A beautiful new hymn by G.M. Eldridge is built on the Revelation 21:4 “He will wipe away every tear from their eyes…” I have listened to this song about 50 times. I hum this melody when I go about my day and is a new favorite.
I cannot think of any trial or hardship in life wherein at least at one point, all I wanted most out of the situation was some kind of resolution or relief. Sometimes God provides reprieve for the moment…sometimes He doesn’t. Sometimes He allows hardship to endure for years and years. Sometimes the tears brought on by difficulty and suffering fill a thousand cups, and in those moments where we are weak in faith and sense that we are totally alone, we fill a thousand more.
It is hymn of this sort that the suffering soul needs to hear and needs to sing over and over. This hymn reminds us of perhaps the most simple, poignant, powerful and important promise of all of Scripture – that someday we will be with God, He will be with us and all of our suffering will end. The apex of this promise is a person who will ensure this happens – Jesus, our Lord.
“3 And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Behold, the dwelling place of God is with man. He will dwell with them, and they will be his people, and God himself will be with them as their God. 4 He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away.” 5 And he who was seated on the throne said, “Behold, I am making all things new.” Also he said, “Write this down, for these words are trustworthy and true.””[Revelation 21:3-5 ESV]
Sin and hardship make us forgetful and deceived. Accordingly, we are in need of the mercy of God whereby, out of the overflow of His kidness and grace, He reminds us of the surity of His promises – that they are in fact firm and solid; that we are in fact never alone. Sin and hardship have not only rendered us forgetful but diminished our vision and knowledge of God. Someday, when we are united with God, we will see Him as He is, and know Him even as we are known.
“For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I have been fully known.”1 Corinthians 13:12
One of the ways we know the Spirit is at work in our hearts when we are battling sin and in the throws of a trial of some sort is by the direction our hearts turn – do we turn toward an increasing longing for God; for a closeness to Him; for a longing for home. Sometimes anger is easier by far but perhaps we are attuned to the fact that anger does not assist us, it only isolates us.
It is the ever present battle with sin even in the midst of suffering that reminds us of our basic unworthiness of God and demonstrates to us what a life without God in the world brings us. That is – we are saved by grace, we debtors to sin, we are unrighteous and all our works are filthy rags. The regenerated heart sees this and is filled with new thoughts – thoughts of praise and worship which will be “emptied” on the day of our union with Him.
- How does the promise and hope of heaven assist you in your days of sorrow and hardship?
- When difficulty arises or when you are in the throws of a battle with sin, where does your heart tend to turn – toward a longing for heaven and home with Jesus, or somwehere else?
- Describe a time when you experienced Spirit-filled longing for Heaven as your true home OR a time when you experienced Spirit-filled peace that you were not alone in your hardship or battle with sin.
- What other promise and assurances of God sits in your heart like a butress to your soul, keeping you hopeful in the midst of suffering or battles with sin?
- What promise of God do you struggle to believe?