Hope | “If you could have light and heal,” wrote Richard Baxter, “why are you not more in the sunshine?”  Baxter was an English pastor in the 1600s. He battled sickness after sickness his entire life, once saying that he was “seldom an hour free from pain.” At 35, when he nearly died, he found comfort in meditating on heaven, where his pain would be no more.
Resurrection | When Job’s friends were done with their first round of “comforting” him, Job wanted to talk to God, not them: “What you know, I also know; I am not inferior to you … I desire to argue my case with God” . He lamented that even a tree could have more hope than he could: “For there is hope for a tree, it will be cut down, that it will sprout again” . Yet, he wondered, “If a man dies, shall he live again?” 
Eternity | God has set eternity on every man’s heart  and, in Christ, we have seen the first fruits of our resurrection . Therefore, our suffering is not the end of the story; our resurrection is. Baxter wrote how this hope of glory was thrilling to him in his suffering: “What a day that will be, when we, who have been kept prisoners by sin, by sinners, by the grave, shall be brought out by the Lord himself! It will not be such a coming as his first was, in poverty and contempt, to be spit upon, and buffeted … If a star must lead men from remote parts to come to worship the child in a manger; how will the glory of his next appearing constrain all the world to acknowledge his sovereignty! If, riding on [a donkey], he entered Jerusalem with hosannas; with what peace and glory will he come toward the New Jerusalem! If, when he was in the form of a servant, they cried out, ‘What manner of man is this, that even the winds and the seas obey him?’; what will they say when they shall see him coming in his glory, and the heavens and earth obey him?” 
Prayer | Lord, Yesterday, we reflected on your delight in turning the weak into the strong. Today, we rejoice that, when you come again, you will come in glory and honor. You will redeem our suffering. Therefore, let our hearts meditate on heaven and long for your return. Amen.