I made a note to myself many months ago that a principle I find in Philippians 4:8 is that we are anticipating eternity. When we “meditate on these things,” our eyes turn upward. Our minds are focused on higher things. This Bible verse helps us practice turning off anxiety and opening up to the peace of God. Think about these: things that are true, noble, just, pure, lovely, of good report, other virtues, and anything praiseworthy. We find in these things thoughts that are sweet, good, and spiritual. Our hearts are pulled in the direction of eternal things and eternity.
It does our hearts good to anticipate eternity. What exhilaration will be ours when we stand before God’s throne? What will be the thrill of being surrounded by His glory? How powerful will be the joy that floods our souls? Imagine in eternity that everything mentioned in Philippians 4:8 will be experienced to the utmost: truth, honor, justice, purity, loveliness, goodness, virtue, and praise. We are climbing the ladder with angels when we let our thoughts envision heaven.
The more we anticipate and imagine, the more our souls long for the day when we will be there. We understand and identify with Paul’s words in Romans chapter eight. Meditate on this.
“18 For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us. 19 For the earnest expectation of the creation eagerly waits for the revealing of the sons of God. 20 For the creation was subjected to futility, not willingly, but because of Him who subjected it in hope; 21 because the creation itself also will be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God. 22 For we know that the whole creation groans and labors with birth pangs together until now. 23 Not only that, but we also who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, eagerly waiting for the adoption, the redemption of our body. 24 For we were saved in this hope, but hope that is seen is not hope; for why does one still hope for what he sees? 25 But if we hope for what we do not see, we eagerly wait for it with perseverance.” (Romans 8:18-25)
I long for heaven as face and hand So aged looks, my soul prepares For Beulah land I long for heaven to leave this place, And be with God to hold His hand, And see His face. (Norman, 2018)
We must keep our feet firmly planted in this world, but, now and then, we can let our minds and hearts soar past the clouds and enjoy eternity.