September 15 | Bible in a Year: Proverbs 19-21; 2 Corinthians 7
Goodbyes and Hellos
God himself will be with them and be their God. “He will wipe every tear from their eyes.”
READ REVELATION 21:1–5
When my brother David suddenly died of cardiac failure, my perspectives on life changed dramatically. Dave was the fourth of seven children, but he was the first of us to pass—and the unexpected nature of that passing gave me much to ponder. It became apparent that as age began to catch up with us, our family’s future was going to be marked more by loss than by gain. It was going to be characterized as much by goodbyes as hellos.
None of this was a surprise intellectually—that is just how life works. But this realization was an emotional lightning bolt to the brain. It gave a fresh, new significance to every moment life gives us and every opportunity time allows. And it placed a huge new value on the reality of a future reunion, where no goodbyes will ever be needed.
This ultimate reality is at the heart of what we find in Revelation 21:3-4: “God himself will be with them and be their God. ‘He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death’ or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.”
Though today we may find ourselves experiencing seasons of long goodbyes, our trust in Christ’s death and resurrection promises an eternity of hellos.
By Bill Crowder
REFLECT & PRAY
Father, I thank You that You’re the living God who gives everlasting life. I pray that You would use our eternal hope to comfort us in our seasons of loss and grief.
How do you cope with grief and the loss of loved ones? What comfort does it bring to know that you will one day see them again?
Today’s passage gives us a glimpse of heaven, describing it as a physical place (vv. 1-2). Jesus said He was going to prepare a place for us (John 14:2-3), and this promise is fulfilled in the New Jerusalem, the Holy City (Revelation 21:2). While it’s a great comfort that heaven is a perfect place (v. 4), the most important thing is that it’s the dwelling place of God (v. 3). In this final vision of the beginning of eternity (21:1-22:9), John hears Christ declaring, “It is done” (21:6). The New Living Translation renders it, “It is finished!” echoing Christ’s victorious cry from the cross (John 19:30). Sin’s curse will one day be completely removed and reversed (Revelation 21:4-5; see Genesis 3:16-19). K. T. Sim