Since the fall of man there has not been a day, an hour, a moment, in which this has not been a sorrowful world…How different would this world be if it were announced that henceforward there would be no more sorrow! How different, therefore, will heaven be when we shall have the assurance that grief shall be at an end! Albert Barnes, Revelation, pp.444-445.
We’re reminded every day: We are not yet home. In every tear we shed, every loss we experience, each time we mourn—in our pain—we’re reminded of what we desperately long for: the glory and joy of heaven as we dwell in God’s perfect presence.
This is what the Apostle John described when he wrote, “They will be his people, and 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” (Revelation 21.3b-4).
But that is then and this is now. A scan of Internet headlines sharpens this contrast: terrorist killings, embezzlement, domestic violence, and cheating. Not a day goes by without this contrast—a world with so much wrong versus one made new and right—where we don’t sigh, yearn, and long for what we’ll one day experience.
What John describes in Revelation 21 is what’s awaiting every follower of Jesus. While “we’re not yet home,” we have a good idea as to what “home” will be like: no tears, death, pain, or suffering. John tells us this to give us hope, a hope God uses to carry us through difficult days and challenging situations.
As you welcome God into your week, identify one “longing” in your life and then thank God for his promised future.