It is in our bones to wish for a world where things are better...The words used by Revelations are “A New heaven and a New earth”. The writer of the book of Revelation agrees: “Death will be no more; mourning and crying and pain will be no more”
So here is my question: “Why does God put us through all this?” Why not just create us in the new heaven and the new earth... why the hardship / the sadness / the suffering / the death.... and then the new heaven and earth?
The short answer is that I really do not know....and I find it frustrating. The fact is that life is difficult, and it is difficult for everyone: rich and poor alike. So let me offer an opinion, and an invitation:
Here is My Opinion:I am convinced that life here on earth is part of God’s purpose. This is the preparation for eternal life with God. When we die we will not sit on clouds playing harps – we have work to do in the next life. And this life prepares us for it. This life is the “university for eternity”. We have lessons to learn – and most of them are best learned in times of difficulty and struggle.
The Invitation:To use every moment of life to the full:
- Do not waste opportunities to learn as much as possible
- Do not waste opportunities to put back into life..
Rev 21:5 And the one who was seated on the throne said, "See, I am making all things new."
This is not a future promise – this is the present reality: God’s renewal has already begun. And we can either miss the opportunity or be part of it. The essence of the invitation is to open our eyes and discover the new creation of God – within us, and in the relationships around us.Rev 21:6 Then he said to me, "It is done! I am the Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and the end.
Creation is not over until God says so.
Ordinary 17 / Pentecost +1039 God, Our Source of Hope
The Scripture passage for the day is drawn from Reuben Job and Norman Shawchuck, A Guide to Prayer for Ministers and other Servants, (Nashville, The Upper Room 1983), 243.
This reflection is from my own devotional exercises for the day.