Our Bible verse for today: “Son”, Abraham said, ‘remember that during your life you received your good things, just as Lazarus received bad things, but now he is comforted here, while you are in agony.” Luke 16:25 (CSB)
Our thought for today: “Things will be different in heaven.”
In Luke 16:10-31 Jesus told a story about a rich man and a poor beggar named Lazarus. In the story the rich man enjoyed a comfortable and leisurely life while Lazarus endured a life of poverty and sickness. The picture Jesus paints for us is of a rich man who reveled in his luxury and who seemed unconcerned about this poor sick beggar right there in front of him. Lazarus longed for scrapes and crumbs of food that might fall from the rich man’s table, but there’s no indication that the rich man helped him or even noticed him.
Then they both died. Lazarus went to heaven and enjoyed an eternity of pleasure and joy, while the rich man went to hell and experienced agony and suffering. In eternity their situations had been completely reversed.
Someone once commented to Billy Graham that they were sure that he (Billy) would have an exalted place in heaven because of his tremendous faithful service in this lifetime. Billy responded (I’m paraphrasing), “I’m not so sure about that. I am sure that I will be in heaven, and that I will be eternally happy, but God has blessed me so much in this lifetime with abilities and resources and talented people to help me. In heaven I think the bigger blessings belong to those who didn’t have the things that I have had and who lived faithful lives serving God and blessing others anyway.”
I think that will be true for my daughter Tracy too, and for other mentally and physically handicapped people like her. They go through this life without the mental capacity, physical ability, or resources that the average person has. There is so much in this life that they don’t have and which they cannot do because of their physical and mental limitations. But I think God will more than make that up for them in heaven. They have little now, but they will have a lot then.
Our world is filled with people who, through no fault of their own, go through life in deep poverty, or with physical and mental limitations, or they live a short life in a torturous prison in North Korea, or in some other way suffer tremendously while the rest of us have it comparatively easy. It seems so unfair.
But in terms of eternity this life is a puff of smoke which is here today and gone tomorrow. This is why Paul writes in 2 Corinthians 4:17-18, “For our momentary light affliction is producing for us an absolutely incomparable eternal weight of glory. So we do not focus on what is seen, but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.” Things will be different in heaven. Many situations will be reversed. I believe there will be rewards in heaven for those who suffer and do without in this lifetime, but who are faithful to God and a blessing to others anyway.
Your life matters, and that’s true regardless of your circumstances. Be faithful to God now, and He will bless you later.