“For he was looking forward to the city with foundations,
whose architect and builder is God.”
Hebrews 11:10 (NIV)
Our verse today refers to Abraham the man of faith, who left his own country and journeyed to a land foreign to him and his family. He lived in tents in the midst of people who did not serve the God he did.
Abraham was being taught by the Lord that this life is transitory—it is not our final home. We need to learn this lesson if we are to be spiritually strong and cope with the difficulties and trials of this life.
If I am persuaded that this world is all there is to our existence, then I am not very well equipped to handle the sorrows this life can bring. If I live in poverty and only have a tent for a home—as millions do in the poor countries of this world—then I am of all people the most miserable, if I think this is all there is.
Today I continue praying for a beautiful young Christian lady. As I write this devotional, she is in the operating room having her cancerous leg amputated. What kind of a life is that for a person just entering adult life with all of its opportunities and challenges.
Yet this fine young Christian is trusting the Lord and remembering that this world is not her final home. She knows there is a city in eternity where she will run, jump, dance, and be filled with joy unspeakable and full of glory.
I have never met this young lady or her family, but I find my heart broken for her that such a difficult alternative has been given her to cope with. We weep for people who are disadvantaged in various ways and we can only imagine the struggles ahead for them.
Those who do not see this life as a pilgrimage to the City of God can only toughen themselves up and lament their difficulties. They will look with envy at others who are getting on in life without any obstacles or trials. They see what they will never have and it is truly painful.
The Christian knows that there is a much better life coming, and that hope gives stability to the present painful reality. Only God’s people are able to endure without bitterness and anger. The Christian perspective is the only hopeful way to look at life. Without the prospect of seeing the Lord we would surely be in despair.
Read the passages in Scripture that speak so wonderfully of this eternal city of God. Turn in your Bible to passages such as Revelation 21-22; Isaiah 61-62, and ponder the great things said there about the people of God and their inheritance. You will be encouraged to persevere even in the darkest hours.