For this world is not our permanent home; we are looking forward to a home yet to come.
Imagine for a moment that your government has sent you to a foreign land as an ambassador. This land is not a pleasant place at all. It is filled with poverty, violence, immorality, disaster, and disease. Back in your home country, you have a beautiful estate, surrounded by lovely gardens with a pool and a waterfall. All your needs are met and you want for nothing. The King is a righteous, just man who loves his people. You spend your days working in a job you love for this King and you are always surrounded by family and friends who love you. There is no poverty or disease or pain...or even death.
Yet now you find yourself in a land quite different from your home. In truth, it is enemy territory. You are surrounded by those who wish you harm. Yet, you are here on a mission from your King, and it is your greatest desire to please him. Once you have completed your mission, you get to go back home to your own country. This is what gives you the strength and courage to carry on each day. However, the King has not left you alone. You have an Assistant with you who gives you advice and wisdom and who also travels back and forth to the King and brings gifts from him that will help you in your mission. In addition, you have a manual from the King filled with his instructions, and you are also able to call him anytime with any requests.
You also have been given a suit of armor that provides you with a covering which protects the real you inside. This armor can and will be harmed by the dangerous land you now preside in. It will age, grow weak, get sick, cause you sorrow and pain, and even sometimes fight against your mission from the King. But nothing can penetrate it to do your real self any harm at all on one condition--that you stay true to your King and your mission.
One day, when your mission is completed, your suit of armor will fall off you and your real self will return to the home you love so much where you will live for all eternity in a blissful paradise with your King.
So, it doesn't matter to you when your armor gets beat up, when it gets sick or weak, when the enemies in the foreign land cause you pain and heartache, because you know nothing can harm the real you! It's just your outside armor/covering that gets hurt, but you know that's only temporary. You also know that you will one day return to your own country, and all the pain and sorrow of this land will be nothing but a bad memory.
Here on earth you will have many trials and sorrows. But take heart, because I have overcome the world.
Yet some of the people whom the King has sent to the foreign land forget where they came from. They get so caught up in their lives in this place that they lose sight of home and they begin to act and think as though they are here forever and there is no homeland. Every strike to their armor, every weakness, every heartache causes them to slip deeper into despair and anger. They have lost sight of anything beyond this world. They can only see the struggles and trials that affect their armor. They forget that their real selves still exist within the armor and cannot be touched. They remember that there might be a King somewhere in a distant wonderful place who loves them, but they have lost touch with him, and their assistant seems to be missing. The gifts he used to bring them have dwindled, and they feel alone and without hope and begin to wonder if the King even exists. They fail at their mission. They aren't even sure what it was anymore, and with each strike of the enemy, they grow weaker and weaker. Their enemies shower them with lies, telling them that this land is all that matters, that they must live for the here and now, that if the King really cared for them, he'd give them tons of blessings so they could have their best life now.
Since, then, you have been raised with Christ, set your hearts on things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things. For you died, and your life is now hidden with Christ in God.
Because that is not happening, these ambassadors become discouraged and lose faith. They can no longer see their wonderful homeland. They no longer even think about it. They forget that nothing can harm their real self within their suit of armor. All they can see is the dings and dents in the metal. The King never gives up trying to contact them...he sends the assistant who reminds them to look in the manual and also to give the King a call. Some respond, but sadly others wallow in their own self-pity, fail at their mission, and forget who their real self is--an ambassador and child of the King of Kings.
And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself; that where I am, there you may be also. John 14:3
Don't allow the enemy to keep your mind on this world and all your problems. No matter what you are facing, it is nothing in light of eternity. Death, loss, sickness, poverty, fear.. nothing can touch your real self. Nothing. Your King has you in the palm of His hand and He's not letting go. Give him a call, tell him what you need, and then rise above your circumstances by keeping your eyes on your real home in Heaven. Remember, you are just passing through this world, and soon your beat-up armor will fall off and you will be home!