Reflections on Revelation #327

‘Day 327

“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 21:4.  
How often have we been frustrated by prayers that seem unanswered, tragedies that were not prevented, loved ones lost? May God help us to trust this future promise. How many have felt alone in their grief? Paul had promised that God wouldn’t lay on us burdens greater than we could bear (1 Cor 10:13), but sometimes we are not so sure anymore. Are the words of Jesus, “Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted” (Matt 5:4, NIV) really meaningful at these times? Do we feel comforted? I wonder what Mary thought when she saw her son on the cross? Rev 21:4 are words from the future, that explain Matt 5:4. Those who mourn are not always comforted in this life. The future tense is a promise that doesn’t always apply to the here and now.

But both texts are clear in this. We will see our loved ones again if they died in Jesus. We can find comfort in Revelation’s vision of hope. Even though our loved ones lie in a grave, we know that Jesus will return again. And when He does, God will wipe every tear away and the mourners will be comforted – forever.

Will God wipe away tears by causing us to forget all the hardships, suffering, and pain of this life? Or will we remember the hurts clearly, yet they won’t “hurt” anymore? How far will the “former things” have gone away? I suspect we will still remember, but the pain will be gone. The memories of our personal history are worth retaining, they are part of what we have become. When memory has lost its power to wound, it retains its capacity to develop depth of character.

For those who have been severely wounded by life, it can be hard to imagine that time could strip painful events of their power to cause tears. But with God’s help, it can happen.   

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