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“Behold, I am making all things new.”

These may be some of the most encouraging words ever spoken.

They are spoken from the very throne of God in Revelation 21. God has just vanquished evil. The final enemy, death, has been destroyed. The beast has been cast into the abyss of the sea, never to rise again. God’s victory is secure. As the chapter opens, John sees a vision of a new heaven and a new Earth, with the new Jerusalem coming down out of the sky. God’s new home is with the people. Death will be no more. Mourning, crying and pain will be no more. It is the new creation, appearing before his very eyes. The contrast with what has just taken place could not be more extreme. Chapter 20 is death, destruction, and pain. Chapter 21, however, is new life; its new creation. In the midst of tragedy and pain God speaks words of hope and joy.

“Behold, I am making all things new.”

These words come at the very end of some horrible events. Revelation gives a vision of the future. It’s not a detailed vision or exact prophecy so much as it is a philosophical understanding of the way the world works, and will continue to work. Sin will continue to reign. Those in power will fight to remain in power. War, famine, and plague will continue. God’s people will suffer. Governments and false prophets will arise and will control the world through fear and oppression. It will appear that history is heading toward complete disaster. There is reason to be alarmed; reason to be concerned. But in the midst of the pain and turmoil God promises to do something new. In each vision of the future God moves in when all seems lost and starts something new. God creates good even in the midst of pain and tragedy. God becomes present in the midst of the hurt and leads history toward a positive future. Everything is dying, but God steps in to vanquish evil and begin a new day.

“Behold, I am making all things new.”

God doesn’t disregard the evil or make the pain seem invalid. God isn’t dismissing the horror that evil brings to the world, or even to our own lives. Instead, God promises to be present with us in the midst of the horror. God promises to crawl up into the midst of our pain and tragedy and still do good things with our lives. God is not an aloof deity who sits on some high mountain barely involved in the affairs of the world. No, God is in our midst, dwelling with us, tabernaceling with us, crawling into our pain and bringing good out of it. God is providing hope, because even when things are bad;

“Behold, I am making all things new.”

Today we need these words, possibly more than we ever needed them before. Today we find ourselves in places of tragedy and pain. Today we find ourselves in a place where it appears evil is winning. Everyday we turn on the news to discover more death, more famine, more war. In those confrontations, its easy to start wondering if there is any hope; if a future still exists. Everything good in our world seems to be falling apart; as gunman continue to open fire and the world seems dark. It’s in these times that we need a God who will crawl up into the midst of our pain and declare there is hope. To declare the future is brighter than the past. The new creation is coming. Death, mourning, and pain will be no more. The sun is rising on a new day bringing peace and joy.

“Behold, I am making all things new.”

Do we have enough faith to believe the words? When our lives are falling apart, do we have enough faith to believe? When all hope is gone, do we have enough faith to believe? When every new day brings more news of hatred, violence, and death, do we have enough faith to believe?

In our moments of pain we must find the strength to believe, if even just for a moment. In our moments of pain, we must be aware enough to feel the presence of God. God is not off in the clouds. God is in the midst of our pain. And God is whispering in our ears, this is not the end. Evil will be destroyed. A new day is dawning.

“For Behold, I am making all things new.”