That is why we never give up. Though our bodies are dying, our spirits are being renewed every day. 17 For our present troubles are small and won’t last very long. Yet they produce for us a glory that vastly outweighs them and will last forever! 18 So we don’t look at the troubles we can see now; rather, we fix our gaze on things that cannot be seen. For the things we see now will soon be gone, but the things we cannot see will last forever.(NLT)
It is true that we can be so heavenly minded that we are of no earthly good. Some Christians have been rightly accused of ignoring present day problems because all will be OK once we get to heaven. Put up with everything on earth because it will all end one day in any case.
This is a gross distortion of our faith. We are to be salt and light to our present world, making it a better place to be because we are in it and because the Holy Spirit is in us. We are to work for justice and mercy and peace and not wait till the return of Jesus to bring them into some measure of being.
However, it would be a mistake to ignore our future life with Jesus. Paul was urging his readers to actively live for Jesus but at the same time be aware that there is another eternal reality beyond this one. We can so easily be overwhelmed by the challenges of life on earth. We need to put them in perspective.
In the renewed heaven and earth, these challenges will not even be a memory. We live presently in a world shot through with imperfections even as we recognise the good in it. We long for something more, something lasting, something deeper.
C. S. Lewis wrote that if we find in ourselves a desire which no experience in this world can satisfy, then the most probable explanation is that we were made for another world.