MTL Christmas - Page 70

An Eternal Perspective A reconciled relationship with God, coupled with an understanding of the biblical teaching of a resurrected Heaven and Earth, assures us utter happiness will be ours forever. This happiness will be fully realized in the promised culmination of God’s redemptive plan, in the New Heaven and New Earth. For various reasons, Christmas can be a difficult season for many people. Yet God comforts His people in suffering, saying, “Look, I am ready to create new heavens and a new happiness now, we’re grateful; when we don’t, we know someday our happiness will be complete and never-ending. God doesn’t say we’ll never have hardship or suffering— He specifically promises we will (John 16:33). We’re not to be surprised when we face difficulties, even around Christmastime. Whether it’s something as insignificant as a burnt turkey or as overwhelming as the loss of a loved one, God tells us: “Beloved, do not be surprised at the fiery trial when it comes upon you to test you, as though something strange were happening to you” (1 Peter 4:12). If we expect God to make our lives easy, our expectations are unbiblical. As Christians, we’ll be delivered from eternal suffering. Even now, God will give us happy foretastes of living in His presence where there is fullness of joy and pleasures forevermore (Psalm 16:11). That’s His promise. And what better time to focus on living in His presence than Christmastime? For more from Rand