Is the Christian hope to just be happy in your unhappy life because once your dead you’ll be happy in restoration?

Often when talking to people about their hope and joy it’s all tied up in essentially in enjoying the good moments in life while secretly thinking once you’re dead everything will be better. In resurrection, once in heaven or heaven on earth, everything will be better. The entire hope seems to be for many tied up in looking to the afterlife.

Do y’all experience a lot of others sharing that kid of mentality?

Christian Hope is as near certainty as faith can get. It is based on the promises of God found in the bible and the knowledge that God always fulfills His promises.
As for finding joy in this word, that is personal. Some can find joy in almost anything and some can’t find it for love nor money. I guess it is down to personality

Richard

So what do you think is the Christian hope? What’s the promise we are waiting for?

To be with God.

Richard

Lol thats in tie with the problem of Evil.

See i dont like this approach.Why not have both?

If its because God decided so that leaves you with something

Is that different from looking forward to life post resurrection? Or are you agreeing the main promise so many look forward to is to be dead and brought back in restoration?

Not interested in eating, sleeping, and all the rest of the revolting necessities of this life. As far as I am concerned Heaven is to be with God: eternal bliss.

Richard

I don’t think the point of life is awaiting happiness after death. The question is just a question, and definitely not my point of view. I see alot of Christian’s with that view though.

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It is for joy both now and not yet fully but fully yet to be.
 
Some may have seen this before ; - ) …

Jesus’ motivation is also explicit and clear, and it was forward looking³: “for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame.” Hebrews 12:2. That joy is us(!), if you have been adopted into his family.

But we can also certainly have joy here and now, but not without some trials to make us stronger and to test our faith. I just posted about one of the more severe trials that had me prostrate pleading for help. But I was joyous after! There have been other difficult trials in the three decades since and in the decades before as well, but God is faithful and worthy of our trust like the loving Father he is.

If any don’t know that experientially (or ‘experimentally’ as Spurgeon would say in his nineteenth century English ; - ), either from the internal witness of the Holy Spirit in your heart and mind (required) or the optional but definitely to be desired way cool experiences of his providences externally confirming and further establishing the former, then maybe some prostrate pleading is in order.

The picture of the crowd gladly cheering for Sarah Smith in The Great Divorce is undoubtedly just a shadow of what we can anticipate.

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I also agree that as Christian’s we are supposed to love life and enjoy life. This is a really beautiful world. For all the evil we also have goodness. We have art. We have science. We have pets, friends and family. The sunsets and sunrises are incredible. You’ll find more beauty in the starry night, the colors of flowers and scales and life below the sea , not to mention the microscopic world than you will find in art. We have the ability to make music and my favorite , tell fictional tales round a campfire while bonding.

Life can be stressful. But I don’t think the afterlife is supposed to be enjoyed more than this life. Developing friendships with family and friends can be the most amazing part of life. We can’t use the hope of heaven as reasons to help us remain in unhappiness, toxic relationships, jobs we hate and so on. I think it’s important that a key component to our hope is the hope that we have faith the gospel can transform this world.

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Ann Voskamp shows us how we can be thankful and rejoice even when our earthly circumstances are extremely difficult and restricted and especially when we are struggling with depression – I’ve mentioned her book several times, here most recently.

Is the Christian hope to just be happy in your unhappy life because once your dead you’ll be happy in restoration?

Nope. Many Christians like myself don’t have an unhappy life. And I don’t expect heaven to be happier. The wide path is comfortable and easy, where you keep your bad habits. Though they will eat away at you from within until there is nothing left. The harder path is the excruciating removal of your self-destructive habits, which I don’t expect to be easy or quick.

To overcome the self-destructive habits of sin. To change and become a better person. It is the same hope for any recovering drug addict – and we have the same choice they do.

Indeed. But what does this mean? Sitting in a room with Him, singing praises to the lord 24/7? I don’t think so. A big self-righteousness fest does not seem so heavenly a thing to me at all. To be with God is to be without the self destructive habits which get in the way of our relationship with Him. And that relationship is one where there is no end to what He has to give and no end to what we can receive from Him – that is the substance of eternal life.

That sounds to me like a prolongation of “La petite mort” or little death referring to orgasm. A prolongation of that seems rather similar to the common atheist hope for the oblivion of non-existence. As sweet as that may sound, it is better described as eternal sleep rather than eternal life. Life is growth, learning and becoming more – solving problems, creating solutions, overcoming challenges.

If the eternal bliss sleep of the atheists is all we can hope for, I am cool with that. I certainly don’t see that as something to fear. But I don’t think that is what Jesus is promising.

Perhaps. But I don’t think that is the majority. And I don’t think that is such a good treatment for depression.

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This is an interesting question that we see answered in many ways, when we just look around at how Christians are living in the world, and at what churches seem to think they need to offer.
There are many confusing and contradictory messages. As a small kid, I was at a church where hell-fire was vividly taught, the Gospel was clearly taught, but then we were told we couldn’t just “believe in Jesus” as “fire insurance.” Ummm. For a small kid, that was terrifying. If I believe that Jesus is my savior out of fear, then it doesn’t count, and I’m doomed? Praise Jesus, I wasn’t at that church all that long.

Although I am not Reformed, I find the Reformed formulation of “already but not yet” a helpful reminder that we are already living in the Kingdom of God and should be doing the business of that Kingdom, even while we wait for it to be fully revealed. Jesus actually gave us a pretty extensive to-do list.

