If I am right
about this both spiritually and theologically speaking,
this might also help us understand something about
First off, we will all be happy for all eternity in
Heaven. Joyously, incredibly happy. However
(and this might sound strange, so hear me out), some of us
are going to receive a greater share of rewards in which
joy will be increased. Let me borrow the
illustration used by Therese of Lisieux's
in her book Diary of a Soul. Her sister set out two
glasses. One glass was large and the other one was
small. She then filled both of them with water up to
the rims. "Which of them is more full?" she asked.
The answer is neither one was more full. They were both
filled to capacity.
As a side note
let me quote the following. Matthew 6: Truly, I say
to you, they have received their reward. But when you give
to the needy, do not let your left hand know what your
right hand is doing, so that your giving may be in secret.
And your Father who sees in secret will reward you. ďAnd
when you pray, you must not be like the hypocrites. For
they love to stand and pray in the synagogues and at the
street corners, that they may be seen by others. Truly, I
say to you, they have received their reward..."
Some people have received their rewards on earth, but
those rewards pale in comparison to those received in
Heaven. The have it all now preachers just don't get
will have the capacity to be more happy - more joyous in
Heaven even though we will all be as happy as we can
be. Well how do we get bigger glasses in
heaven? How do we get a greater capacity for
joy? It might tie in to how much we allow the Holy
Spirit to stretch us right now... and we become more
malleable, more pliable by how much suffering breaks down
the fleshly man here on earth. Paul intimated this
in Romans 8. "18 For I consider that the sufferings
of this present time are not worthy to be compared with
the glory which shall be revealed in us. 19 For the
earnest expectation of the creation eagerly waits for the
revealing of the sons of God. 20 For the creation was
subjected to futility, not willingly, but because of Him
who subjected it in hope."
Joni Eareckson Tada has spent her life in a wheelchair. She
has suffered daily while serving the Lord. She has
suffered more than I can begin to imagine. Will
her rewards be greater? I have no doubt
whatsoever. In the sense that she will receive
greater rewards, she will be happier in heaven.
How can that be true if I am as happy and as joyful in
Heaven as I can be? How could anyone possibly be
happier than me? The simple answer might be that
her capacity for joy is greater. To borrow Therese of
Lisieux's illustration again, her glass is
I heard a story
once that was difficult to understand. A woman
who had suffered much in life went on a retreat.
Upon arriving, a nun listened to the woman's
story. When the woman finished, the nun said,
"God must love you very much."
Hebews 12:6 For
whom the Lord loveth he chasteneth, and scourgeth
every son whom he receiveth.
earthly life we endure suffering. A non-Christian
suffers and so does a Christian. Some suffer more
than others. Some people get meaner and harder from
the suffering they endure. But, those who open up to
the Holy Spirit are stretched. In order to stretch,
they die to self. They are made bigger
vessels. Their capacity is stretched so that in
Heaven they will contain greater joy. We say He is
the potter and we are the clay. This is so true!
In art class
we made clay pots. Some weren't very pretty.
Those inferior pots were mashed and remade into better
ones. You might say the inferior pot suffers in the
process. But the new pot is better, prettier and
more capable of better use and appreciation.
words from 1 Peter 4:13. "But rejoice that you share
in the sufferings of Christ, so that you may be overjoyed
at the revelation of His glory."
Do these thoughts help us come closer to understanding why
God allows suffering in our lives? I hope so.
I don't want to suffer. I hate suffering. But,
we are PROMISED that our present sufferings prepare us for
greater things for all eternity. It will all be
revealed to us in Heaven. No wonder we so long so
much to go home. No wonder we yearn for the
rapture. No wonder all of creation groans!
Be blessed. God loves you very much.