This month we want to bless with you a devotional by one of our Story Runners team members. First, listen to the story “New: A New Heaven and Earth,” the last story in The Promise story set at storyrunners.org/stories. Then, enjoy this devotional:
What are you waiting for? It seems more than half of our lives involve waiting. Waiting for Christmas, the end of school, a lifetime partner, a new baby, a better job, a bigger house, healing, someone to come to Christ and on it goes. What is the next big thing you are waiting for? “Wait” is a dreaded word in our fast-paced culture. Yet, often, that is exactly God’s assignment for us.
Have you ever thought of the Bible as a sponge? The more it’s squeezed, the more we get out of it. Let’s consider this short story and see how much we can squeeze out of it.
Do you wonder if John, the apostle, complained to the Lord when he was put in exile—away from his family, friends, church, ministry and society? “Lord, how can I serve You here in this deserted place? How long do I have to wait?” Perhaps, if he wasn’t in a waiting period, he wouldn’t have seen this vision from the Lord. If he’d been busy doing other ministry, we might not have this account about heaven or what to expect in the last days.
Let’s look at the Christians’ situation in those days. They experienced persecution, yet they stayed true to their faith. Most likely they felt discouraged and fearful. They probably prayed for an end to their misery. It was a time of waiting—an in between earth and heaven time.
What message did Jesus give them? “Don’t be afraid. I was dead, but look, I’m still alive. And I have power over death.” Why do you think Jesus spoke these words to them?
And then John saw heaven. Maybe you can hardly wait for heaven. You long to reunite with loved ones there. You’re eager for no more pain, sickness, sadness or death. What else can we look forward to in heaven? We will worship the Lord as He deserves—alongside people from every language, culture and nation. And God will be our light. No evil will be allowed to enter. Life without sin. A new earth and heaven. Try to imagine that.
John also saw what will happen at the end of this age. Satan and his army will be defeated. Everyone will face judgment. We’ll live with God, see His face and joyfully worship Him. And we’ll drink from the river of life and eat fruit from the tree of life. That sounds like the first garden God made for Adam and Eve.
What else did the Lord Jesus say in John’s vision? “I am coming soon.” That reminds us to keep our head in the game. We need to be ready, waiting with hope for His coming.
And while we anticipate His return, let’s strive to bring along as many people from every language, culture and nation as possible. When you share God’s stories to those who don’t know Him—through giving, prayer or going—you gain a multitude of family members to worship alongside in heaven. Now that’s worth the wait!