"The Desire for Heaven" - Monday, July 4th

"The Desire for Heaven" - Monday, July 4th

Whom have I in heaven but You? And besides You, I desire nothing on earth. My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever. For, behold, those who are far from You will perish; You have silenced forever all those who refuse to put their trust in you. But as for me, the nearness of God is my good; I have made the Lord God my refuge, that I may tell of all Your works. Psalm 73:25-28

How lovely are Your dwelling places, O Lord of hosts! My soul longed and even yearned for the courts of the Lord; my heart and my flesh sing for joy to the living God …. How blessed are those who dwell in Your house! They are ever praising You …. For a day in Your courts is better than a thousand outside. I would rather stand at the threshold of the house of my God than dwell in the tents of wickedness …. O Lord of hosts, how blessed is the one who trusts in You! Psalm 84; 1-2, 4, 10, 12

Today's thoughts from today's verses:

Today’s Scripture comes from two Psalms. One of the most reoccurring words in the Psalms (there are 150 Psalms) is the word “trouble.” Job said “For man is born for trouble as sparks fly upward.” Jesus said, “In the world you have tribulation (trouble).” One of the good remnants of slavery in our country are Negro Spirituals. The Spirituals convey the severe suffering and hardship the slaves in our country experienced. A widespread culture arose among slaves that embraced Christianity and the Bible. They identified mightily with Israel’s experience of slavery in Egypt and their journey to the promised land. They also identified mightily with Jesus who could emancipate them from earthly trouble by taking them to glory (heaven). They expected no promised land here on earth from which to escape their misery. Heaven became the promised land of blessing that would free them from all their trouble, suffering, and sorrow. Below is the Negro Spiritual, “Nobody Knows the Trouble I’ve Seen.”

“Nobody Knows the Trouble I’ve Seen”

Nobody knows the trouble I've seen
Nobody knows my sorrow
Nobody knows the trouble I've seen
Glory hallelujah

Sometimes I'm up
Sometimes I'm down
Oh, yes, Lord
Sometimes I'm almost to the groun'
Oh, yes, Lord

Nobody knows the trouble I've seen
Nobody knows my sorrow
Nobody knows the trouble I've seen
Glory hallelujah

Although you see me goin' 'long so
Oh, yes, Lord
I have my trials here below
Oh, yes, Lord

Nobody knows the trouble I've seen
Nobody knows my sorrow
Nobody knows the trouble I've seen
Glory hallelujah

If you get there before I do
Oh, yes, Lord
Tell all-a my friends I’m coming to Heaven!
Oh, yes, Lord

Like the American slaves that longed for heaven, there is a yearning in all of us that longs for a place where everything is as it should be. Yes, there is in every one of us a yearning for heaven, the only place that is free from trouble, suffering, and sorrow. This yearning is seen in today’s Scripture. Many of the Psalms are attributed to David but Psalm 73 is attributed to Asaph and Psalm 84 is attributed to Korah. Each Psalm reflects a desire to escape the corruption the exists on earth and to be with God in glory. Read the passages again looking for these things. Then personally reflect on how the desire for Heaven can help you go forward with life here on earth in the best possible way.  

Today's prayer response from today's thoughts:

Lord, I want to become one who values you, your presence, and heaven, my future home in glory, over anything and everything here on earth. Show me how to navigate well my life here on earth as I stay close to you and long for the day when I will be with you forever in heaven.  Amen!

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