Today is an exciting day for me: my luggage returned from Africa! I know the theory about traveling and luggage. Your luggage is supposed to make the trip with you. In my experience it usually does not work. Last year my luggage arrived in Africa the day after I left for a preaching trip into the villages. This year it arrived with me, but did not come home with me. One week after my return, the last piece straggled home. I admit that I do not have much faith in the process. I work on the assumption that I will never see my bag again once I check them at the counter.

For me, the whole exercise is fraught with frustration and low expectations. I hope my luggage arrives. I just have no confidence that it will. The airlines assure me that it will, others have told me that it will, and I certainly want it to arrive safely. And I should confess that my luggage has always shown up eventually. But that still does not keep me from being an unhappy traveler.

That is how some of us approach our journey to heaven. We want to get there, we hope to get there, we know the theory about getting there, and we may even think others can get there. We just have a hard time believing it. So we become uncertain and unhappy travelers through this world — exactly the opposite of what Jesus intended.

Jesus is a story of good news and joy. He came so we could know that we will live forever. He expects our lives to be full of joy and peace. The hope he gives is an assurance based on real expectations. It is not the hope of maybes, wishes, and doubts. We can know that we are saved and that we will live forever.

I would love to share that assurance with you. Write me at or visit and join our blog discussion.

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