Devotional: January 4, 2021
“I saw Heaven and earth new-created. Gone the first Heaven, gone the first earth, gone the sea. I saw Holy Jerusalem, new-created, descending resplendent out of Heaven, as ready for God as a bride for her husband. I heard a voice thunder from the Throne:
“Look! Look! God has moved into the neighborhood, making his home with men and women! They’re his people, he’s their God. He’ll wipe every tear from their eyes. Death is gone for good—tears gone, crying gone, pain gone—all the first order of things gone.”
The Enthroned continued, “Look! I’m making everything new. Write it all down—each word dependable and accurate.”
Revelation 21: 1-5 The Message
Happy New Year! We all are turning our calendars over to a new year. Most of us are pretty happy to say that the year 2020 is behind us. Time Magazine even featured a cover with “2020” marked out with a big red “X”. The caption for the cover read, “The worst year ever.”
Although this has felt like the worst year ever, American history points out there have been other tumultuous years, like 1968 with all the assassinations, Vietnam war protests, and civil rights issues. In 1861, our country was literally at war within itself. It will be interesting to see how 2020 is recorded in history, especially a generation or two from now.
John, who wrote the Book of Revelation while on the island of Patmos, was certainly no stranger to heartache and adversity. Many of the previous chapters of Revelation are filled with visions of death, war, destruction, and desecration. Yet in this passage, he sparks hope and optimism.
Here, John points to the hope we have through Christ, right here and right now. Jesus has the ability, and the desire, to make all things new. Not only new, but better than before. In a sense, every day is January 1st with the Lord.
When John describes God “moving into the neighborhood,” he paints a picture of God wiping away tears. John sees God bringing peace and healing, where before there had only been conflict and pain. Last year, the Lord wiped away many tears. He will do so again this year, and He will always do so.
As we all walk into 2021, may we look to it with fresh eyes, as this scripture prompts us to do. After a long snowfall during the night, we open the curtains in the morning to a fresh white horizon. The promises of God’s forgiveness are that same kind of carpet of purity. God has already moved into our neighborhood. We are His people and He is our home. He does make everything new!
We will continue to struggle through some of what we did in 2020. Yet the Lord will continue to walk with us through those struggles, holding us when we need reassurance and comfort. He will be there to wipe our tears away, as He always has been. God will also cheer with us when we rejoice. These verses remind us that we do not have to go through life alone. We are never, nor will we ever be, spiritually isolated. God is always with us!
What a tremendous promise to hold on to as we begin the year 2021!
Thank You Lord, for the permanent promises You have given me. I am so thankful that when the world wavers and moves, You have a firm footing. You will hold me, carry me, and walk with me. Thank You for the freshness every day of Your promises. May I remember Your words each and every moment of the day. Forgive me for not trusting in You, Keep me strong, especially when I feel weak.
Faithfully I pray these words in the name of Your Son, and My Lord, Jesus Christ, Amen