“We have this hope as an anchor for the soul, firm and secure.” Hebrews 6:19
As believers, we know we have the hope of heaven as an anchor for our souls, but it’s not always easy to live that out in the midst of a tragedy. John Eldredge reminds us that in order for hope to be real, it needs to be tangible.
“Heaven is just too vague for most people; it’s far off, it’s distant, it’s way in the future, and who really knows anyway? It’s just not a place that most people actually have their hopes in because it’s just too vague. C.S. Lewis says, ‘you can only hope for what you desire.’”
John reflects on a season of loss that caused him to reflect on the eternal promises of God for a new heaven, a new earth, and the restoration of all things.
“We went through a year of just tremendous loss last year as a family. We actually had a suicide in our extended family, I lost my best friend to cancer, and my son and daughter lost their first child before birth. That really drove me to ask the question, what is it that we are supposed to be hoping for?”
The vague hope of heaven wasn’t tangible enough during this difficult season of life. John explains what changed his perspective.
“Here’s what really began to change things for me. In Matthew 19:27, Peter has actually just asked Jesus a question, ‘We have left everything to follow you! What then will there be for us?’”
“Jesus doesn’t rebuke Peter and say, ‘Oh come on Peter, service is its own reward.’ He says, ‘I tell you the truth, at the renewal of all things, the Son of Man sits on his glorious throne’ (Matthew 19:28). Then he gets very specific because he knows that hope doesn’t work if unless it’s tangible; it can’t be vague and it can’t be foggy. He says, ‘everyone who has left houses or brothers or sisters or father or mother or wife or children or fields for my sake will receive a hundred times as much and will inherit eternal life’ (Matthew 19:29).”
Through this passage, John was reassured that the loss he was experiencing on earth was not eternal. For every loss, there is a tangible, eternal hope available through Jesus Christ.
John Eldredge is an author, a counselor, and a teacher. He is also president of Ransomed Heart, a ministry devoted to helping people discover the heart of God, recover their own hearts in God’s love, and learn to live in God’s kingdom. John is author of several books including All Things New: Heaven, Earth, and the Restoration of Everything You Love.