There’s no hope in heaven. That’s because hope is intrinsically forward looking. Hope is a bridge that connects our present situation to the future fulfillment of a past promise. Hope is an honest expression of the Christian faith. That’s why believers shouldn’t adopt an inauthentic disposition and act as though life is simple and easy. Life can be challenging and disappointing. But still we hope.
The Apostle Paul makes a similar statement in the face of death. He said that believers don’t grieve as those without hope (I Thessalonians 4:13). In hope, a Christian is able to smile beneath a veil of tears, for our hope was born through grief (Isaiah 53:3) and purchased with blood (1 Peter 1:3). Hope is rooted in the words of Jesus on the cross: “it is finished” and “today you will be with me in paradise.”
At the end of history, we will see hope as a bridge that once crossed is no longer necessary. One day we will worship, with eyes wide open, the One who conquered all the things that sought to steal our hope: sin, Satan, death, and the grave. And in Heaven our songs will have all the air, not of a battle being waged, but of a victory being celebrated.
This will be the culmination of our hope, and according to the Apostle John, it will be commemorated with a new song (Revelation 5:9). I think it will be a song, not of faith, nor of hope, but of love (1 Cor. 13).
Hope will have led us this far, but it need not lead us any further. Its job will be finished. For then our hope will be fulfilled and our faith will be sight. And that’s why there will be no hope in heaven. Like the retirement of an all star athlete, in Heaven hope will be remembered, but no longer relied upon. It will be valued for the role it played, but it will no longer be necessary.
So take comfort in the hope of the gospel today. Let this hope fill you with strength in your lowest of times. Let it lift your eyes towards heaven when this world seems too much. Let it remind you that you were made for more than this world. And let your heart take courage, for greater is he that is in you than he who is in the world (1 John 4:4).
I edited and republished this post in light of the passing of a dear, godly man, a friend of great encouragement, Michael “Sarge” Padilla. He went to be with Jesus early this morning. His faith is now sight. His hope now fulfilled. His Savior near.