Victory in Tough Times
By Maria Fontaine
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I was asking Jesus how I could encourage you about any difficulties that you (or a friend or loved one) may be experiencing. The Lord told me to remind you about the life to come. When I revisit some of the scriptures on the glory of heaven, compared to the pain, sorrows, and problems of this life, it’s a wonderful assurance to know that, as the old song goes:
After the toil and the heat of the day,
After my troubles are past,
After my sorrows are taken away—
I shall see Jesus at last!
After the heartaches and sighing shall cease,
After the cold winter’s blast,
After the conflict comes glorious peace—
I shall see Jesus at last!1
We have a wonderful future ahead, my dear friends! Let’s not get so focused on the difficulties of the present that we fail to keep heaven always in mind. God knew that you and I and all His children would need His assurances of our heavenly future. Why do you suppose He gave us so many specific promises in the Bible, as well as many in prophecy?
His Word tells us to “think on the good things, the true things, the pure things, the lovely things, those things that are excellent and praiseworthy and of good report.”2 What a fitting description of heaven! Could we ever think on something more wonderful?!
John told us about the new heaven and new earth, and I think it bears repeating when we need to adjust our focus upward.
Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and the sea was no more.
I saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Behold, the dwelling place of God is with man. He will dwell with them, and they will be his people, and God himself will be with them and be their God.
“He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away.” And he who was seated on the throne said, “Behold, I am making all things new.” Also he said, “Write this down, for these words are trustworthy and true.”3
After this I looked, and behold, a great multitude that no one could number, from every nation, from all tribes and peoples and languages, standing before the throne and before the Lamb, clothed in white robes, with palm branches in their hands.4
In this world we have no lasting city, but we’re seeking the city that is to come: “a city that has foundations, whose designer and builder is God.”5
Eventually, we’re going to arrive in that “better place, that is, a heavenly one” that we’re desiring and looking for. “No eye has seen, nor ear heard, nor has the heart of man imagined what God has prepared for those who love him.”6
Jesus has personally gone “to prepare that place for us: in which righteousness dwells.”7 “For we know that if the tent that is our earthly home is destroyed, we have a building from God, a house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens. And I heard a voice from heaven saying, ‘Write this: Blessed are the dead who die in the Lord.’”8
We are going to receive “an inheritance that is imperishable, undefiled, and unfading, reserved in heaven for us.”9 “Our citizenship is in heaven, and because of it we await a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ, who will transform our lowly body to be like his glorious body, by the power that enables him to bring everything under his authority.”10
Jesus said: “In my Father’s house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also.”11
Listen to this beautiful message that He gave us in prophecy:
One day I am going to break through the thin veneer of your sky and shower My radiance, brilliance, magnificence, and majesty upon the earth. Angels will herald My second coming. The air will be filled with the sound of trumpets. You will hear the most beautiful music you have ever heard. If you’ve come into My arms before My return, the glory I have clothed you with will become apparent to all who live on the earth.
For those still in this earth life when I return, the moment that you rise up to meet Me, our eyes will lock and My love and joy will fill your being. My transforming power will wipe away the cares and heartaches of this earth life and everything that has polluted and injured. Your time on earth will become a tiny speck in the scope of eternity as you rise to embrace Me and enter heaven. You will know then, in that twinkling of an eye, that it was more than worth it!
As you think on what awaits you in your heavenly home, I can lift your spirit and inspire hope about the wonderful things to come. What a beautiful future you have to look forward to! What tremendous promises you have to hold on to as you await My glorious return. It won’t be long now.
(Maria:) We can make God’s promises about heaven a part of our foundation of faith, just as we have done with the knowledge of our salvation. We can stand on these promises during times when things look dark. God didn’t have to tell us in advance of the tremendous realities that await us in heaven. He could have just kept it a surprise. But He knew that this vision of the future would motivate us and help us to continue overcoming the daily earth battles we face.
How can we ever thank Him enough for the absolutely stupendous things ahead? We can show the depths of our appreciation by giving our all to Him and being all that we possibly can be for the One who has given everything for us.
Nevertheless, we are only human, and sometimes our vision gets clouded by the cares of this life. We can start to wonder, “What about the troubles I’m facing at this moment? How am I going to make it from this sometimes awful present time to that glorious heaven to come?” When I asked the Lord how we could find the answer to this dilemma, He said in prophecy:
Do not stop meditating on the heavenly vision. Remember how many times you have turned very difficult situations into opportunities. You have transformed your trials into victories, which is something beautiful in My eyes, and you have been instrumental in others being transformed into children of God!
(Maria:) Dear ones, just think! He’s honored us by giving us the important task of being His representatives on earth. He’s made us ambassadors of light in a world of darkness. We have the time, opportunity, and potential to help make this earth life the most that it can be for us and for others.
As blessed as we are, and as vital as our place is in this world as His messengers, of course we can expect battles, we can expect troubles, we can expect that there will be some struggles as we embrace the high calling and privilege that has been given to each of us. But, even in that, we are not alone. He showers us with His blessings as He guides us through the difficulties of this life. He is always greater than our troubles.
When you need renewal and rejuvenation, when you feel weary, ask Jesus to refresh that heavenly vision. Keep reminding yourself of the realities of heaven. Then, remind yourself of what He’s doing on this earth and the importance of your purpose and place as one of His children. Face your difficulties with faith and courage, knowing that through your example you can give others the opportunity to find hope in Jesus and the truth they hunger for.
Originally published July 2018. Adapted and republished March 2021.
Read by Carol Andrews.
1 “After,” by N. B. Vandall, 1932.
2 See Philippians 4:8.
3 Revelation 21:1–5 ESV.
4 Revelation 7:9 ESV.
5 Hebrews 11:10 ESV.
6 Hebrews 11:16; 1 Corinthians 2:9 ESV.
7 John 14:2; 2 Peter 3:13 ESV.
8 2 Corinthians 5:1; Revelation 14:13 ESV.
9 1 Peter 1:4 ESV.
10 Philippians 3:20–21 ESV.
11 John 14:2–3 KJV.