All Things New
and He will wipe away every tear from their eyes; and there will no longer be death; there will no longer be sorrow anguish, or crying, or pain; for the former order of things has passed away.”And He who sits on the throne said, “Behold, I am making all things new.” Also He said, “Write, for these words are faithful and true [they are accurate, incorruptible, and trustworthy].”
Almost three millennia ago, Solomon observed that God had placed a desire for eternity in our hearts(Ecclesiastes 3:11). We long for heaven. Intuitively, people know there’s something beyond this life. Men and women of every culture and every age have tried to identify what it might look like, and we’re given a glimpse in John’s Revelation.
A day is coming when all wrongs will be made right, every pain will be comforted, and every tear dried. All of the confusion, doubt, and heartache will pass away. Bitterness, resentment, and strains if every kind in every relationship will vanish. In their place, God will make “all things new.”
To tantalize us, God doesn’t give us more than a shadowy look into that glorious time. We can, though, make some assumptions. Those things that give us joy now will be magnified incredibly. Love, affirmation, understanding, and encouragement will thrill us because they will be untainted by any hint of selfishness. We’ll laugh more heartily than ever before, and we’ll be challenged to worship God more effectively and wholeheartedly. And those things that cause pain now will vanish in the light of God’s amazing love.
For centuries, those who thought, talked, and sang about heaven were those who experienced oppression in this life. Slaves, the chronically poor and destitute, sick and disabled people, and prisoners have always longed for heaven’s door. The rest of us, though, will marvel when we get there because heaven will be so much more wonderful than our lives now.
Think about it. It’ll do you good.
When the darkness of dismay comes, endure until it is over, because out of it will come that following of Jesus which is an unspeakable joy.
Getting by and getting through seem to be the common phrases of the day. Survival, holding on, hanging in, and existing have become the ordinary. And as Paul said, having our hopes and dreams fixed on the things of this world rarely gives much satisfaction. Paul says that if in this world only we have hope, we are truly men most miserable. When Jesus was going through His suffering on the cross, the Bible says that for the joy set before Him, He endured the cross and the shame and pain.
In our stressful and busy world, it’s easy to forget that we’re just passing through. Abraham, one of those who certainly had plenty of the things of this world, called himself a pilgrim looking for a city whose builder and maker was God. He is called the father of faith. As he waited for the promises of God, he looked toward his future. In the delays and failures, it was those moments of trusting God for his future that kept him going. On the other hand, the Israelites on their journey through the wilderness focused more on their current situation than they did on the future promised by God. At every challenge, they forgot the promises of God and allowed themselves to be caught up in fear, despair and doubt. They often reacted with anger and finger-pointing, blaming their leaders and God for their dilemma. Many who read their story wonder how they could ignore the visible presence of God through the cloud and pillar of fire. How could they forget their deliverance through the Red Sea and food from heaven and water from a rock. Yet we can find ourselves forgetting the times of experiencing God’s touch, presence, and answered prayers.
We acknowledge that our world is troubling and filled with many things that concern us. The news is filled with stories that easily produce fear, anxiety and questions. Almost every where we look we find another thing to add to the burdens of life. Besides all the troubling things in the larger world around us, many individuals are also at the same time are experiencing intense personal challenges. Job pressure, family situations, the issues brought on by the pandemic such as isolation and the loss of many previous norms and the surreal feeling of watching everything unfold around us contributes to doubt, fear and discouragement.
Paul writes about those things in 2 Corinthians 4:
We are troubled on every side, yet not distressed; we are perplexed, but not in despair; Persecuted, but not forsaken; cast down, but not destroyed; Always bearing about in the body the dying of the Lord Jesus, that the life also of Jesus might be made manifest in our body. For we which live are always delivered unto death for Jesus’ sake, that the life also of Jesus might be made manifest in our mortal flesh.
How can we be troubled and perplexed and persecuted and cast down and yet not distressed or in despair or forsaken or destroyed? The writer of Hebrews says that we consistently look to Jesus, the Author and Finisher of our faith for He is the one who’s said in John 14:
Do not let your heart be troubled (afraid, cowardly). Believe [confidently] in God andtrust in Him, [have faith, hold on to it, rely on it, keep going and] believe also in Me. In My Father’s house are many dwelling places. If it were not so, I would have told you, because I am going there to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back again and I will take you to Myself, so that where I am you may be also. And [to the place] where I am going, you know the way.” Thomas said to Him, “Lord, we do not know where You are going; so how can we know the way?” Jesus said to him, “[a]I am the [only] Way [to God] and the [real] Truth and the [real] Life; no one comes to the Father but through Me.
The beauty of knowing Christ is the promise of the future He has promised for us. When life is at its worst we remember His promises of that which is to come and somehow it lifts our hearts with encouragement.
Today if it’s a sad one, or a stressful one or one of those days when everything goes wrong go back and read our text. One day God will wipe away our tears. One day our tired, crippled, diseased bodies will be replaced with glorious ones that suffer no more. One day the days of being separated from family and friends through death will end and what a reunion that will be. So we make it through the trials and troubles by reminding ourselves of all that is yet to come when God brings us into the glorious future He has prepared for us. In our darkest days, let us remember that to everything is a season and this too shall pass and one day in the eternal future we will be rewarded and blessed if we will just stay in the race. I hope you choose to.
Dr. John Thompson