Advent Reading – December 20, 2017

Laurie Pauls – Worship Design Team

Revelation 21:1-4 & 1 Peter 1:6-7

God is in the process of teaching me to accept that pain, brokenness and sin are a part of this life. He is showing me that He is good, present, and at work in our suffering. I am beginning to look for Him with expectancy when life feels out of my control or is not going the way I planned or hoped. Instead of angrily asking God why something is happening, I have begun asking Him what He wants to teach me through it.

What often times feels like we are being knocked down, God uses to lift us up and draw us closer to Himself. When we feel weak and troubled, God is at work showing us how strong He is. God cares more about the state of our heart and faith in Him than making this life comfortable or “perfect”. He uses the struggles in this life to humble us, so He can be put in the proper place as Lord of Lords. How can we be a generation that rises up to honour and glorify God if we are not desperate for Him and His help?

“I know how great this makes you feel, even though you have to put up with every kind of aggravation in the meantime. Pure gold put in the fire comes out of it proved pure; genuine faith put through this suffering comes out proved genuine. When Jesus wraps this all up, it’s your faith, not your gold, that God will have on display as evidence of his victory.”  1 Peter 1:6-7 (The Message)

While reading through Revelation with my husband this fall, I was reminded that the story doesn’t end here with needing to accept suffering forever. There is also the hope and joy of the future that God has given us to hold onto.

“Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the old heaven and the old earth had disappeared. And the sea was also gone. And I saw the holy city, the new Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven like a bride beautifully dressed for her husband. I heard a loud shout from the throne, saying, ‘Look, God’s home is now among his people! He will live with them, and they will be his people. God himself will be with them. He will wipe every tear from their eyes, and there will be no more death or sorrow or crying or pain. All these things are gone forever.”    Revelation 21:1-4

God’s ultimate plan is to make everything new (Rev 21:5) where nothing evil will be allowed to enter (Rev 21:27). Won’t that be amazing? That is what is coming for us!

So Father, thank you that You are faithfully present with us through the troubles of this life and that the future You have planned is more amazing than we could ever begin to imagine. Thank you for the gift of hope here and now – and the greatest hope for our future!