Hope Sustained – The Apostle John
The book of Revelation records a vision of the end times that was given to the apostle John. It includes descriptions of events that were to take place in his time as well as ones that may take place in ours. God knew that followers of Jesus would experience times of persecution, that they would not be immune from the effects of painful events such as war, famine, diseases, and natural disasters, and that they might be tempted to compromise or abandon their faith in times of difficulty. Through the apostle John, God gave Christians a reason to persevere and to remain faithful. He said that something better lays ahead; something of incalculable value; something worth far more than anything a Christian might gain in this world by compromising their faith or by giving into those who want to discredit God or harm those who follow Jesus.
According to the book of Revelation, God plans to create a “new heaven and a new earth,” one where there is “no more death or mourning or crying or pain (Rev. 21:1-4).” Everything will be made new and in the process, the old order of things will pass away. God’s dwelling place will once again be among men and “he will wipe every tear from [our] eyes.” This great event will be preceded by times of trouble. But God told believers in his day as well as in ours that “He who overcomes will inherit all of this, and I will be his God and he will be my son (Rev. 21:8).”
We’re living in a world today where some of the events John described in the book Revelation seem to be at our very doorstep. Knowing what lays ahead, that God has promised to create a new world that is free from the pain, suffering, and sorrow of this one, sustains our hope and helps us persevere in the midst of trials and difficulties that sometimes seem insurmountable and that test our faith.
Jesus said, “Behold, I am coming soon! My reward is with me, and I will give to everyone according to what he has done (Rev. 22:12).” That’s a promise worth remembering and a hope we can place our trust in.
In what ways can the promise of a new heaven and a new earth be a source of encouragement you?
How can this help you to sustain your hope in times of difficulty?
The topic of this week’s devotionals, contributed by Dick Lentz the from Neon flock at Calvary, is Hope. Dick has a blog at AsISeeItToday.com and can be reached at *protected email*.