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April 29 – Future joy

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. Revelation 21:4

Scripture reading: Revelation 21:1-7

As we have seen this month, the Bible speaks much about joy in the Christian life. But God’s Word does not paint a false picture of life. We also read about pain, hardship and difficulties. Though we don’t always understand why, we know God has His purposes for such trials and that His purposes are always for good. If you are in Christ, you can rest assured that God is foryou, not against you! What He does is for your edification and sanctification, not for your destruction.

This month’s topic of JOY is not meant to minimize or ignore the reality of pain; it is meant to put hardships into perspective. As Christians, you are pilgrims, aliens and strangers on this earth. Your citizenship is in heaven. You are a child of God and He has reserved for you a future that is without pain.

Think of it. When Christ returns in all His glory and the number of the elect is complete, He will inaugurate the new heaven and new earth in which you will live for eternity. This won’t be a temporary respite. God wants you to know that “the former things have passed away.” What former things? Tears. Death. Mourning. Crying. Pain. These will be eradicated, done away with, gone forever!

When you recognize and believe this, you will have joy even while you experience hardships. Do you believe? Then you can say with Paul, “The sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory that is to be revealed to us” (Romans 8:18).

Suggestions for prayer

Pray that God would increase your faith to see the blessed future awaiting you and that the Holy Spirit would give you joy even as you shed tears, hurt or mourn.

This daily devotional is available in a print edition you can buy at Nearer to God Devotional. Rev. Derrick Vander Meulen is the minister of Coram Deo Reformation Church (URC) in Littleton, Colorado.

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