Is Heaven Worth It?
Paul was a man who endured much hardship in life. He wrote, “…But whatever anyone else dares to boast of—I am speaking as a fool—I also dare to boast of that. Are they Hebrews? So am I. Are they Israelites? So am I. Are they offspring of Abraham? So am I. Are they servants of Christ? I am a better one—I am talking like a madman—with far greater labors, far more imprisonments, with countless beatings, and often near death. Five times I received at the hands of the Jews the forty lashes less one. Three times I was beaten with rods. Once I was stoned. Three times I was shipwrecked; a night and a day I was adrift at sea; on frequent journeys, in danger from rivers, danger from robbers, danger from my own people, danger from Gentiles, danger in the city, danger in the wilderness, danger at sea, danger from false brothers; in toil and hardship, through many a sleepless night, in hunger and thirst, often without food, in cold and exposure. And, apart from other things, there is the daily pressure on me of my anxiety for all the churches” (2 Corinthians 11:21-28). Yes, Paul was a man who suffered much throughout his life.
Yet, despite all of this, he looked forward to a house not made with hands (2 Corinthians 5:1), the riches of God’s grace (Ephesians 2:7), a glorious transformation (Philippians 3:20-21), a crown of righteousness (2 Timothy 4:8), and a heavenly kingdom (2 Timothy 4:18). In Romans 8:18, Paul wrote, “For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory that is to be revealed to us.” Some look at their circumstances and believe that God has somehow turned His back on them, that He has withdrawn His love from them. But Paul understood that no matter what we are experiencing, God and God’s love are always there for us, that God has something far better waiting for us.
In Romans 8:31-39, a wonderful description of the lasting, protective love of God is given. There Paul wrote, “If God is for us, who can be against us? He who did not spare his own Son but gave him up for us all, how will he not also with him graciously give us all things? Who shall bring any charge against God's elect? It is God who justifies. Who is to condemn? Christ Jesus is the one who died—more than that, who was raised—who is at the right hand of God, who indeed is interceding for us. Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or danger, or sword? ... No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.” The challenges, difficulties, frustrations and hardships we face in this life cannot separate us from the love of God. The cost of living this life is far outweighed by what God has waiting for us.
We ought to always remember, Heaven will surely be worth it all!