No More Tears

“And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away.” (Revelation 21:4)

Surely this is one of the most glorious promises in the Bible! No more suffering, no more sorrow, no more death! In this present life, in this present world, every one of us must endure suffering and sorrow in various degrees, and eventually death. But our gracious Savior “hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows,” and because “the LORD hath laid on him the iniquity of us all. . . . he was cut off out of the land of the living” (Isaiah 53:4, 6, 8), and He endured for us the awful suffering of death on the cross.

In dying, however, He defeated death, rose from the grave, and is now alive “for evermore” (Revelation 1:18). Thus, He can promise immortal physical bodies that will never die again to all who trust Him.

How can He do this? He “shall change our vile body, that it may be fashioned like unto his glorious body, according to the working whereby he is able even to subdue all things unto himself” (Philippians 3:21). “The dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed” (1 Corinthians 15:52).

The believers of pre-Christian days will also share in these blessings. Isaiah recorded a beautiful promise to them, as well as us, hundreds of years before Christ came to make it possible. “He will swallow up death in victory, and the Lord GOD will wipe away tears from off all faces, and the rebuke of his people shall he take away from off all the earth: . . . And it shall be said in that day, Lo, this is our God; we have waited for him, and he will save us: this is the LORD; we have waited for him . . . we will be glad and rejoice in his salvation” (Isaiah 25:8-9). HMM

From The Institute for Creation Research.

And with this promise, I want to tell everyone goodnight, morning whatever your time zone is.
God Bless you,

Later,

Pat.

Fear, Day 3

Today’s reading is drawn from Genesis 12:2-3, Deuteronomy 31:6, Psalm 23:4, Psalm 46:1-3, Luke 8:50, John 14:27, Romans 8:31, and Hebrews 13:5-6.

When you see how the Jews during Jesus’ day felt about Abraham, you’d think Abraham had been able to walk on water. But when you read the actual stories about Abraham in Genesis—whew!— that old dude had some serious issues with fear.

The Book of Genesis records a conversation between the Almighty and Abram (who later was renamed Abraham). “They actually spoke out loud to each other?” you might ask. Not sure exactly how that played out. Could have been an audible voice. Might have been in a dream. But God’s communication was clear: He had big plans for Abraham’s future. First, the Lord instructed Abraham to get out of town and head to a place where He would lead him. God made made him this promise: “I will make you a great nation; I will bless you and make your name great . . . and in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed” (Genesis 12:2, 3).

Although Abraham was seventy-five years old and was probably enjoying the perks of retirement, he stepped out in faith, packed his bags, and headed out. Good move on his part. God showed up a second time and actually pointed out to Abraham a piece of real estate that would become his home. God said, “To your descendants I will give this land” (verse 7). Now, it seems to me that if the Creator of the universe makes you a promise—twice— you’re going to be pretty confident that nothing or nobody on this old dust ball is going to be able to derail those plans, right? Abraham missed it.

As the story unfolds, Abraham and his bunch headed to Egypt because he’d run up on hard times when a famine struck. Of course, once he got to Egypt, he had new problem. His wife Sarai (later renamed Sarah) was so beautiful, Abraham feared that one of the Egyptian princes would steal her away—and then kill him. So Abraham told Sarah, “Please say you are my sister, that it may be well with me for your sake, and that I may live because of you” (verse 13). Real brave of you, Abraham. In spite of the Almighty’s promise to make you into a great nation and give you some prime real estate—which would be pretty difficult to do if you were dead—you decided to throw your wife under the bus.

Sure enough, Sarah’s beauty turned more than a few heads. She was taken to live in Pharaoh’s house while Abraham was given great wealth in the form of livestock (verses 14–16). This was not what God had in mind for Abraham. God was so displeased with Abraham’s lack of faith that He “plagued Pharaoh and his house with great plagues” (verse 17). When the Egyptians figured out what was up, Abraham and Sarah were quickly booted out of town. Lesson learned, right? Nope. Abraham’s fear ran deep. When they traveled to another country they pulled the same stunt again (Genesis 20).

I don’t want to be too hard on Abraham. He was flawed—and so are we. When we get in a jam, we sometimes forget that the Almighty has never forsaken those who put their trust in Him (Psalm 9:10). You say, “But Phil, I’ve had some dark, fearful days walking on this earth.” Yup. That’s why Jesus came. You can hang your hat on the fact that “God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind” (2 Timothy 1:7).

By Phil Robertson

Courageous Wisdom, Day 3

Today’s reading is drawn from Proverbs 23:15-16.

Observation

In this proverb, God reveals what brings him pleasure: people who live with wise hearts and who speak what is right.

Notice that shrewd minds do not please God. Neither do talents, successful businesses or large ministries. The bottom line is that he delights in people who are wise in heart and have the courage to speak what is right.

Application

Making wise decisions and speaking what is right will not win us any popularity contests. It may even be contested by those closest to us, but we must still take time to consider the situation, ponder it deeply and make decisions that will be the best for all involved.

Courage to stand up for what right sometimes seems in short supply, but it is abundant in those who refuse anything less than God’s best. Here is the prerequisite: a deep desire to do what is best, regardless of the emotional trauma the soul must endure in pressing forward, anticipating push-backs and possible rejections. No one likes it when their faults are exposed or they are called to change. But following God includes handling confrontation and disagreement in a godly manner.

Prayer

Father, give me the courage to be wise, to be committed to each person’s best in my life, and in return, to feel your pleasure and delight.

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