Specific Text: 2 Cor. 5:1-5
These three words describe the Christian life which Paul writes about in every epistle. The tension is captured in the first two verses: we already have an eternal house in heaven, but we do not yet live in it... Paul writes, "Meanwhile we groan." To make sense of your life, you must understand this concept.
As a Christian, God has made and already kept all sorts of promises to you. You have peace with Him. You have an inheritance from Him that is yours for eternity. You have been born again, freed from the slavery of sin, and are now a new creation in Jesus Christ.
But you're excused if you're thinking that it doesn't always seem like everything is the way it's supposed to be. People still hurt you, the effects of your own sins and other people's sin still causes all sorts of problems. Why on earth is groaning still so common (v2) when we've supposed to have been given an eternal house in heaven?
This is the tension you live in: God has already done all of these things for you, but you will not yet fully realize all of these benefits while living in this world. You still live in the blindness of this present age, which is why you must live by faith and not by sight (see yesterday's devotional. Also, Paul repeats that phrase in today in v7).
Learn to recognize how this tension affects your life. Recognizing and maintaining this tension will keep you healthy. Certainly it is not good for you to focus too much on this world... that's easy to understand. But at the same time, believe it or not, you are not supposed to focus too much on the world to come! There's a reason you're in this world (if you're wondering what that is, read v16-21), and understanding the tension between the already and not yet helps keep you right where God wants you to be.
Prayer For The Day - Dear Father in heaven, you have called me to live in this tension between this world and the world to come, and living in tension is not easy. Thank you for how your Word helps me understand this tension and gives me strength to live for your glory in both of these worlds. Amen.