“But this is the new covenant I will make with the people of Israel on that day,” says the Lord. “I will put my instructions deep within them, and I will write them on their hearts. I will be their God, and they will be my people. And they will not need to teach their neighbors, nor will they need to teach their relatives, saying, ‘You should know the Lord.’ For everyone, from the least to the greatest, will know me already,” says the Lord. “And I will forgive their wickedness, and I will never again remember their sins.” – Jeremiah 31:33-34
Sometimes, in all the noise and chaos of the world, in all the opinions and assumptions, the shouting and the frustration, the best thing to do is sit in quiet and go back to the Book.
Even though we think times have changed, issues have changed and the world looks different, as Solomon says, “there is nothing new under the sun.” Hate is the same today as it was when Cain killed his brother. Misunderstanding is the same today as it was when Jesus used parables to teach the crowds. And the pain of loss and lack of acceptance didn’t start with our generation; just ask those who fought in wars or were taken from their homes or killed or bullied simply by virtue of the color of their skin or their religion. And to be clear, I’m talking about the Israelites and the early believers in Jesus Christ, not our modern times.
I suppose, for me anyway, that is why going to my Bible to find words of comfort is so important. I can read about all the other times that humanity felt like all was so lost and hopeless that everything was going to come crashing in. I can understand that everything we are going through today has already been lived through by generations long past.
The true comfort comes from knowing that this is all temporary. Pain is temporary. Anger and frustration is temporary. This life and the world we currently live in is temporary. How do I know? Because I read the Book! And I know how the story ends!
The day will come when Jesus will return and take His children, those of us who know Him and have asked for forgiveness from our sins, home to the new heaven and the new earth. He has created a place so wonderful that we will spend eternity enjoying its beauty and the glory of being in the presence of God Himself! I get chills thinking about it!
And when I read the words of Jeremiah, a young prophet living in Jerusalem during the first exile of God’s chosen people from the land they loved, I get chills! I can’t wait for a time when everyone, EVERYONE, will know God! They will know who He is; they will have experienced His love and forgiveness just like I have. They’ll understand the mercy we receive in spite of the justice we deserve.
No one will have to watch what they say to make sure they don’t upset anyone who doesn’t believe like they do; because everyone will believe the same way and in the same thing – Jesus! And sin, hate, sorrow and pain will be completely erased. There will be no reason to go to war or fight or protest injustice; none of the issues that man says require these responses will exist. Heaven will be our new home because God has invited us to move into His neighborhood!
And for that, I am energized and my tank is refilled and I can say wholeheartedly – Amen! Come, Lord Jesus, come!