Heavenly Hope :: By Lisa Heaton

Assaulted, that’s the word that would best express what I’ve felt so far in 2023. I’ve been under attack and under fire. The year started off in January with my father’s horrific suicide, a journey I conveyed in an article here on Rapture Ready titled When Darkness Prevails. At the time, I was working on Heavenly Vision, a segment of what has become the “Heavenly” series. Even prior to my dad’s death, the Lord was challenging me to maintain heavenly vision rather than earthly vision, to fix my eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of my faith. When I do that, I know the story isn’t over, no matter what’s happening around me.

If I’ve ever needed that reminder, it’s here now in June. Since my dad’s death, in the past four months, my younger brother had two strokes, my husband lost his job, and my older brother, at only fifty-nine, was placed in skilled memory care for fast-progressing, early-onset dementia. He’s all but lost to us already. Seriously, my family and I have truly been under fire.

I know I’m not alone in this. You have been under fire, too, and have experienced family tragedies. I get emails from readers who are dealing with hardships and heartbreak, assaulted lives and homes and families. A common theme is our prodigal adult kids. I’m there with you on that one too. Our children, young and grown alike, are in the enemy’s crosshairs as he wages an all-out offensive against them.

His attacks can rapidly shift from being upsetting opposition (him standing in our way) to downright oppression (him standing on our head). For a believer in a weakened and vulnerable state, opposition can easily become oppression as the enemy fires dart after dart. I’ve experienced that reality myself at times, especially when I’ve left myself exposed and defenseless in some area of my life. One such example is when I’ve lost hope.

We can make our way around opposition and keep moving. Oppression, though, not only stops us in our tracks; it sits us down and impacts our effectiveness for the kingdom. That’s not God’s plan for our lives, no matter how brutal the attack. Yes, we grieve a loss. We take time out to heal when we’re in excruciating pain, but ultimately, we still have a battlefield awaiting our return, an offensive action to take. We don’t sit down and ask to die as Elijah did in 1 Kings 19:4. There’s still work to be done and people to be reached.

So how do you find hope when faced with a hailstorm of inbound arrows? I’m a practical kind of girl. I need a put-something-in-my-hand kind of action plan to pull me out from beneath the enemy’s thumb when he’s temporarily prevailed over me. I’ll share with you a few things that have come to mind, practical principles I’ve used to restore my hope and get myself back on the battlefield, even amidst the fiercest attack by the enemy.

Goodness of God

Within all this family tragedy, I’m finding what I would call sprinkles of joy, God using each painful situation for our good in varying ways. My younger brother is recovering well. My sister-in-law is using my older brother’s dementia journey to share Jesus with coworkers and people at the care facility. There has been tremendous healing in our family, where old wounds have been cast aside to support one another. Eyes have been opened to the truth of the world we’re living in and its deceptive insistence on a neither safe nor effective injection. My husband’s work misfortune has become a reason to celebrate, as he has decided to retire early.

And on a more personal level, I’ve experienced what seems to be a reversal – a miraculous healing – of what was likely becoming cognitive decline of my own. Hope has sprung eternal, but that is by choice. I’ve chosen to swim in the goodness of God rather than wallow in a sea of misery.

It’s the same for you. When facing the worst of situations, if you take a step back and look for God in the midst of it, you will undoubtedly find His goodness there, good coming from what the enemy intended for evil. None of us would ever desire adversity or tragedy, but the way God uses them to grow us and expand our reach for His name’s sake is accomplished in ways we would have never known in times of smooth sailing. Misfortune may toss your ship in a direction that you might not have ever considered as a destination. Or maybe you did. With retirement now in sight, a long-desired move to the beach is where our ship just might be headed. See, sprinkles of joy!

Lift My Eyes

This one is what keeps most of us rapture watchers hanging on, the truth that Jesus is coming. Though He tarries still, waiting for the command from His Father to go and get His bride, we can stake our lives on His glorious appearing. Jesus, our blessed hope (Titus 2:13), is our heavenly hope. Yes, we must endure all we’re suffering for a time, but it won’t – it can’t go on that much longer. If not for that certainty, I don’t know how I would withstand. I’m not really that brave. I said once in another article that this is my first end-of-the-world scenario, so truthfully, I have no clue what I’m doing most of the time. What I do know is that the darkening world around me could cause me to despair, to lose all hope if not for knowing there’s Light at the end of this very dark tunnel and that Christ is my hope each day.

