…and I will beautify my beautiful house. (Isaiah 60:7 ESV)
Heaven is an interesting topic to discuss. Some people picture heaven like a wispy cloud with eternal boredom accentuated by harp music. Others think heaven is just a big party with Jesus and wine and loved ones and what not. I haven’t been there so I don’t really know what heaven is like, but we do know for sure that heaven will be like living in our Father’s house.
Consider what Jesus told the disciples:
In my Father’s house are many rooms. If it were not so, would I have told you that I go to prepare a place for you? And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and will take you to myself, that where I am you may be also. (John 14:2-3 ESV)
Sounds pretty incredible, doesn’t it? With a renewed body, we will hang out with Jesus after He takes us to Himself so we can be with Him. He is preparing a place for us.
We are so small in the grand scheme of creation, yet highly valued. Do you notice the role we play in the above verses? We are recipients of God’s work. Nowhere does it say that we are beautifying God’s beautiful house or that we are responsible for getting our place ready in heaven. We are recipients – beneficiaries – of God’s grace.
Over the years I have heard many people get bogged down with the concept of Calvinism. Usually they focus on the concept of free will, which they feel is in conflict with God’s sovereignty. I can understand the resolute insistence that we have free will – it just seems natural here on the ground in real life. And we do have a measure of free will. But here is the trump card: God’s sovereignty. If God is all powerful (omnipotent), preeminent, and all-knowing (omniscient) – which He is – our free will plays out within the bounds of His sovereign rule.
Why does this matter? Who cares about Calvinism and what does this have to do with God’s beautiful house?
The reason God’s sovereignty and our position as beneficiaries matters is trust. God is roaring lion powerful and cross-enduring loving. He makes us and breathes each breath into our feeble lungs and Colossians 1:17 says that in Jesus all things hold together. We have much reason to trust. To trust that He is in control of our lives. To trust that He loves us and that our circumstances aren’t a surprise to Him. To trust that suffering produces endurance, endurance produces character, and character produces hope (Romans 5:3-4). No matter what life throws our way, we can trust that life did not in fact throw anything our way but that which God allowed.
Our future as Christians is inconceivably great and our present is better than we deserve. So when life gets hard or confusing, when death knocks on your door, you have but one response: to trust. It’s easy to say but it’s hard to do sometimes – and God will care for you either way – but a position of trust is a position of faith. And this faith is rightly placed in the God of the universe who is already preparing a place for you alongside Himself.
Whatever your life looks like right now, trust the God who cares for you.