Here on earth we may receive things or even money when we lose a loved one, but that pales in comparison to what we receive from the Lord. We have an inheritance that is lasting and eternal. Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In His great mercy He has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, and into an inheritance that can never perish, spoil or fade. This inheritance is kept in heaven for you, who through faith are shielded by God’s power until the coming of the salvation that is ready to be revealed in the last time.” (1 Peter 1:3b-5) 

We know that the inheritance is for those who have been born again, that it is imperishable, undefiled, and will not fade away, and that it is reserved in heaven. What will that be like? When we think of heaven, we might picture how beautiful the surroundings will be, what it will be like to worship the Lord, and perhaps even the things that we might do and experience, but we’re probably way off the mark. It’s going to be infinitely more than our finite minds can grasp, infinitely better, which is why God said, “No eye has seen, no ear has heard, no mind has conceived what God has prepared for those who love Him” (1 Corinthians 2:9).

Our lasting inheritance is knowing that we will spend eternity with the Lord. But it is also an inheritance of which we can now enjoy the benefits. He chose us, and all we have to do is believe in Jesus as our Savior and accept His gift of grace. “Out of His fullness we have all received grace in place of grace already given.” (John 1:16) But as if that’s not enough, God has given us a pledge or guarantee of our inheritance, a down payment so to speak—His Holy Spirit. “In Him, you also, after listening to the message of truth, the gospel of your salvation—having also believed, you were sealed in Him with the Holy Spirit of promise, who is given as a pledge of our inheritance” (Ephesians 1: 13-14).

How do we enjoy those benefits now? We stay in Him: we seek Him in prayer and by meditating on His Word. “Remain in me, as I also remain in you. No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me. I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.” (John 15:4-5)

And what fruit will we bear if we remain in Him? The fruit of the Spirit is the work of the Holy Spirit in us, producing character traits found in the nature of Christ–it’s not from our natural, carnal nature. The more time we spend with Jesus, the more like Him we become. “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. Against such things there is no law.” (Gal. 5:22-23) So today we can enjoy the fruit of Spirit while here on earth, and look forward to an eternity of being in the Lord’s presence. And that is where we find true joy, no matter our current circumstances, “for the joy of the Lord is your strength!”