Holding a traditional view of sin that is tied to evil, I look forward with great anticipation to the absence of evil, and life in the conscious presence of my God (all three persons at once).

While evil is present, life is harder at best, and the people who should be most closely tied to each other in love are not and don’t work together as we should. For me, that makes a robust understanding of Communion/Lord’s Supper essential in that it is a regularly repeated sign-act that Jesus uses to feed us of the Gospel that saves us and binds us to himself and which also binds us to each other, even the ones we really, really don’t want anything to do with. But the sign-act is not enough; we must cooperate and act.

Around Easter the Language of God podcast had N.T. Wright on, talking about the point of the Resurrection. I found this part (from the transcript) very helpful, in which he reminds us we are living in the Kingdom now and have things we should be doing, and we can do them through the power of the Holy Spirit:

It’s very interesting that the early Christians discovered quickly that there are four virtues, which the ancient world didn’t count at all, but which really mattered. And they are patience, humility, chastity, and charity, in the sense of outward looking love to and help to anybody and everybody. And so to believe in the resurrection involves saying, there is this new way of being human, and we are committed to it. Though we all fail, we are jolly well going to carry on in the power of the Holy Spirit. And then comes the extraordinary point of continuity, that even though what we do at the moment seems often to be useless, we try this and that and it doesn’t seem to get us very far se are promised that in the new creation, all that has been of God and of the Holy Spirit, in the present world, will be there somehow in God’s new world. That’s that line at the end of 1st Corinthians 15, where Paul says, therefore get on with your work, because you know that in the Lord, your labor is not in vain. In other words, as Jesus himself said, every cup of cold water that you give to somebody in the name of Jesus, the Messiah, then that will not go unnoticed and unrewarded. There is going to be continuity between the present world and God’s future world. That’s why Paul talks about God coming in Christ to change our lowly body to be like his glorious body. He talks about the body being meant for the Lord, and the Lord for the body. So what we do in the present matters, because it is actually part of the future, which we are to be part of, when Christ comes again to renew this world and at that point, of course, very controversial in parts of America, I know, perhaps more in America and elsewhere, because the whole rapture theology is all about people being taken away from this world, to another world entirely. Whereas the whole point of the second coming in the New Testament is that Jesus is coming back to rule and to reign, to transform, to heal, to fill this present world with justice and joy and peace and love. And we are to practice justice and joy and peace and love in the present because it’s the language we’re going to be speaking when Jesus comes back.

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Hello @mitchellmckain!
If you don’t mind, could you expand on this more, please?
Thanks,
Kendel

The ones who most fervently enthuse toward an afterlife seem to be the “Lazarus’s” of this world who aren’t given much anything that would enamor them toward this one. And most of the rest of us (who have the affluent luxury of musing around and reading stuff right here, for example) seem to be the ones saddled with the most existential angst that they might not find the after-life entertainment itinerary to be “up-to-snuff” compared to a lot of great things they’re enjoying already here. Jesus’ story about Lazarus and the rich man speak directly into this.

One vision of heaven that I really, really hope toward is that it will be a relationship paradise. I love visions (or I would insist … glimpses) of it that we get from writers like H. Van Dyke (Christmas Angel) or Lewis (Last Battle) or even Young (The Shack). In that last mention, I recall a particular scene where someone encounters their dad, with whom they had a strained or outright broken relationship with for their entire life. My memory is fuzzy on the details all these years later, but I recall Young describing the meeting between this son and his dad in such a deeply honest (nothing now hidden) way that it brought new understanding with old lies or surface appearances culled away - quickly followed by deep love, and then healing. I remember being moved to tears just reading it and thinking, if this isn’t what heaven is like then it should be (or include it among the best of everything else that gets sustained and celebrated.)

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I am reminded that throughout the Old Testament there was not a well developed theology of an afterlife, just a shadowy Sheol, yet Israel was called to follow and worship the one God. We too are called to follow Jesus, not because of what we can get out of it, but rather out of love

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I think I’d have been required to call Child Protective Services. sends your inner child a cyber hug

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I believe in a God who is infinite. And I believe being made in the image of God means infinite potentiality to reflect God’s infinite actuality. It is the formula for an eternal relationship of parent and child where there is no end to growing up and becoming more like Him – an endless vista of new horizons in which to learn more about God and receiving what He has to give.

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I think that makes sense for what I think gives rise to God belief. We are as we are so very limited if we live our lives entirely within the narrow circle of what we can control. We have more power than we can safely control and usually too little wisdom to realize it. To realize that being eternally open to the gifts that can expand that circle without losing sight of the realization that has made that possible would be about as close to heaven as any of us will ever get, and however long that may last it will be as close as any of us will ever get to experiencing eternity. I don’t see that as a bad deal.

To be sure life after death is part of it because we don’t see the promise realized in our physical life. But it is not to put off happiness to a later time but to extend what we begin right now to see more of it. But I am pretty sure we cannot expect death to bring any kind of reversal. Quite the contrary, I think it is like running out onto a smooth frozen lake, where our momentum will carry us on the same direction we have when we left the shore.

It was one of my reasons for choosing Christianity over other religions. Life is not all there is, but at the same time we have to get the most out of life while we can.

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“Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone.” -Colossians 4:6

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