesus for all eternity.

Beloved, we are God’s children now, and what we will be has not yet appeared; but we know that when he appears we shall be like him, because we shall see him as he is. 1 John 3:2

We shall see him “as he is.” In all his infinite glory. Remember what Isaiah saw when God gave him a glimpse of heaven?

In the year that King Uzziah died I saw the Lord sitting upon a throne, high and lifted up; and the train of his robe filled the temple. Above him stood the seraphim. Each had six wings: with two he covered his face, and with two he covered his feet, and with two he flew. And one called to another and said:

“Holy, holy, holy is the LORD of hosts;

the whole earth is full of his glory!” Isaiah 6:1-3

Isaiah saw seraphim, the highest angels in heaven, glorious beings who had never sinned. Yet they could not look upon God’s glory directly, but had to cover their faces with their wings.

Yet we who Jesus saved and washed by his blood will gaze directly upon his face. “We shall see him as he is.”

When Jesus was physically on earth he prayed: 

“Father, I desire that they also, whom you have given me, may be with me where I am, to see my glory that you have given me because you loved me before the foundation of the world.” John 17:24

We will gaze upon Jesus’ glory. His INFINITE glory. His glory that has no bounds. We will never tire of gazing upon his glory. There will always be new, unimaginable, awesomely beautiful, breathtaking aspects of his glory to amaze us.

What a hope laid up for us in heaven!

But wait, there’s more!

We will be like Jesus

Beloved, we are God’s children now, and what we will be has not yet appeared; but we know that when he appears we shall be like him, because we shall see him as he is. 1 John 3:2

We shall be like him in his glory. I can’t even imagine that. We will not be gods, we will not have his infinite glory, but somehow we shall be like him. We shall reflect his glory and beauty and character. As Paul tells us in 2 Corinthians:

And we all, with unveiled face, beholding the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from one degree of glory to another. For this comes from the Lord who is the Spirit. 2 Corinthians 3:18

Even now, as we behold Jesus’ glory in his word and prayer and worship and our thoughts, God is transforming us into “the same image, from one degree of glory to another.” 

We will be like him. If these two things – seeing Jesus’ glory and being like him – were our only hope that is laid up in heaven that would be incredible. But wait, there’s more!

Jesus will pour out his infinite comfort and joy upon us

He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away.” Revelation 21:4

We will have NO MORE TEARS in heaven. No more sadness. No more mourning. No more grieving because loved ones have died. No more sickness. No more tragedies. No more grieving over our children or grandchildren. No more worries. No more dread.

NO MORE PAIN! No more cancer, disease, depression, anxiety, birth defects. No more aging, Alzheimers, corona, flu. 

No more sadness. No more hard times, affliction, disappointments. “For the former things have passed away.”

We will have eternal joy

You make known to me the path of life; in your presence there is fullness of joy; at your right hand are pleasures forevermore. Psalm 16:11

In heaven we will be in God’s presence forever. We will have “fullness of joy.” God will pour out upon us “pleasures forevermore.” I can’t even imagine what that will be like. Jesus said to his disciples,

These things I have spoken to you, that my joy may be in you, and that your joy may be full. John 15:11

When we believe in Jesus, he puts his joy in us, but that is only the beginning. In heaven our joy will be “full.” And our joy in heaven will be Jesus’ own joy. The very joy of God himself. The very joy of the King of Kings and Lord of Lords.

But wait, there’s more!

In heaven God will reward us for obeying and serving him

For the Son of Man is going to come with his angels in the glory of his Father, and then he will repay each person according to what he has done. Matthew 16:27

Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world. For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, I was naked and you clothed me, I was sick and you visited me, I was in prison and you came to me.’ Then the righteous will answer him, saying, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you drink? And when did we see you a stranger and welcome you, or naked and clothe you? And when did we see you sick or in prison and visit you?’ And the King will answer them, ‘Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brothers, you did it to me.’ Matthew 25:34-40

“Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal, but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also. Matthew 6:19-21

God has eternal, everlasting rewards laid up for us for every tiny act of kindness and mercy we’ve ever done to “the least” of Christ’s brothers and sisters, because we did it to him.

Not only will we see Jesus’ glory, be like him in his glory, have every tear wiped away, be filled with Jesus’ joy and be rewarded, but we will have new imperishable bodies. Heavenly bodies. We will be with our loved ones at the marriage supper of the Lamb. We will sing heavenly praises with the saints and angels in heaven.

We can’t even begin to imagine all the joys and pleasures God has laid up for us in heaven. So as much as we hope in this life, let’s keep our eyes on Jesus and our future joy with him in heaven.

I’m a pastor at Saving Grace Church in Indiana, PA. I’m married to Kristi, have 5 kids, and a growing number of grandkids. I enjoy songwriting, oil painting and coffee, not necessarily in that order.

3 thoughts on “What Incredible Hope We Have!”

  1. Mark ~ I pray you & your family are well~ I miss you giving us the Holy Scripture ~ May God send his Holy Word through you soon! But until then, I shall read & re-read these beautiful sermons He & you have blessed us with for they never grow old but stronger with each reading. Bless you always.

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