1 Now I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away. Also there was no more sea. 2 Then I, John, saw the holy city, New Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. 3 And I heard a loud voice from heaven saying, “Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and He will dwell with them, and they shall be His people. God Himself will be with them and be their God. 4 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 21:1-4)
Revelation was written to encourage the 1st Century Christians as they suffered under the severe persecution of the Roman Empire. There is much to study and to learn from the book and I believe it is also given as an encouragement to us.
There are many of us who have loved ones that are very sick, hurting, or are otherwise in a very tough spot. We love them and we want to help them but in truth there is only so much we can do. Cancer, mental illness, physical disabilities, emotion abuse are the ones that come to my mind as I think about those I love who are either suffering or have someone who is suffering. It breaks my heart overall and as I consider each case and the impact of the situation hurts me even more. I dare say it makes me mad on some level though that is a fruit of the flesh and not the Spirit. The Spirit, if I am focused as I should be, brings me peace, comfort, and encouragement.
As I think about it, I hurt because of the pain but I rejoice because I know that in the end, every person on my mind who is suffering is going to be ok when they go home to Jesus. With that said, as I turn to those that are caring for them, love them, or otherwise affected by their loved one’s suffering…what can I do there? Of course I can say encouraging things, I can pray for and with them, I can just generally be available, compassionate, and loving. That is a lot and I should do more.
What I also want to do today is encourage everyone who is reading this to take time throughout the day and pray for those we know are suffering physical, mental or emotional pain. Pray that even though they may not be able to pray or read scripture, that verses like these would fill their heart and God would comfort them through the power I know He has and will use for His children. I believe everyone that is in Jesus is going to be ok in eternity and I believe our God is willing and able to comfort His children who are our loved ones in ways we cannot see or fully understand. I believe that and I think we can find comfort in it.
It is not about us and it is not about now. We cannot do it all and thankfully He has done it all. Take heart and pray with me for all our loved ones and their families in these difficult times.