Is it possible for a person to be moving north and south at the same time? Sure. Imagine a man walking south on the deck of a ship that is headed north.
As we live the Christian life, we oftentimes face problems and setbacks. Some of these are merely us reaping the crops of bad seed we have sown. Others, however, strike us by way of the devil and his demons. And then there are those times we get caught in the choppy wake of the sinful actions of other people.
The truth is that these problems and setbacks can be likened to us walking “backward” in life. But what we must realize is that no matter what befalls the Christian in this earthly life, he is still bound for heaven and is constantly progressing in that direction. A Christian’s current steps, if they are troublesome, may take him in an undesirable direction, but overall the ship is relentlessly headed for glory.
In Romans 8:18, Paul addresses the subject of how God will one day make all of creation right again. Specifically, this is a reference to the coming “kingdom age” when Christ will reign upon this earth for 1,000 years. But the verse also sheds light on the matter of the Christian being bound for heaven despite struggling in this life. Paul writes:
“For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us.” (N.K.J.V.)
Remember this promise, Christian, and don’t let go of it. No matter how bad this earthly life gets, you are headed for a better one. You are headed upward (call it “north”) to heaven and no amount of having to walk “south” down here can ever change that.