Author: Ron Graham
In this study, we consider the sixth element of spiritual wellbeing, namely an eager hope.
Philippians 3:20. Paul states the Christian view when he says, "Our citizenship is in heaven, from which we also eagerly wait for the Saviour, the Lord Jesus Christ" (Philippians 3:20).
Limiting the "better world" concept to this world, is called "the social gospel" and that so-called gospel results from the intrusion of humanism into Christian teaching. Humanism discards God, eternal life, heaven, and spiritual hope. Humanism, when disguising itself as Christianity, does not discard those terms, but it discards what they mean and uses them for something else.
A hope of heaven is not irrelevant to our life on earth. We do not have hope in this world only, but our hope of heaven makes our life in this world worthwhile.
Philippians 1:20. Paul states this view at a personal level when he says, "According to my earnest expectation and hope... for me to live is Christ and to die is gain" (Philippians 1:20). Paul hoped that his own life in this world would magnify Christ, and Paul's altruism toward people like the Philippians is clear.
But that is only part of the story. To die was gain because beyond this life and this world lay a better life eternal, and a better world by far.
Notice the adjective and adverb used to describe this attitude of hope in the life to come. It is an expectation described as "earnest" and something awaited "eagerly".
Perhaps this expectation may be likened to the feeling we have all experienced when we have been at length away from home. When the day for our homecoming draws near, there is such a sense of eager expectation. Do we feel like that about the homecoming to end all homecomings, do we feel like that about the big day yonder when we will see our heavenly home?
Philippians 3:14. Paul states his own eagerness: "I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus." You too can expect your own upward call from God. Are you earnestly pressing on toward it and eagerly waiting for it with joy?