When there are so many challenges made, so many insistent declarations that call into question what you see, what you hear, what you think, and yes, what you know, it is hard to be certain sometimes about anything.
While doubt is not unwelcome for the honest believer who is trying to understand, it is good to hear something that reminds the faithful follower about why their journey of faith was begun in the first place.
Listen now for echoes of truth, so that you may believe still.next >
Then the angel showed me the river of the water of life, bright as crystal, flowing from the throne of God and of the Lamb through the middle of the street of the city. On either side of the river is the tree of life with its twelve kinds of fruit, producing its fruit each month; and the leaves of the tree are for the healing of the nations. Nothing accursed will be found there any more. But the throne of God and of the Lamb will be in it, and his servants will worship him; they will see his face, and his name will be on their foreheads. And there will be no more night; they need no light of lamp or sun, for the Lord God will be their light, and they will reign forever and ever.
Revelation 22:1-5next >
These words from the final page of Scripture describe the final hope for followers of Jesus. The wonder of Revelation is that the same God who makes a home in those who love and obey Jesus also makes an eternal home for them. Those who invite the Spirit of God into their lives receive an invitation from that same Spirit to enter abundant life!
These last words of God’s revelation actually sound a lot like the first ones. They describe a garden with flowing waters surrounding the tree of life. Echoes of Eden form bookends for Scripture, but this time the garden is set in the midst of a city. Entire nations dwell together in peace and love, healed by the tree of life and illuminated by the radiance of God.
Jesus has gone away, but he has promised to return and bring his people into this city. The Spirit inspired these words of hope so that you may believe. Will you?
Joshua Haysnext >
Faithful Jesus, I look forward to the day when I make my home fully with you. Thank you for your healing grace for my life and for the nations. Amen.next >
It is in the knowing
And in the unknowing
That the faithful find their way through.
It is in trust despite distrust,
Harmony despite discord,
And belief despite deceit
That Love finds its ultimate victory,
Unwilling and finally unable
To let go the beloved.
Joshua Hays recently graduated from divinity school with his Master of Divinity degree. He currently works at the Passport national office in Birmingham, Alabama, and has served churches there and in Tennessee.