Hope Deferred

Hope deferred makes the heart sick, but when the desire comes, it is a tree of life.  - Proverbs 13:12 NKJV

My friend's son is getting married this weekend.  I've heard her talk about the day with excitement and anticipation as the weeks rolled by this summer.  The big day is almost here and I can sense the joy in her spirit.  Can you remember the last time a long awaited "dream" or desire finally came to fruition?  How did you feel when you were waiting?

I don't like waiting, but as I get older, I'm getting better at it.   Not only am I getting better at waiting in traffic or grocery store checkout lines, but I am getting better at waiting in the bigger areas of life.  I'm learning how to not "make things happen" and am re-learning that the only things I do have control of are my own thoughts and actions.   These learnings have helped me to hold my expectations loosely and better enjoy the moments in between expectation and reality. 

Hope deferred, or delayed "dreams" don't have to make our hearts sick if we keep our minds' eye focused on what we have to do today and let God take care of the rest.  Patience comes with knowing and trusting that God's desired outcomes are better than what we can imagine anyway.  Patience comes when we surrender our will to God's.  When we hold our desires loosely, we allow God to change the desires of our hearts.  Our waiting will become less painful as we trust God's provision and direction for our lives.  They still will bring life and joy when they come, but the waiting might just be a little easier.

For further thought:

1) Rate your "grip" on your own desires on a scale of 1-10 (10 being white-knuckled). How does your "grip" affect your patience in waiting?  How does it affect what you do with what you hear from God? 

2) What are you learning from God in your situation?  Does God want you to take hold of a different desire?


Janna Rust is a Professional Coach and Speaker dedicated to encouraging others towards lives God intends for them.  For more information, visit her at www.purposefulpartnerships.com.

The Peril of Passivity

If you took a survey of all the people you knew, how many of them would say that all religions lead to God?  I would venture a guess that the number who do not believe Jesus is the only way to heaven would be higher than you think, even among professing Christians.

What are the dangers of thinking this way?  Check out my post over at Truth Talks, entitled "The Peril of Passivity".  Hope to see you there!


Janna Rust is a Professional Coach and Speaker dedicated to encouraging others towards lives God intends for them.  For more information, visit her at www.purposefulpartnerships.com.

Heaven on Earth

And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away.  And he that sat upon the throne said, Behold, I make all things new.  (Revelation 22:4-5a)

In my last post, I wrote about the new song we can have in our lives through the power of God working in us and through us.  Today, I'm writing about all things being new.  God will make all things new.  Isn't that fabulous?  Sometime in the future there will literally be heaven on earth and we Christians will be living right in the midst of it.  Revelation 21 and 22 describe the sight to behold.  Not to mention that along with that new heaven and new earth, God will remove tears, pain, death and sorrow from our lives forever.  Close your eyes a moment and take all of that in.  Wow.

How often do you think about heaven?  Heaven is a Christian's final destination and the place where we will spend eternity.  However, we don't hear much talk of heaven in our pulpits today.  When I think of my own life and discussions with friends, I don't recall talk of heaven being a recurring point of conversation.  But why not?  If we think about it, keeping a clear vision of a better future in the forefront of our minds would help us endure our present circumstances wouldn't it?  Keeping an eternal perspective in the midst of our trials really does help us see the light at the end of the tunnel.  Focusing on our heavenly reward at the end of the race of life is an excellent motivator to keep pushing to the finish line.

So what are you pressing through today?  Health issues?  Family issues?  Financial pressures?  No matter what the circumstances, if we remember that in the end we have a much better life ahead for eternity, not just for the blip in time of our fleshly lives, we can make it.  We will have new life.  We can have it now if we rely on God and His provision for us.  We will all have happiness someday.

Trust Fund Babies

trust fund baby: Person who is living the life of leisure off of someone else's money, hopefully in an effort to be somewhat of a productive member of society. 

No, I am not Webster, but the above is my definition of a TFB, the Trust Fund Baby.  I don't know how many times in the past few years that I've said I wouldn't mind being a Trust Fund Baby. No, I'm not obsessed with material things, mainly I just think it would be cool to not have to work (at all) so I could have more time to devote to ministry and of course, I have to admit, play more golf.  :)  Actually, my comments about being a TFB were most likely spurred on by the fact that I belong to a golf club where a lot of wealthy people belong.  I believe that my husband and I are at the bottom end of the "food chain" there and as I see how many women don't work at all and play tons of golf, I dream my little dream of living the same non-working life, but substituting volunteer work for God's kingdom in place of much of the golf.  Therefore, I think I'd be a good TFB.  I know I wouldn't be bored and would probably be quite the socialite, as long as my friends didn't make me go shopping.  Lunch I can do, shopping is another story.

