Life, liberty and the PURSUIT of happiness. These are the principles that America was founded on. We are a country created to pursue happiness and that is exactly what we have done. Whether that pursuit is in the perfect family, a fulfilling job, a comfortable house, entertainment, pleasure or social media followers, we are a people that know how to pursue happiness. But are we really pursuing happiness, or some cheap imitation?
In 1 Peter 1, Peter tells Christians that we have been born again and given an inheritance that is “imperishable, undefiled, and unfading, kept in heaven for you.” That sounds like a pretty amazing inheritance waiting for us in heaven! Let’s look at the four elements about this inheritance in this verse and consider how what we are pursuing today stacks up against what is waiting for us in heaven.
Imperishable– This means that our inheritance doesn’t go bad. It never goes away. It’s not like we get this great reward for one day and then spend the rest of eternity wishing we got it again. Our reward will never go away. It won’t run out or get worn down.
Undefiled– This means that our inheritance isn’t stained with sin. It is completely pure, holy and right. There is no negative or sinful element in the reward waiting for us. While we have allowed many good things in this life to be stained by sin, (food, relationships, sex, entertainment), our inheritance will be perfectly pure and unstained by sin.
Unfading– This means that the degree of “awesomeness” of our reward will never diminish. It will be like eating ice cream for the first time, every time. Not only will our inheritance never run out, but the degree of joy it brings will also never diminish. We won’t need a “better fix” for our pleasure craving, because our reward will be exactly what we need for all eternity.
Kept in heaven for you– This means that we don’t need to worry about somehow losing our reward, that it will be lost or not endure. This reward is in the eternal heavenly abode of our Creator God. This also helps us remember that this inheritance is not something we can somehow come by in this life. We, therefore, must keep running the race towards the inheritance waiting for us in heaven.
You see that the reward waiting for us far surpasses anything we could possibly pursue in this life. Now I am not saying that we shouldn’t try to have a good family or a job we don’t hate, but I am asking that we all consider if we are so busy pursuing these earthly “happinesses” while forgetting to pursue our eternal inheritance. Paul says in Philippians 3:11, “that by any means possible I may attain the resurrection from the dead.” Paul understood the immense value of the inheritance waiting for him. So much so that he could call all his earthly pursuits “rubbish” (Phil. 3:8), compared to what was waiting for him, (and us!), in heaven.
What are you chasing? My prayer is that our ultimate pursuit wouldn’t just be earthly happiness, but instead something that is imperishable, undefiled, unfading and kept for us in heaven.