Why does it matter? What difference does it make to my life that we have words from God about the future? These “promises”—what are they, really?
My life is described in Peter’s words—once, I was no one, stumbling along in the darkness. Now, I’m a chosen child of God. (Oh, my!) I had no purpose; now, I’m part of a living Temple, where God dwells. Once I lived outside God’s grace and mercy; now my life is privileged, full of God’s grace and mercy (1 Peter 2:9-10).
His Word gives us an identity and a purpose. What we have come to call “His promises” are the Father’s loving instructions to us, showing us how to move through this earthly life and on into the next and letting us know what to expect—in the next hour, tomorrow, and in the age to come.
Because, the thing is—we’re already living that life. We already have tastes of what will eventually come to complete fullness.
Three close friends of Jesus were given actual glimpses into heavenly realms and eternal dimensions. Peter, James, and John were invited to go with Jesus to a mountain for prayer, and there they had a taste of the power of the age to come. They witnessed a scene only visible to heavenly eyes. Later, John had another vision of heaven. He wrote an entire book about what he saw.
From James, we hear nothing about that glimpse into eternal realms. But Peter and John both wrote about their experiences. Both said, We’ve seen the glory of Christ and His Kingdom.
Wow, we think. What would that be like?
We can’t imagine. And yet, Scriptures say, we are even now being given tastes of what is to come.
God has named us His children. He’s given us His Word to guide us through this life. His mercy and grace give us glimpses of the glory to come…tastes today that whet our appetite for tomorrow.
Doesn’t all of that cast a new perspective on your life, child of God?
I think it’s safe to assume that whatever Peter and John wrote to believers was affected by that experience they were given in the realm of the eternal. What did they have to say about how these glimpses should affect our lives?
In the second letter Peter wrote, he begins and ends the letter by stressing the importance of growing in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus. This is what enables us to live peaceful, pure, blameless lives. This is what brings peace and grace to our lives. This is what keeps us from being deceived by the lies around us. Grow in your knowledge of Jesus. It changes everything.
John, after the revelations he was given, wrote that God blesses all who listen to the message of the prophecy and obey what it says… (Revelation 1:3).
The prophecies, the promises, the Word of God, His revealing Himself to us through Jesus—what He has given us, sisters and brothers, is a map of how to get from today to the glory of the age to come.
His mercy and grace give us a taste. The power of it all gives us our identity, our purpose, and our perseverance.
I am trusting you, O LORD,
saying, “You are my God!”
My future is in your hands.
(from Psalm 31:14-15)