I have always liked a happy ending to stories, but daily life constantly confronts me with the reality of evil and suffering. Sometimes it feels like a bombardment of information about what is going wrong in the world.
I have a two-year reading plan, designed by my husband, which takes me at a gentle rate through the entire Bible, without any pressure to keep up with the calendar dates. Recently, I reached the last day of the plan, and read Malachi Chapter 4, Psalm 150, and Revelation Chapter 22. I didn’t start at the beginning for several days, because I wanted to stay with those beautiful passages and rest a while in them.
In Malachi Chapter 4 we have the promise about Jesus, the Messiah, coming to the earth. When Jesus comes, He is like the refiner’s fire. Anything that is worthless will be burned up, and only what is precious and valuable in His sight will remain as pure gold. The names of the righteous have been recorded by the Lord, and He will consider them to be His ‘treasured possession’. ‘But for you who fear my name, the sun of righteousness shall rise with healing in its wings. You shall go out leaping like calves from the stall. And you shall tread down the wicked, for they will be ashes under the soles of your feet, on the day when I act, says the Lord of hosts’ (Malachi 3-4:2.)
In Psalm 150, all are invited to join in the praise of Jesus as Lord throughout the entire universe. There will be singing and dancing, and music from all manner of instruments. It is so joyful. We are urged to take an active part in this. ‘Let everything that has breath praise the Lord! Praise the Lord! (Psalm 150:6).
And then comes the highest point of the Bible, the culmination of all that God has done throughout history (Revelation Chapter 22). We learn what it will be like in eternity in the presence of God. There will be the river of the water of life and the tree of life, with its fruit and healing leaves for the nations, but, even more exciting, ‘No longer will there be anything accursed, but the throne of God and of the Lamb will be in it, and his servants will worship him. They will see his face, and his name will be on their foreheads’ (Revelation 4-22:3). I want to see His face and be cherished by Him.
The invitation is for us all to acknowledge our sinfulness and the mess we have made of the life God the Father has given to us. We can be washed, purified by the blood of the Lamb, and made holy. “I am the Alpha and the Omega, the first and the last, the beginning and the end.” Blessed are those who wash their robes, so that they may have the right to the tree of life and that they may enter the city by the gates” (Revelation 22:13-14) Revelation Jesus made the way for us all to enter the holy city, the new Jerusalem. There will be no more struggles there and we will always be the Lord, in His presence.
But we have not yet finished the journey here on earth. We are to serve the Lord in whatever way He has for us. We don’t know what lies ahead, especially in these uncertain times. The way may be rough, but we know there is a glorious reward awaiting us. He is with us always, encouraging us along the pathway.
Prayer: Father God, I thank You for Jesus and that He has made the way for me to enter the holy city, where I shall be for evermore with You, Jesus and the Holy Spirit. I thank You that, if I keep my eyes on You, I shall be made holy and given the right to the tree of life. Please fill me with Your Holy Spirit and give me the strength I need day by day to follow You, whatever the circumstances of my life. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
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