BY DAVE STEEL
Why do we spend so much energy pursuing earthly carrots like affluence, accolades, and pleasure when we know these things can’t satisfy our deepest longings? And why is it that these things disappoint us so consistently?
King Solomon gave us a clue when he said that God has “set eternity in the human heart” (Eccl. 3:11). Nothing temporal will ever truly satisfy us--not money, not the praise of others, not any earthly pleasure, trophy, or commodity. We yearn for something eternal, something transcendent. C. S. Lewis reasoned that, “If I find in myself a desire which no experience in this world can satisfy, the most probable explanation is that I was made for another world.”
We were made for heaven. Followers of Jesus rightly consider it their home. Jesus said, “My Father’s house has many rooms; if that were not so, would I have told you that I am going there to prepare a place for you? And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am” (John 14:2-3). The apostle Paul certainly took this promise seriously. He wrote, “Our citizenship is in heaven. And we eagerly await a Savior from there, the Lord Jesus Christ” (Phil. 3:20; cf. Heb. 13:14).
Ultimately, the reward that awaits us at the end of our earthly journey is Jesus himself. He’s what makes heaven so desirable.
But the biblical writers also spoke of an inheritance that awaits us there. The apostle Peter calls it “an inheritance that can never perish, spoil, or fade--kept in heaven for you” (1 Pet. 1:4). The apostle Paul adds that the indwelling Holy Spirit serves as a deposit guaranteeing this inheritance (Eph. 1:13-14). What these biblical writers are saying is that our heavenly inheritance could not be more secure.
Still, the apostle Paul also spoke of this heavenly prize as something worth striving for. He said, “Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus” (Phil. 3:13-14). As Christ followers, we strain toward the finish line not to earn the prize but to claim it. Christ has secured it for us.
For disciples of Jesus, then, this life is a journey to our true home. What awaits us at the finish line is a joyous reunion with our Savior. There we’ll enter into our heavenly inheritance. Disappointment with the fleeting pleasures of this world will give way to what is eternal, transcendent. Our deepest longings will be satisfied.