Monday, September 28, 2009

The Rapture of the Forward View

"Forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before" (Philippians 3:13).

Scripture encourages us to remember all the way that the Lord has brought us thus far, for in each memory is a meaningful look into the way He works, and the great love He bears for each one of us as He carries us through Life's many, many episodes.

Pity the one who has no memory of such Providential occurrences. Yet, to live too long in memory, and to over-dwell upon that which is past, may actually work against us -- if it is not balanced with the rapture of the forward view.

We have much to look forward to as we press onward and upward to Zion's Hill, where there is a City whose Builder and Maker is God; a place where there is no need of sun nor moon; for the Lord is the light of that blessed place.

There, just beyond the pearly gates, awaits a glory for each one of us that will indeed make whatever it is we are going through now on our journey fade into oblivion.

Paul said that "the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory that shall be revealed in us" (Romans 8:18).

And elsewhere he repeated himself just to make sure we didn't miss what he meant -- "For our present troubles are small and won't last very long. Yet they produce for us a glory that vastly outweighs them and will last forever! So we don't look at the troubles we can see now; rather, we fix our gaze on things that cannot be seen. For the things we see now will soon be gone, but the things we cannot see will last forever." (2 Corinthians 4:17-18).

Have you sorrow and heartbreak? Disappointment, and setbacks? Ridicule and rejection? Questions with no answers? Have your labors gone seemingly unrewarded, your efforts continually unappreciated, and your victories apparently uncelebrated?

Then lift up your head and cast a glance by faith at what awaits you ere you reach the summit of your fondest longings.

There, in that exalted place of unending joy, we will surround the Throne with praise. There we shall see His face; and never, never sin! There, from the rivers of His grace, we will drink in limitless supplies of endless pleasures.

And, even now, the holy hill of Zion yields a thousand sacred sweets before we reach the heav’nly fields, or walk the golden streets! Thus, as we journey, let our songs abound and every tear be dry! For even now we are passing through Immanuel’s ground to fairer worlds on high!! (adapted from the old hymn, Marching to Zion)

Oh, the rapture of the forward view!

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