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January 16, 2022 | Doug Sauder
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“And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes; there shall be no more death, nor sorrow, nor crying. There shall be no more pain, for the former things have passed away.”—Revelation 21:4 (NKJV)
Years ago, a young friend and I bought a big bucket of popcorn and sat through a mesmerizing film with a beautiful beach setting and a romantic storyline. Through most of the movie, my love-struck friend kept reaching over to grab my arm and say, “This is the best movie ever.” We both sighed and felt a sweet satisfaction as each scene further drew us in to the epic love story.
The movie was about half over when suddenly tragedy struck. The handsome protagonist sailed off into a stormy sea and unexpectedly drowned. The twist of fate felt like a huge sucker punch. As we left the theater, my shocked companion frowned at me and said, “That was the worst movie ever.”
I’ve thought about that day many times since because this broken world is full of irony, and I’ve cried more tears over unexpected losses than I want to remember. My husband and I lost a baby we never held. We’ve stood before the casket of loved ones who’ve stepped into eternity in their youth. The dark stain of sin has cast a deathly shadow over all of creation, and when we feel the weight of it, we know this is not heaven.
When I read the apostle John’s words here in Revelation, I find hope to help me through the hurts I am experiencing today. Heaven is a real place, and I will one day see it with my own eyes. Because Christ came to pay for our sins and conquered sin and death, the suffering we are experiencing during our season on earth is only temporary. Those who put their faith in Christ for salvation will see Him face to face, and every painful experience will be wiped away as we experience fullness of joy in His presence.
Today is not the last page of your story. God is writing redemption on your heart every day, and a sweet and satisfying ending is certain to come as you continue to trust Him with each sentence of your life.
DIG: Read Isaiah 51:11 and Hosea 13:14. How do these Old Testament passages tie in to the apostle John’s vision of heaven in Revelation?
DISCOVER: Write out the “no mores” in Revelation 21:4 on a 3 x 5 card and read them every morning for the next 7 days. Ask God to fill you with hope and peace as you focus on this promise instead of your present problems.
DISPLAY: Pray for an opportunity this week to share about the joys of heaven with one friend or family member who is still stuck in sin and needs the Savior.