Bringing Resurrected Life in a World of Pain
Written by Pastor Nick Pine
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 21:3-4 (NLT)
Life has a way of throwing us for a loop. Every one of us can expect to face circumstances that can wreak havoc on our minds and emotions and can prove to be a serious test of faith. Even the continuous fight for social justice can be exhausting, and at times feel like an uphill battle. In moments of struggle we may even be moved to wonder, “Is it even worth it?” If you’re like me, you need an anchor for your soul – a promise you can fully trust that will carry you through the brokenness we face. God’s promise of the new Heaven and new Earth is an anchor we can rely on to keep us steady, even through the strongest storms.
John, the author of Revelation, was given a vision of what was to come: a world remade without pain or suffering, a place where the presence of God dwells among His people – a new creation free from evil and brokenness. John’s letter was written to give Christians strength and encouragement to endure the trials they were going through. No matter what we face personally, in the face of the vilest injustice we confront, God’s plan is always in action, restoring all of creation. John was convinced that this promise of a new world would give us the courage to endure whatever brokenness we may currently face.
When we, like John, catch God’s vision for the future, it alters the way we view the present. Knowing that new, everlasting life awaits in the New Creation should grant us a sense of perspective that makes our current difficulties feel small. This knowledge makes us realize that every moment we have today is a gift - not to be selfishly indulged, but to be given away in service to the kingdom of Jesus and the freedom of all. The Apostle Paul writes:
“For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory that is to be revealed to us. For the creation waits with eager longing for the revealing of the sons of God. For the creation was subjected to futility, not willingly, but because of him who subjected it, in hope that the creation itself will be set free from its bondage to corruption and obtain the freedom of the glory of the children of God.” Romans 8:18-21, ESV.
The pain and heartache we may feel today, while real and significant, will pass away. The anxiety and insecurities raging inside us are revealed as minuscule compared to the glory Jesus is revealing in us. When God’s people awaken to the promise of the future, we are empowered with perspective, strength, and conviction to bring a resurrection vision to the world. This resurrection vision grants hope for tomorrow and healing for today.
Revelation 21 gives us assurance that God is at work, making everything new. And with this assurance comes an opportunity. Our Father invites us to work alongside Him in His mission. Everything we do has the power to shape the world around us. As we cling to the promise of the world God is rebuilding, we can choose every day to join Him in His work. If we hold fast to God’s promise, we play a valuable role in bringing a resurrected way of life into our current world.
Developing a resurrection perspective is a spiritual discipline. Even simple practices of mindfulness can help us align our perspective with the Spirit. As we regularly attune our hearts and minds to this promise of the future, our vision of the present will begin to shift. A Church that is passionate about bringing God’s Kingdom to earth, breaking the chains of injustice, must be intentional in adopting His vision.
What challenges are you facing that feel insurmountable? Are there fears and doubts crippling you? Is insecurity holding you back from your calling? Gather all these anxieties in your mind. Envision the joy, peace, and rest we will dwell in forever.
Put all your current conflict in the context of God’s plan for our future and His calling for our present. Take a moment to speak to Jesus. Release all your tensions and uncertainties to Him. Thank Him for His glorious plan for the future, and for the healing, courage, and strength He offers us today.
“Holy Spirit, remind me every day of Your promise of a new Heaven and Earth. Give me peace in every circumstance, knowing that You hold the future. Show me how to live a resurrected life today as I join You on Your mission to restore this broken world. Amen.”