But I'm not just writing about this to confess my secret desire to the world.  Did you realize that we Christians are TFB's?  We are heirs to all of the riches of heaven through our relationship with Christ.  I don't believe that we focus enough on our future home as Christians because we are too caught up in all of the goings on down here.  God has big plans for each of us, both down here on earth and for our future in heaven.  He says so in His word:

"For I know the plans I have for you", declares the LORD, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future." (Jeremiah 29:11 NIV)

In context, Jeremiah is speaking the words of God to Israel, telling them that they will have a future after their exile; that they will be brought back together as a people.  Applying that to our lives, we know that by God's good nature, He has the same thoughts toward you and me.   He wants the best for us, now and in eternity.   Friends, if you are in the midst of turmoil or uncertainty, trust in God's love for you and the truth of His sovereignty.  God is in control of everything and He has great plans for you!

Going farther into the future is where we can really see how we Christians are Trust Fund Babies.  Jesus said that there are mansions prepared for us in heaven (John 14:1:3).  We will all have our big house someday!  Remember that we are children of the King of heaven and earth.  The bible says the he who overcomes shall inherit all things (Rev 21:7).The new heaven, new earth and new Jerusalem will be more beautiful than anything we can ever imagine. 

But to me, the greatest treasure of all is not all of the material things and the beauty in heaven we will see, it is the treasure of finally being where God intended us to be.   With Him.  Without Sin.  Without sadness or tears. He makes all things new. I can't wait to be there. 

Revelation 21:1-5

1 And I saw a new heaven and a new earth: for the first heaven and the first earth wre passed away; and there was no more sea.

2 And I John saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven, prepared as a bride adorned for here husband.

3 And I heard a great voice out of heaven saying, Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and he will dwell with them, and they shall be his people, and God himself shall be with them, and be their God.

4 And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away.

5 And he that sat upon the throne said, Behold, I make all things new.  And he said unto me, Write: for these words are true and faithful.

Slice of Heaven

In my post yesterday I wrote about joy and how that we can endure anything if we know that we will have that jumping-up-and-down- dancing-around-busting-at-the-seams kind of joy waiting on the other side of our trials.  Ladies with children, I know that you understand this from first hand experience if you have children.  The pain of childbirth is endured because of the joy that is to come with a new little one.   Another example would be that the "suffering" related to overhauling a golf swing is worth it for the joy of that long and straight drive landing in the middle of the fairway that may happen once the swing is perfected.  :)  I'm having golf withdrawals from being sick, can you tell?  :)  Okay, back to business. 

Friends, the ultimate trial for us is life on this earth.  We were not made for it, but for eternity with God.  Our own "garden of Eden" - that joy set before us -  is yet to come in the paradise of heaven.  Our lives are just vapors here in the big scheme of eternity (James 4:14).  For me personally, understanding this principal has helped me endure many a personal trial.

Christians, have you ever really thought deeply about what awaits you in the next life...in the life that last so much longer than the puff of smoke of our earthly lives that we can't even imagine it?  If you haven't recently, I suggest you give Revelations 21 and 22 a thorough reading.  It will definitely make you yearn to be in heaven!

Here are my favorite verses about heaven and the New Jerusalem which we will see one day:

1) "It's all good" in heaven.  (This one is especially precious to me in light of my recent but almost gone flu attack.)

And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more flu death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more coughing pain: for the former things are passed away.  (Rev 21:4)

2) We'll all be trust fund babies.  We will be joint heirs with the King of kings and Lord of lords living in our mansions of glory (John 14:2-3)!

He that overcometh shall inherit all things; and I will be his God, and he shall be my son. (Rev 21:7)

3) Everything will be beautiful.  I'm not a huge jewel freak, but just thinking about streets of gold, pearly gates, jewels on buildings and a crystal sea makes me eager to catch a glimpse of it.  (Rev 21: 18-21, Rev 22:1) 

4) We will see Jesus and He will light up the place.  Sigh.  What a time that will be when we finally get to see Jesus face to face.

Rev 22:3-5 And there shall be no more curse: but the throne of God and of the Lamb shall be in it; and his servants shall serve him: And they shall see his face; and his name shall be in their foreheads.  And there shall be no more night there; and they need no candle, neither light of the sun; for the Lord God giveth them light: and they shall reign for ever and ever.

So, do you think these things are worth enduring our races of life for?  I sure do.   If I know there is Light at the end of the tunnel, I can withstand a lot of discomfort, can't you?