1 Corinthians 2:9, "No eye has seen, no ear has heard, and no mind has imagined what God has prepared for those who love Him."
Imagine the most beautiful place you can think of on earth. Picture it. Pretend all your earthly dreams have come true. Now, snap back to reality! Because the truth is: Even the most fantastic places on earth have their own problems. No one lives in a 24/7 state of paradise.
Too often, we chase the feeling of freedom - thinking it will lead us to paradise. We make decisions based on what feels good or looks right in the moment. It's so promising, at first. Unfortunately, it's only a temporary solution. Why? Because instant gratification never pays off in the end. This leads us to another "why" question, "Why not?" The answer: Paradise isn't confined to beautiful beaches and mountaintop views; it's not found in the circumstances of this world - it's a person, Jesus.
When we open our lives to Christ, to a personal and loving relationship with the Savior, we're able to ascend to heights we never thought possible. Why? Because God's unconditional love, the gift of eternal life - this is paradise!
Paradise doesn't promise us a pain-free life. However, it does give us purpose and power from on high. Think of the places in your life right now that are anything but a paradise and ask Jesus to help you see His perspective. Because, even through the toughest of times, He will provide you joy, peace, comfort, and the ability to overcome.
Jesus, Thank You for Your love. This is paradise! May it change the way I view my circumstances and shine a light in the lives of others who have yet to experience Your unexplainable joy, peace, and hope! Amen.