The throne of God and of the Lamb will be in the city, and his servants will serve him. They will see his face. Revelation 22:3–4
As the lights dimmed and we prepared to watch Apollo 13, my friend said under his breath, “Shame they all died.” I watched the movie about the 1970 spaceflight with apprehension, waiting for tragedy to strike, and only near the closing credits did I realize I’d been duped. I hadn’t known or remembered the end of the true story—that although the astronauts faced many hardships, they made it home alive.
In Christ, we can know the end of the story—that we too will make it home alive. By that I mean we will live forever with our heavenly Father, as we see in the book of Revelation. The Lord will create a “new heaven and a new earth” as He makes all things new (21:1, 5). In the new city, the Lord God will welcome His people to live with Him, without fear and without the night. We have hope in knowing the end of the story.
What difference does this make? It can transform times of extreme difficulty, such as when people face the loss of a loved one or even their own death. Though we recoil at the thought of dying, yet we can embrace the joy of the promise of eternity. We long for the city where no longer will there be any curse, where we’ll live forever by God’s light (22:5).
Lord Jesus Christ, give me unfailing hope, that I might rest in Your promises and welcome Your life eternal.
God promises His people a good end to the story.
In Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary on the Whole Bible, he writes about Revelation 22:1–5: “The presence of God in heaven is the health and happiness of the saints. . . . The devil has no power there . . . . There will be no night; no affliction or dejection, no pause in service or enjoyment: no diversions or pleasures of man’s inventing will be desired there.” In this “new heaven and earth,” Jesus will wipe away our tears and “there will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain” (21:4). The promise of an end to our suffering can bring a glimmer of hope and joy to our life when we face difficulties, but the brightest hope comes in the knowledge that one day we as His followers will be in the presence of our Lord who loves us. Free from temptation, free from sin, and free from pain and sadness and death, we’ll have only joy in the service of the King!
How does the promise of this bright future help you today when you face troubles and trials? What about heaven do you most anticipate?