The spy-glass of faith!
(Theodore Cuyler, "Words of Cheer for Christian Pilgrims")
"This is not your resting place, because it is defiled, it is ruined, beyond all remedy!" Micah 2:10. This world is not our rest. It is only—our temporary lodging-place, our battle-ground to fight sin and Satan, our vineyard in which to labor for our Master until sundown, our training-school for the development of character and growth in grace.
In a little while, perhaps within a few days for some of us—the veil which hides the eternal world may drop—and the gates of the Father's house may open before our astonished vision! If heaven is ready for Christ's redeemed people—then surely they should be making ready for heaven. We ought to think more about our everlasting home. If our treasures are there, then our hearts should be there also—in frequent and joyful anticipations.
A Christian, to whom Jesus Christ is real, and the glories of the world to come are real, and who has set his affections set on things above—must inevitably have some deep meditations about his eternal home, and his magnificent inheritance. He loves to read about it, and gathers up eagerly the few grand, striking things which his Bible tells him about that glorious City of God.
Sometimes, when cares press heavily, or bodily pains wax sharp, or bereavements darken his house—he gets homesick, and he says, "Oh that I had wings like a dove! for then would I fly away, and be at rest!" Psalm 55:6
Such devout meditations do not prove any Christian to be a dreamy mystic. They are not the pious sentimentalizings of mourners to whom this world has lost all its charm; nor of enthusiasts whose religion evaporates in mere emotion. The hundred-handed Paul constantly reminds his fellow-workers that "Our citizenship is in heaven. And we eagerly await a Savior from there, the Lord Jesus Christ!" Philippians 3:20
It is no wonder that some professors do not catch more distinct glimpses of the celestial world—as their vision is obscured. A very small object when held close to the eye—will hide the noonday sun. Just so, a professor may hold a dollar so close to the eye of his soul—as to shut out both Christ and heaven!
Fish shut up in a dark cavern for a long time—become blind. In the same way, we will lose the faculty of spiritual sight—if we shut ourselves up in a cavern of carking worldliness!
Those whose hearts are in heaven, and who keep it constantly before their view, have abundant sources of spiritual joy. They renew their strength as they push upward and heavenward. What is it to them—
that the road is long;
that the hills of difficulty are steep;
that there are often lions in the way;
that there are crosses to be carried;
and that not far ahead—is that river of
death over which there is no bridge!
None of these things disturb them! Heaven lies at the end of the way—clothed in its glorious light! From the hilltops they can, with the spy-glass of faith, bring heaven so near—that they can see its gates, and its streets of shining gold, and the Lamb on His throne!
These views of our imperishable inheritance of glory, ought to quicken our zeal greatly. The time is short—and shortening every day! It is certain, that he who doesn't love Christ—doesn't love heaven; and he who doesn't love heaven—will never see heaven.
A godly life is just a tarrying and a toiling in this earthly tent for Christ—until we go into the heavenly mansions with Christ! Brethren! the miles to heaven are few and short; let us be found busy in heart and hand when the summons sounds, "Come up here!" And they rose to heaven! Revelation 11:12