Question from a reader:
I was wondering if when we’re in Heaven we will be totally satisfied and content all the time? Will we ever have negative thoughts? Will I have to exert my own will in trying to be content always, or will it just be who I am?
Answer from Doreen Button, EPM staff:
What an interesting question. Have you given much thought to where our positive and negative thoughts originate?
Jesus taught, “A tree is identified by its fruit. Figs are never gathered from thornbushes, and grapes are not picked from bramble bushes. A good person produces good things from the treasury of a good heart, and an evil person produces evil things from the treasury of an evil heart. What you say flows from what is in your heart” (Luke 6:45, NLT).
Jesus also said, “Do you not see that whatever goes into the mouth passes into the stomach and is expelled? But what comes out of the mouth proceeds from the heart, and this defiles a person” (Matthew 15:17-18, ESV).
When we turn the throne of our lives over to Jesus and let Him reign in our heart, He begins a transformation—or perhaps a better word is metamorphosis—an ongoing process in us, called sanctification, which comes to fruition when we are invited out of this world and into God’s eternal Kingdom.
Galatians 5:19-23 lists the fruit of the flesh and the fruit of the Spirit:
Now the works of the flesh are evident: sexual immorality, impurity, sensuality, idolatry, sorcery, enmity, strife, jealousy, fits of anger, rivalries, dissensions, divisions, envy,drunkenness, orgies, and things like these. I warn you, as I warned you before, that those who dosuch things will not inherit the kingdom of God. But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law. And those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires.
The fruit of the Spirit will become more apparent in us each day as we walk closer to “that” day and become our true selves, as God originally intended us to be. “But according to his promise we are waiting for new heavens and a new earth in which righteousness dwells” (2 Peter 3:13, ESV).
Randy quotes Paul Helm in this article on Sin and Free Will in Heaven: “The freedom of heaven, then, is the freedom from sin; not that the believer just happens to be free from sin, but that he is so constituted or reconstituted that he cannot sin. He doesn’t want to sin, and he does not want to want to sin.”
Thoughts that pop into our heads, whether negative or positive, are not in themselves sinful. What we choose to do with those thoughts determines what becomes sin and what becomes a decision to lean into God and offer those thoughts to Him.
“Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here!” (2 Corinthians 5:17, NIV). We already have the Spirit and “His divine power has given us everything we need for a godly life through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness” (2 Peter 1:3, NIV). So we have, right now, everything we need! And it's not by our effort or act of will, now or in Heaven. Here, we just happen to have terrible memories and an enemy who wants us to believe anything but the truth.
I’m so grateful that once we’re done with this cursed earth and have our resurrected, fully redeemed bodies and minds on the New Earth there will no longer be anything negative to think about. (Even if there were long checkout lines in Heaven, our patience will finally be perfected. Even if there were annoying people, our ability to love will finally be complete.) And it’s true we will be completely satisfied and content there: “In your presence there is fullness of joy; at your right hand are pleasures forevermore” (Psalm 16:11, ESV).
So, short answer, yes, it’s who you are becoming if you belong wholly to Him, and who you will be when you are with Him in eternity.
Blessings as you continue to read His Word, work through this and toward Him!