Excitement. Anticipation. Expectation.
Oh, how I remember, as a child, the feelings in December, as I counted down the days waiting for Christmas to come!
As an adult, I confess to having lost much of that child-like wonder and awe as I continue to wait in different seasons of life.
As a follower of Jesus, I am constantly learning that the journey of faith is filled with waiting—waiting on God for the Holy Spirit to speak, waiting on prayers to be answered, waiting on the Lord to fulfill His purposes, and, ultimately, waiting on Christ’s return.
The promise of Jesus, found in Revelation 22:20, “I am coming soon,” was recorded over two thousand years ago. Humanly speaking, that’s a long time to wait!
Now, friends, I believe Jesus’ promise, but can I be honest and share what I have struggled with?
It’s the word “soon.”
I checked the English dictionary for the definition of the word and found it to mean, “in or within a short time, before long, quickly.”
It doesn’t feel like that.
I am learning that I have not been waiting well. The sense of expectation, anticipation, and excitement has been dulled by being too caught up in this world that is not my home, distracted by the busyness of doing good things, worshiping, and serving, but not living with the longing, urgency, and readiness the Bible calls me to as I await Jesus’ return.
Perhaps you can’t identify with this, and that is great! Keep being a beacon of hope, both to those who do not yet know Jesus as Savior and also to your fellow believers, who may have become too earth-bound: discouraged, distracted, or down-hearted in the waiting.
Isn’t it encouraging when God points us to Himself, speaking through ordinary events? Recently, I boarded a flight and as I waited for the plane to take off, I heard the captain’s instructions: “Cabin crew, prepare for departure.”
What a simple but powerful reminder. We need to be prepared for departure! Jesus is coming back, He will take His people to be with Him. We need to be ready.
Jesus is coming. He keeps His promises.
Jesus assured His disciples that, although He was leaving, He was going to prepare a place for them in His Father’s house. “I will come again and take you to be with me” (John 14:4). Three times in Revelation 22 Jesus tells us He is coming, and we can take our faithful, promise-keeping Savior at His Word.
Jesus is coming. We will be with Him forever.
What hope we have! Paul writes of this assurance in 1 Thessalonians 4:17, “And so we will always be with the Lord.” Always. No more loneliness, no isolation, no separation. We will be forever with Jesus and there will be no more sickness, suffering, pain, death, or tears. No broken dreams, no unfulfilled hopes, no cancer, no depression, no more fear.
Jesus is coming. We will be like Him.
Isn’t that incredible? We know our weaknesses, failings, our struggle with our old sinful nature, and yet God’s Word tells us we are going to be like Jesus—our beautiful, perfect, holy, sinless, Savior. It’s hard to imagine, but let the truth of these words from 1 John 3:2 sink in:
”Dear friends, we are God’s children now, and what we will be has not yet been revealed. We know that whenever it is revealed we will be like him, because we will see him just as he is.”
No more sin! We will see Jesus face to face, and we will be like Him.
Jesus is coming. Soon.
Soon. This word brings comfort and hope—during hard, dark, painful trials, it is vital to cling confidently to the assurance that there will be an end to all the suffering because Jesus has promised He is coming soon. We don’t know when, but we can trust His timing, for we know God is never late. In the waiting, He is with us through His Spirit, pouring out His sustaining grace, giving strength and peace to His people, promising that the trial will not ultimately crush or destroy us, and absolutely nothing can separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.
Soon. This word brings a challenge—we need to take all opportunities to share the gospel hope we have with those who do not yet know Jesus, and we need to do it today. Let this urgency fuel our passion to reach out to the lost—in our families, workplaces, and neighborhoods. Soon also spurs us on to make the most of the time we have now, getting to know the One with whom we will spend all eternity, knowing and loving Him more as we study His word and spend time in prayer, allowing His Spirit to continue the good work of making us like Jesus, day by day.
Jesus is coming. What is our response?
It’s right there in Revelation 22:20: “Come, Lord Jesus.”
The early Christians in the first-century church, in the days after Jesus had gone back to heaven, lived with the expectation of His imminent return, even then! Experiencing opposition and persecution under Roman rule and also from Jewish authorities, some historians record that they used the Aramaic expression, Maranatha meaning, “Come, Lord” as a secret code word to encourage one another with hope as they lived in challenging times.
May our prayer, and the longing of our hearts today, be: Maranatha.
Jesus: The One who has already come as a baby to Bethlehem, who lived and died on the cross to pay the penalty for all our sins, who conquered death and rose again, who ascended to heaven and lives to intercede for His people at the right hand of the throne of the Father—He is the One who has promised His children that He will come again in victory and will make all things new. He is our hope!
‘Yes, I am coming soon!”
Come, Lord Jesus!
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