Rainbows gleam and draw us out of the ordinary-whisking us away from everyday life and allow us to stop and dream. As we traverse this earth, we so often forget that there are greater things than failing an exam or receiving unjust criticism. We are too caught up in the moment. In every life, there will be times of intense pain and periods of soaring joy when truth stares us in the face.
What is that truth?
There is hope. No matter what disaster befalls, there is something beyond what we see.
Often to a friend in the midst of a trial, I will pray that they won’t forget the hope in Heaven. I’m asking for more than the world’s version-the simple hope that the blue sky lives behind the grey, that there will be sunshine after a rain, that color will burst through the blackness.
Colossians 1:3-5 says, “We always thank God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, when we pray for you, since we heard of your faith in Christ Jesus and of the love that you have for all the saints, because of the hope laid up for you in heaven. Of this you have heard before in the word of the truth, the gospel.” (Emphasis mine.)
If one doesn’t understand the gospel, every future pleasure is dimmed by the undeniable fact of death. If one believes death will wipe out existence, then your hope is temporal. We, in ourselves, cannot have lasting hope.
The hope in Heaven is above the world’s dim imitation.
I am not speaking of Heaven as we usually conceive it-a happy reunion and absence of suffering.
No, the Hope in Heaven is more than a vague feeling of complacency or no tears.
The Hope in Heaven is a Person-with whom we must first be reconciled.
This is the hope of eternally living with the God who imagined rainbows and set them in the sky.
Have you ever wondered why He made rainbows a bow? Why not a straight line? Or a spiral? He designed that ethereal weapon as a symbol of His grace to mankind. It was not a sign of peace, but an archer’s bow. It was set against the blue in preparation for battle.
God colored the misty bow and promised that He would never again destroy the earth with a flood. Yet a deeper meaning hides in the curve. Think-where is the bow pointed? When the arrow is drawn back, will it be sent to the human world, to destroy us again? We certainly deserve to be consumed.
No. The rainbow points to Heaven.
God aimed His arrow at Himself. When He imagined the rainbow, He also shared the rescue plan.
For He knew that only time stood between our new rebellion and His just wrath. But where did He direct His anger? Not back at earth; but at Himself.
He shot not mankind, but the perfect Son of Man.
And when that point pierced the Lord Jesus-a miracle of love became possible.
Christ paid our debt. He lived a perfect fulfillment of the law’s we’ve broken, then atoned for our sins, absorbing the whole of God’s wrath in His innocent body. Now, by leaning wholly on His work-there is a Hope waiting for us.
This is cause for thanks: that those we pray for have faith in the only Savior, Jesus Christ and a sincere love for all the saints-on the secure foundation of the hope laid up in Heaven.
God has given us the peace we don’t deserve and laid the wrath we did on someone who deserved His peace, and we call the whole Grace.
You now have a hope in Heaven-not Heaven itself but God, who makes Heaven a delight. This place of ecstasy is a perfect communion with the Supreme One-all barriers of flesh and space removed, and the relationship begun at the moment you trusted in Christ alone will be perfected. If God were not in Heaven, it would be Hell. It’s not Heaven, but what is in Heaven, oneness and complete wholeness with God, that we look forward to.
When the world’s hope dims, when your heart is sore, when you wonder at tragedy, when you doubt God’s love-remember the rainbow. God absorbed the wrath we deserved, so that we might have peace with Him. You have that peace-you have His assurance of love, His grace for the day’s perplexities, and forever a hope that someday the mist will be removed, and you will enter His throne and kneel. A rainbow of glory encircles His dais. Angels shield their faces from the radiance of His holiness.
This is the One whose love for you is fierce and unabating. This is your Father. This is your Hope.
He beckons to you: “Come near, my child.”
That beam of brilliance, sharper than Saturn’s rings blinds your eyes-but it wasn’t entirely their fault. As you knee before the King of kings, you recall those moments of doubt and failure, and tears fill your eyes, sobs rack your frame.
But the King rises from His seat of majesty. And He leans down to wipe your tears away.
This God loves you.
You have a Hope that Lives: God Himself.
As you walk this life made up of moments, face trials great and small, hurt and laugh and wait, “set your minds on things above, not things of earth.” (Colossians 3:2)
“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! According to his great mercy, he has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, to an inheritance that is imperishable, undefiled, and unfading, kept in heaven for you, who by God’s power are being guarded through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.” 1 Peter 1:3-5, emphasis mine
Never forget the hope you have.