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What is your best possible interpretation of what heaven will be like?
More importantly though, how would knowing the best possible interpretation impact the way you live today? How would your quality of life improve?
Can We Know What Heaven Will Be Like?
I like to spend time thinking about heaven because it lifts my spirit to remember that the difficulties of present-day life won’t last forever. God has something much better planned. By reading only 1 Corinthians 2:9, it’s easy to believe that no one can understand how great heaven will be.
But it is just as the Scriptures say,1 Corinthians 2:9 (CEV)
“What God has planned
for people who love him
is more than eyes have seen
or ears have heard.
It has never even
entered our minds!”
But, The Living Bible (TLB) translation communicates the full idea in context:
That is what is meant by the Scriptures which say that no mere man has ever seen, heard, or even imagined what wonderful things God has ready for those who love the Lord.1 Corinthians 2:9 (TLB)
No mere man has ever. A “mere man” is one who isn’t connected to God by the Holy Spirit. If you have the Spirit of God living inside of you, then you aren’t a mere man.
God’s Spirit has shown you everything. His Spirit finds out everything, even what is deep in the mind of God.1 Corinthians 2:10 (CEV)
The TLB drives home the point further:
But we know about these things because God has sent his Spirit to tell us, and his Spirit searches out and shows us all of God’s deepest secrets.1 Corinthians 2:10 (TLB)
You can know more about heaven than you realize. What is your best possible interpretation of what heaven will be like? What is the Holy Spirit telling you about heaven?
What We Know About Heaven
I like John 14:2 because I can picture a permanent home that God has for me.
Revelation 21:4 and 22:3 assure me that pain and suffering will be no more.
With sin and suffering gone, what will remain? You might feel like your current life isn’t worth living, but what about a perfect heaven? Will there be anything worth doing? Will you be bored?
It’s hard not to think about what you feel most deprived of on earth instead of what will be most positive in heaven. To get around this, try asking what heaven will be like at two distinct times.
First, when you are at your worst. If you’ve exercised for a while without access to water, you’d equate heaven to a glass of water. Before you object, consider how much Esau gave up when he was famished (see Genesis 25).
Now, let’s assume you’re well fed, had a good night’s sleep, and you’re in a good mood. You’re happy. What do you imagine heaven will be like? It will still be way better.
Even though I don’t know specifically what we’ll be doing, I know we won’t be bored. God has something better planned. Your afterlife days will always be better than your best present-day life.
Without sin to distract us and sabotage our progress, we’ll focus on building something bigger than ourselves. As Christ’s bride, we can partner with Christ to accomplish something greater than the best of things we have now.
Are you frustrated with having to make decisions all the time? Some decisions are heartbreaking because there’s no optimal option – only the lessor of two evils. But in heaven, such difficult decisions won’t exist.
I’m looking forward to heaven where I can have my cake and eat it too. I won’t have to worry about the FOMO (the fear of missing out). In heaven, we’ll never be out of step (out of unity) with God and His purposes. We’ll have time for both community and individual interests.
Heaven will be like a multi-layered cake. We’ll be able to taste all the layers at the same time in a perfect mixture. The reality of heaven will allow us to experience true:
- Devotion: we can worship without rebellion.
- Identity: we can create without obstacles.
- Productivity: we can serve without fatigue.
- Intimacy: we can fellowship without fear or shame.
- Understanding: we can learn without confusion.
- Peace: we can rest without worry. (a)
For now, you’ll need to find some way to balance your life. Sometimes, you can eat half your cake, and sometimes you might not get any at all. But however much cake you have, you can be satisfied with that, especially when you can have some idea of what having the whole piece must taste like.
How are you struggling to keep your life balanced? What aspect of heaven do you daydream about? What is your best possible interpretation of what heaven will be like? Share your picture of heaven in a comment.
Matt Pavlik is a licensed professional clinical counselor who wants to see each individual restored to their true identity. He has more than 20 years of experience counseling individuals and couples at his Christian counseling practice, New Reflections Counseling. Matt and Georgette have been married since 1999 and live with their four children in Centerville, Ohio.