For here we do not have a lasting city, but we are seeking the city which is to come.
– Hebrews 13:14
Jesus experienced suffering in this life…and then was glorified forever. Though we don’t suffer as much as He did in this life nor will we be as glorified in the next, yet our lives should follow that same pattern. This is the pattern revealed in all these scriptures, upon which we have focused in one daily devotion or another (emphasis added throughout):
“Was it not necessary for the Christ to suffer these things and to enter into His glory?”
– Luke 24:26 (Jesus speaking)
And according to Paul’s custom, he went to them, and for three Sabbaths reasoned with them from the Scriptures, explaining and giving evidence that the Christ had to suffer and rise again from the dead, and saying, “This Jesus whom I am proclaiming to you is the Christ.” (Paul speaking)
– Acts 17:2-3
…if indeed we suffer with Him so that we may also be glorified with Him. For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory that is to be revealed to us.
– Romans 8:17-18 (Paul writing)
…the prophets who prophesied of the grace that would come to you made careful searches and inquiries, seeking to know what person or time the Spirit of Christ within them was indicating as He predicted the sufferings of Christ and the glories to follow.
– 1 Peter 1:10-11 (Peter writing)
After you have suffered for a little while, the God of all grace, who called you to His eternal glory in Christ, will Himself perfect, confirm, strengthen and establish you.
– 1 Peter 5:10 (Peter writing)
How wonderful that “this city” – this life on this earth – is not the “lasting” one! Rather, the lasting city is the city to come – in heaven! No, we do not know exactly what that experience will be like. Can the baby in the womb imagine what life will be like outside it? Can the acorn buried in the ground imagine what life will be like as an oak tree?
No, we cannot describe in detail the life which is to come, but we do know two all-important things about it: 1) it will not include suffering as we see on this earth…and 2) it will not end.
(Remember that prayer is more about listening than talking. Use the words below to start yourself, but then allow time to reflect more on the Scripture above before you say the “Amen.” During that time of quiet reflection, let God shape your thoughts and wait for a sense of peace to come. That’s your signal to say “Amen” and go forth to the day.)
Lord, thank You for giving us something so much better than what we have…(this is where you remain quiet to let Him work in your thoughts)… Amen.
(All scriptures, unless otherwise noted, are taken from the NASB.)