Is there a growing tension between what is in your heart and what is
in the world? Do you feel a growing sense of oppression from the
environment around you which is hostile to your faith and cherished
values? Does your hunger and thirst for righteousness go unfulfilled?
Do you feel like a stranger in your own country and in your own world?
Then you probably belong to the world to come of which only the
redeemed will have a part.
This is the loneliness and pain we should embrace – and never seek
to be free of it while we are forced to dwell here in Satan’s
domain. This sense of oppression and unsatisfied thirst for
righteousness are positive signs that we are children of God. Though
the oppression we feel against our souls from a godless world causes
us continual discomfort, we need to endure it. It makes us long for
and love Christ’s appearing. Through this discomfort God is
preparing us for heaven.
Unfortunately, the more God fits us for heaven, the less we fit in
this world. But we endure the discomfort, knowing that this world is
passing away, but the world to come will endure for eternity (1 John
As an unborn child grows, it reaches the point when it is no longer
fit for the confining environment of the womb. It is ready to be born
The monarch butterfly larva lives an earth-bound existence and does
nothing but gorge itself on leaves. Then it encases itself in a
chrysalis. While the chrysalis might be a suitable environment for a
caterpillar, it is no place for a monarch butterfly. The brilliantly
beautiful butterfly fights its way out of its prison. And in the
process of freeing itself, the monarch butterfly develops its muscles
and forces fluids from its plump body into its rainbow wings. It is
born anew, no longer earth-bound, but now heaven-soaring.
In the same way God is bringing His children to the point at which
this world can no longer hold them. God’s sanctifying work in their
lives has made them more fit for heaven, yet totally unfit for this
sinful world below. Soon Christ will return and resurrect those who
are His and He will gather them to Himself to dwell with Him eternally
(John 5:28-29; 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18).
Until that day, we are faced with a choice every day. Are we to be
this world’s or God’s? Do we remain true to the Lord and His
commandments or do we allow ourselves to be conformed to this world
(Romans 12:1-2)? If we continue to embrace Jesus Christ, then His work
of redemption in us will make us yearn for heaven more and more. But
it will also make the sin of this world increasingly offensive to us.
Therefore, accept this temporary pain and endure to the end (Matthew
24:12-13). Christ will soon appear and He will eclipse all the
suffering of this life with the glory and joy of heaven.