[He will wipe away all tears from their eyes]
We’ve been through a fare bit in the last few years. We’re not the only ones. We’re watching those around us go through it too. To be honest, it’s been more difficult to watch others suffering. I always have hope. I just hope that those who are going through the hardest things are clinging to that hope as I am.
This isn’t what I’d planned on posting today. I was going to acknowledge the nomination that I received for the The Barnabas Award (and I still will), but Tuesday morning knocked the wind out of our sails. We received the news that one of Andrew’s best friends through highschool (also best man at our wedding) lost his 16 year old son, Johnny. Suddenly everything seemed so unimportant.
I emailed a couple of close friends to ask them to pray, and wrote to one of them, “How do you rejoice when the people you care about are suffering and grieving?” It was a somber and tearful morning. We grieve with those who are grieving. We also have very few words in times like these. You can’t take someone’s pain away, but we do have hope.
Today’s Suffering is Nothing Compared to Tomorow’s Hope
This may sound as if it downplays today’s pain, but it doesn’t. We may have suffering now, but for those who know Jesus, our suffering is nothing compared to the glory that will be revealed in us. (Romans 8:18-31) What does this mean? It means that for a short time we will experience pain, but for those who love God, no suffering is ever a waste. God works it for good according to what He wants to achieve. (Romans 8:28)
“Sometimes God allows what He hates to accomplish what He loves.” –Joni Eareckson Tada
When Jesus returns, and God’s children are revealed (those who have given their lives to Jesus) there will be rejoicing. God Himself will wipe the tears from His children’s eyes. Everything we’ve ever known will disappear. It will be a thing of the past. Things will be completely different. There will be no more pain or suffering, no more grief and no more death. We’ll be reunited with the ones we’ve lost, and as a woman who gives birth forgets her pain, we will forget our pain also. (Revelation 21)
So for now we have troubles. We’ll grieve, and may even experience days we wish we were never born, as some of our prominent Bible characters did (Job 3:1-19, Jeremiah 15:10, Ecclesiastes 4:2-3), but if we will cling to Jesus, He will mercifully carry us through. Our advocate the Holy Spirit will comfort us in our deepest despair until the day when all suffering will cease.
However, we only get one lifetime to make our choice, and we aren’t promised tomorrow. It’s better to let Jesus lead, and suffer a little now, than to suffer for all eternity. (Mark 8:36) Fortunately, Johnny did know the Lord. His family does have this comfort in their grieving, and hope for tommorow.
“If you declare with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you profess your faith and are saved. –Romans 10:9-1
“He will wipe away all tears from their eyes. There will be no more death, no more grief or crying or pain. The old things have disappeared.” (Revelation 21:4)