Looking Forward With Joy
Snow means different things to different people. For some, snow days are about shoveling driveways and tricky commutes. For others, snow means e-learning and Zoom classes. However, for another group, snow is all about wonder and winter activities. My three little girls definitely fall into the latter category; they love to play in God’s winter wonderland, making snowmen, snow angels, and engaging in the occasional snowball fight. They also love to sled. Unfortunately, our property is about as flat as a pancake, which doesn’t make for very good sledding. That usually means my girls will beg me to take them to a few places in town with good hills.
This all played out recently. The snow came, the girls were anxious to go sledding, and unfortunately, I was busy. But after some additional prompting, I committed. You should have seen the girls’ reaction; they went from being anxious about possibly not getting to go to looking forward to the event (read jumping up and down) – and all because they believed I would make good on my word! When we reached the appointed time, we all piled into the van in our snow gear, and the girls had a blast.
I think there’s a spiritual lesson here for us. In Scripture, God promises that Christians will join Him in heaven. 1 Thessalonians 5:9-11 reads: 9 For God has not destined us for wrath, but to obtain salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ, 10 who died for us so that whether we are awake or asleep we might live with Him. 11 Therefore encourage one another and build one another up, just as you are doing.
The verb translated “destined” means, “to destine or appoint someone to or for something.” Biblically, the word “destiny” is used regularly to describe God’s determination of events. In other words, if God says it will happen - we should believe it! There is indeed wrath coming for all who are unbelieving and disobedient, but not for God’s faithful. Paul goes out of his way to tell the Christians at Thessalonica (and therefore us) that God has NOT destined us for wrath, but to obtain salvation through Jesus.
Just like I made an appointment with my girls to take them sledding, in Christ God has made us a divine appointment. If we are faithful to the end, God has destined us for salvation; it is His will and His desire. Therefore, we need to be encouraging each other with these words! Just like my girls looked forward to their appointment on the sledding hill, we should look forward to our eternal destination. In fact, my kids spent the next few days gleefully talking with each other about their upcoming appointment with “Dad”, and as God’s children, we should be doing the same. I hope you look forward with joy to being with our Father throughout eternity; I know I do!