Summary: Meant to "encourage" the saints in his\her endurance in the race in that whenever we feel "homesick for heaven" that it can and should be a reminder to us of our "purpose" and "perspective" here on earth; and exhorts the Christian to live "enlight of His
Have You Been Homesick Lately?
TEXT: 2 Cor. 5:1-8
Intro. Sometimes we get tired, sometimes we feel alone, and sometimes we feel misunderstood, other times we have feelings of frustration and weariness. We get hurt, we make mistakes, we make bad decisions, bad things seem to happen, loved ones - friends and family - die and leave us, we get tired of these bodies we’re living in, we get made fun of because we are Christians. Sometimes we feel just like giving up, and the list goes on and on.
But whatever the reasons are that cause us to feel this way, we all at times feel…homesick. All Christians get homesick at times. Homesick for Heaven - Homesick to be in the presence of the Lord.
And that’s why I want to give you 1 reason why, the Bible tells us, we get homesick and 2 advantages to being homesick.
1) We are Aliens (aliens with a gold card) - David said, "we are aliens and strangers…" not of this world, (example of kids’ being aliens to this country.)
JN. 15:18,19 - "If the world hates you, you know that it hated Me before it hated you. If you were of the world, the world would love its own. Yet because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, therefore the world hates you."
Have you ever been hated, (even for no reason.) Feeling out of place, no matter what you seem to do at work or how you treat a certain neighbor you just don’t seem to fit in. We find ourselves feeling a lot like the Psalmist felt in Psalm 102:6 Read Psalm) He mentions 3 birds - Pelican, Owl, Sparrow. (Now this Psalm is a psalm of affliction). [Explain] either because of forgiveness or …
Whatever it’s true meaning, verse 6 can be understood to be descriptive of more than one ailment. Whether separated by God because of sin and you’ve never come to the cross. Or simply being separated by the fullness of His presence - which we will experience in Heaven, or just because in our affliction we sometimes feel alienated from God’s presence, the way we want it, even though His Spirit lives within us. Or perhaps it’s the feeling of just "not fitting in."
Whatever the changing reasons…At times in our lives we all have a sense of "not belonging".
A desire, much like Paul, to depart and be with our Lord and Savior. Phil. 1:23, "For I am hard-pressed between the two, having a desire to depart and be with Christ, which is far better."(Vs.24…Nevertheless to remain in the flesh is more needful for you.)Why? Because we have a heavenly citizenship. In the same letter Paul says in Ch. 3:20, "For our citizenship is in heaven, from which we also eagerly wait for the Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ…"
We’re just travelers passing through - pilgrims. (Pilgrim’s progress) In David’s prayer of praise to God in 1 Chron. 29:10 he acknowledged, "For we are aliens and pilgrims before You…" ("…as were all our fathers; Our days on earth are as a shadow…”)
So why did God give us this information…about being aliens and strangers, Paul desiring to depart and be with Christ and longing for home?
Because, first of all, God wants us to understand every one of His children have these feelings and that’s natural and that’s OK. And He wants us to understand that He understands our being “homesick”. I believe that Christ must have felt homesick, at some time or another, in his earthly body. (Tempted in every point. Paul wished to depart, Christ could have departed, do you think that was a temptation? I don’t know. Jesus once said, “…how long shall I be with you? How long shall I bear with you? That’s probably one of the reasons why he spent so much time in prayer. And secondly, our Lord wants us to understand that we need to have this knowledge to "live as an alien in this world," in the way Christ called us to. Which brings us to the two advantages, we as Christians, have in becoming homesick.
Some of you are familiar with the “sports” term, “The Home field Advantage”. Well, I could have easily titled this message, “The Homesick Advantage”.
When we get homesick,
2) It brings us together - in Acts 2:44 Luke said of all the new Christians, "…they were together…"" and they had all things in common."
We, as believers, still have all things in common. Trials, Tribulations, Rejoicing and Love for our Lord & Saviour.
And it’s all these things and many other reasons that bring out the homesickness in us. Whether it be Trial or Rejoicing we all desire to be with the Lord. (David said, “I was glad when they said to me…let us…”) And so the Bible tells us to "…not forsake the assembling of ourselves together as the manner of some do." We are told to Encourage, Exhort and Comfort - pray for one another, love one another, to help and share with one another, lift up and build up one another; [through trial and rejoicing], [persecution and laughter], [suffering and joy].