Make heaven happen for ourselves?

By Dave Henning / August 31, 2022

“The world, as it is, is not our final home.  No matter how hard we try to make it so, this present world refuses to be our paradise.  We cannot make heaven happen for ourselves because heaven can only be given and received.  When we accept and receive this truth, the revival of our hearts is made more possible.”- Scott Sauls

In Prologue 2 (“A Scented Candle”) of Beautiful People Don’t Just Happen, Scott Sauls observes that every person you meet fights something.  A hard, hidden battle.  Yet, our American culture shapes us to expect comfort.  Hence, we find ourselves vulnerable to cynicism, moroseness, and self-pity.

As a result, we seek relief.  However, Pastor Sauls stresses, such relief must pair with the revival of our hearts.

Most significantly, some heart-reviving lessons preach loudest through pain.  And pain persists until we attend to it.  As C. S. Lewis wrote in The Problem of Pain:

“God whispers to us in our pleasures . . . but shouts to us in our pain.  Pain is his megaphone to rouse a deaf world.”

Furthermore, as we awaken due to God’s pain-megaphone, that redirects our focus.  Instead, we focus on the essential things worth preserving and nurturing.  Also, Pastor Sauls notes, “Mercy reveals itself through weariness.”

In conclusion, Pastor Sauls states, the beautiful people we admire and who change the world for good don’t just happen.  Their defeat, struggle, and suffering birth an appreciation, sensitivity, and understanding of life.  And that fills them with compassion, gentleness, and a deep, loving concern.

Above all, Pastor Sauls adds:

“As we read the Bible it is important to see that so many of the books — both Old Testament and New — were authored by someone who was enslaved, seeking asylum, in prison, facing persecution, or under another form of distress.  Beautiful people do not just happen.  And?  Sometimes the deepest, truest faith feels more like defeat than it does victory.”

Today’s question: In what ways do you try to make heaven happen for yourself?  Please share.

Tomorrow’s blog: “Wearing crash helmets in church”

About the author

Dave Henning

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