Fear and uncertainty are running rampant in our world today. The Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, politics, global conflict, natural disasters and many other events are making many people feel uneasy and anxious about the future. Some people have completely lost hope. Is there a book in Scripture that could help encourage us during this time of crisis?
Although this may sound strange to some, I suggest that you read the book of Revelation if you are feeling fearful today.
The book of Revelation tends to make people nervous. There’s a lot in there that we can’t wrap our minds around. Consequently, Revelation is often read with some measure of fear and uncertainty. Alternatively, some Christians (including pastors!) ignore it altogether.
But at its core, Revelation is a book of hope that’s extremely relevant to our lives today because it lays out in detail what the future holds.
Written by the apostle John, who received the revelation when he was exiled for his faith on the island of Patmos, the book tells us exactly what to expect when Jesus comes again. It’s history pre-written — a guide to the signs, circumstances and events that precede and coincide with the return of Jesus.
As Revelation 21:4-5 says:
“‘He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away.
“And he who was seated on the throne said, ‘Behold, I am making all things new.’ Also he said, ‘Write this down, for these words are trustworthy and true.’” (ESV)
When Jesus returns, he will do away with all suffering and sorrow. If we are followers of Jesus, that is our future. That is our hope.
Jesus has written the end of our story, and it’s an ending that you and I can anticipate with joy! We do not have to face the future with trepidation. Instead, we can face it with confidence.
My prayer is that you’ll explore Revelation during these unsettling times and lay hold of the incredible promise that Jesus holds the future — and that includes yours — firmly in his hands. Because when you have confidence that Christ holds your future, you’ll not only be empowered to live with hope today, but also to make a difference in this world that lasts into eternity.
John tells us in Revelation 7:9-10, “After this I looked, and behold, a great multitude that no one could number, from every nation, from all tribes and peoples and languages, standing before the throne and before the Lamb, clothed in white robes, with palm branches in their hands, and crying out with a loud voice, ‘Salvation belongs to our God who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb!’” We carry the promise of a world where Christ wipes away every tear, overthrows every evil and renews the whole of creation. This is the good news that the world needs so desperately to hear.
And right now, the world needs you and me to shine this light of Christ brighter than ever.
Dr. Jack Graham is the pastor of Prestonwood Baptist Church, one of the largest and fastest-growing churches in America. He is also a noted author, and his PowerPoint Ministries broadcasts are available in 92 countries and are heard daily in more than 740 cities. Follow him @jackngraham.