I’ll share a verse that keeps me hanging on and has for sixteen years now. I had no idea its implications back then when this verse seemed to leap off the page and begin a life of waiting that’s never stopped. Well, I get it now. While this verse in context isn’t a rapture verse, God has used it to plant a seed that keeps me “hanging in there” and waiting for His goodness to be revealed here in the land of the living. Because I know our time left here to suffer is limited, I’m able to catch a breath of courage and get back into the fight.

“I would have despaired unless I had believed that I would see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living. Wait for the Lord; be strong and let your heart take courage; yes, wait for the Lord” (Psalm 27:13-14).

Isn’t this a timely word from the Word? Speaking of the Word…

Lift My Sword

Another principle I use to renew my strength in the heat of battle is to utilize the greatest and most effective weapon at any believer’s disposal, Scripture, “the sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God” (Ephesians 6:17). You know, if more people would lift this sword, we wouldn’t have so many walking-wounded and MIA-from-the-battlefield Christians. Yet more Bibles today are covered with dust than fingerprints, and their owners don’t walk in power as overcomers (1 John 4:4). With the spiritual battle raging in the heavenlies and its fallout tumbling upon our heads, we have little else to do than to take cover in Jesus–the Word–like never before. The Word of God, its truth, guidance, promises, etc., is an offensive and defensive means to maintain our hope and find our way around opposition and from beneath temporary oppression.

I want to believe I’m preaching to the choir here, that you keep yourself immersed in Jesus through His Word, but I would be a little naïve in that considering how many Christians I know, even those who are watching faithfully and excitedly for the rapture, spend more time begging scraps from man than being fed by the Bread of Life. We will only ever have arms strong enough for battle when we’re well-fed daily. Body parts of weakened, undernourished believers are strewn across the battlefield because they have no ability to withstand the assaults and temptations of the enemy.

I know that was graphic imagery, but how better can you explain our prodigals? Those raised in Christian homes very likely heard how important the Word of God is to daily life, yet they have chosen “food sacrificed to idols” instead. My prodigal heard, yet deception has convinced him otherwise, and now he’s bowing at the altar of this world and has only the false hope of what he wants and feels and desires. Pure sadness for this feeling-like-a-failure mom. My hope, though, is in the Word of God that told me to train up a child in the way he should go. I really did my best with what I had at the time. I’m sure you did too, feeling-like-a-failure parent. So what we do now is place our hope in the working power of the Spirit to overcome the world in them (1 John 5:5).

There is so much hope in the Word of God for us war-weary soldiers, so many passages that strengthen our arms for battle that I want to cover dozens here with you. But as usual, I’m tall on words and short on paper. If you want a deeper dive into words of hope with other rapture-watching believers, you’re invited to join a group of us who meet through Zoom on Thursday nights at 6:00 Central Standard Time. Our topic on Thursday, June 23, 2023, will be this “Heavenly Hope” article as we discuss hope-related scriptures. If you’re interested, you can find out more here: DaybreakGathering.com. If you can’t come, you can always download the questions we will discuss and use them for your own means of study, either alone or with friends. I keep a running list of previous Gathering assignments and questions for easy access.

As is the case now, it can always be said of me that I have more to say. There are more principles I would like to cover, such as standing our ground and lifting our shields. For the sake of time, and Lord willing, I will share more in my next installment here on Rapture Ready, “More Heavenly Hope.” In the meantime, I hope you’ll consider joining us to go deeper in the Word with people who love and long for His glorious appearing. Once you get Zoom figured out on your computer or phone, it’s really a great way to gather with believers and keep your heavenly hopes high in Jesus.

Until next time,


If you would like to read Lisa’s previous Rapture Ready articles, you can find them here: Lisa’s Rapture Ready Articles/Series.

Other Free Resources:

Daybreak, Last Days of Light – Free ebook download

Updates – Sign up here to be notified when new articles are available.


About Daybreak with Lisa:

Daybreak is a way of life, one of exposing the rising darkness and telling of the soon-coming Light. We only have so many daybreaks remaining before that final sunset when we, as believers, are caught up in the air to meet Jesus.

As an author, Lisa Heaton is a storyteller with a heart for truth. Her greatest desire in her fiction and nonfiction work is to challenge the reader to discover the truth of who Jesus is and who they are to Him. Now, here as we wait for the any-minute arrival of Jesus for His church in the rapture, Lisa’s latest mission is to warn the lost and wake the found and to help others discover their unique voice to share the truth of our times. More at DaybreakWithLisa.com. Contact Lisa at Lisa@LisaHeatonBooks.com.