“‘Do not let your hearts be troubled. You believe in God; believe also in me. My Father’s house has many rooms; if that were not so, would I have told you that I am going there to prepare a place for you? And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am. You know the way to the place where I am going’” (John 14:1-4).

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In his book, “Midnight in America: Darkness, Sleep and Dreams During the Civil War,” author and Civil War historian Jonathan W. White recounts the dreams of about 400 Civil War soldiers and prisoners of war as revealed through diaries, letters and memoirs.

Food was a popular theme among prisoners of war living in the squalid conditions of Andersonville Prison, a Confederate POW camp where more than 15,000 Union POWs died of starvation and disease.

Surrounded by death, the prisoners found comfort sharing their dreams with each other.

As White studied the dreams, a common theme emerged.

“Dreams, for many of them, played a comforting role,” said White in a Washington Post story. “The most common dreams soldiers had were of home, hugging or kissing their wives, picking up their children.”

If you’re in the midst of a trial, and your days seem dark, it’s comforting to know that this world is not our home. We have an eternal home in heaven.

“But our citizenship is in heaven. And we eagerly await a Savior from there, the Lord Jesus Christ, who, by the power that enables him to bring everything under his control, will transform our lowly bodies so that they will be like his glorious body” (Philippians 3:20-21).

Second Timothy 4:18 says, “The Lord will rescue me from every evil attack and will bring me safely to his heavenly kingdom. To him be glory for ever and ever. Amen.”

It’s comforting and exciting to think about seeing Jesus face to face, hearing a chorus of angels exalt the Most High or drinking from the River of Life.

In writing to the church at Corinth, Paul described a longing for heaven.

“While we live in these earthly bodies, we groan and sigh, but it’s not that we want to die and get rid of these bodies that clothe us. Rather, we want to put on our new bodies so that these dying bodies will be swallowed up by life. God himself has prepared us for this, and as a guarantee he has given us his Holy Spirit” (1 Corinthians 5:4-5 NLT).

The Holy Spirit living within us gives us a small taste of what it will be like to commune in God’s presence for eternity.

While the hope of heaven gives us peace in the midst of trials, we can’t spend our days dreaming about heaven—waiting for the clock to run out—and never doing anything on earth. According to James, we are on the earth for just a brief moment: “Why, you do not even know what will happen tomorrow. What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes” (James 4:14).

God has given each of us a specific mission, and at its most basic, that mission is loving Him and loving others.

Paul never lost sight of that, and neither should we.

“But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 3:13-14).

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>What are you looking forward to in heaven?

>How can you cast your worries and cares on Christ?