As Christ-followers, we are to maintain a sojourner mindset as we travel through this life. We are pilgrims simply passing through. We should not get overly attached to earth or the things of this earth because this is not our home. Heaven is our home! (Philippians 3:20) And that is where we will spend eternity. Being able to look past our present difficulties and keep our eyes focused on the good that is to come is an essential discipline when facing adversity.
It is this very thing that our author refers to in Hebrews 13:13-14. “We must go out to Him, then, outside the camp, bearing the abuse He experienced. For here we have no lasting city, but we seek the city that is to come.” Our willingness to bear abuse on earth as a Christian is because we know that better days are ahead for us. The best is yet to come, and it will never end. Whatever sacrifices we make here are gains and investments in eternity.
Earthly cities and habitations will one day be destroyed. Things of earth, no matter what they are, simply won’t last. But the city that is coming will exist forever. The writer of Hebrews makes earlier reference to this future city when describing the readiness of Abraham to leave the life that he knew behind and follow God’s call upon his life. “By faith he lived as a foreigner in the promised land as though it were a foreign country, living in tents with Isaac and Jacob, who were fellow heirs of the same promise. For he was looking forward to the city with firm foundations, whose architect and builder is God” (Hebrews 11:9-10).
We must like Abraham develop a “forward look” as we go through life. This look is more than just viewing something. It is an attitude of expectantly waiting and living in anticipation of what God has promised. It is looking with eyes of faith. Like Abraham, we are looking for a home prepared for us by the Lord Himself (John 14:1-3). It is a prepared home, a perfect home, and a permanent home. Focusing on heaven and the glory that is to come is the best way to endure our difficulties and tribulations on earth.
Abraham is not the only example our author gives us of this forward look. We read in Hebrews 11:24-26, “By faith, when he grew up, Moses refused to be called the son of Pharaoh’s daughter, choosing rather to be ill-treated with the people of God than to enjoy sin’s fleeting pleasure. He regarded abuse suffered for Christ greater wealth than the treasures of Egypt, for his eyes were fixed on the reward.” Moses’ eyes were not fixed on his present circumstances. They were fixed on the reward that was to come. Moses’ eyes were fixed on eternity, not on the things of this earth. The perfect tense used here reminds us that Moses looked away and kept on looking away from the things of this earth and riveted his attention continually on the glory that he would experience one day. “For I consider that our present sufferings cannot even be compared to the glory that will be revealed to us” (Romans 8:18).
The questions for all of us today are: What are we looking at? What are we looking for? What are we expecting? What are we focused on? Are we looking at temporal things or the things of eternity? Faith determines our focus and our focus fuels our endurance.
Remember, for us, the best is yet to come!