You know the promises. So does everyone else. Heaven will be a place with baby shampoo, right? You know ... "no more tears". (Sorry -- bad joke.) But, seriously, Scripture is clear that "He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away." (Rev 21:4) Heaven, we all know, will be a place of eternal bliss. Sure, we may not fully grasp "pearly gates" or streets of gold that are transparent (Rev 21:18), but we're absolutely clear on this joy-in-heaven thing.
So, let me ask you. If you were to find out that heaven would be a place of happiness ... but Jesus would not be there, would you want to go?
I heard that question some years ago and it stunned me. First, it was "Well, who wouldn't?" But it started to sink in and I had to shift almost immediately. Is our goal joy and peace away from this mess we're in now, or is it Him? Are we aiming for comfort or relationship with Him? Is it even possible to have joy where Jesus is not?
The psalmist wrote, "Sing for joy in the LORD, O you righteous ones; Praise is becoming to the upright." (Psa 33:1) Nehemiah said, "The joy of the LORD is your strength." (Neh 8:10) Paul wrote that the fruit of the Spirit is "love, joy, peace ..." (Gal 5:22-23) Now, we can look all sorts of places for happiness, but true joy is found in the Lord. The abundant life is found in Christ (John 10:10). We were built to be with Him. Heaven is a happy place, but that happiness is found in His unmitigated presence. There is no joy in Heaven if He isn't there. And if He isn't there, I don't want to be, either. I want to be where He is.