Celebrate the “Not Yet”

The title of this post points to a joyful theological truth. I hear these words, “not yet”, and I am compelled by my God to move, to work, and to love. I am compelled because these words point me to a great and wonderful promise from our God. A promise that trumps all others. A promise that changes everything. A promise that should take us to our knees bowing at the throne of the King of Kings and Lord of Lords. A promise found in Revelation that illustrates the absolute love that our God has for His people.

Revelation 21 details the new heaven and the new earth. We see that “the dwelling place of God is with man.” We see that the promises set before us throughout Scripture reaches its culmination. A culmination that changes everything we know to be normal. The old Earth has passed away and this new Earth is something to behold. This new Earth offers an amazing truth of grace and love from our God. The truth I am discussing is found in verse four of chapter 21:

“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.”

Read those words one more time. Listen to the promises set before us. Embrace the truth found in the new Earth. No tears, no death, no mourning, and no pain! This is what we have to look forward to. There is coming a day, and let me tell you, this day will truly be like no other. Bask in the grace given by our Father.

I point us to this text today, because I feel like many that stand with life and HOPE are in a bit of a stupor right now. We are a bit down. Some are a bit defeated. Some of us may feel like the mountain before us is too big to climb. I want to take your attention to these verses because we know how all of this ends. We know that a day is coming. We should celebrate the not yet. The not yet that shows our Father wiping away our tears and pain. A not yet that describes an Earth without cancer, abuse, abortion, and mourning. A not yet that shows our God physically wiping away our tears. Hear that today…the God of the universe, the God that is holding our planet and trillions of stars in His hand is going to take the time to wipe away your tears. He loves you that much. He cares that much about His people!

At HOPE we see patients every day with pain, tears, and hurt. They are broken, lost, and unloved. Our message to them is not simply, here is a pregnancy test. Our message is not simply, here is an ultrasound. Our message is not simply, here is a pamphlet. Our message is so much more than that. Our message is one of grace and mercy. Our message is one of love. Our message is one of pointing our patients to the ONE that will one day wipe away all their tears.

As we celebrate the not yet we live in the already…the now. It is in this already that we love our neighbor and welcome the mission before us. The mission that moves us to love, serve, and get to work. We know victory is at hand and we know that ultimately our tears will be wiped away, but we also know that God has placed us here for a purpose and a reason. HOPE is not here in Knoxville by mistake. We have a clear mission, as we live in the already, to impact this community with truth, love, and the gospel.

I pray today that you would be intentional in the already and long for the not yet. I pray that you would embrace the facts set before us and live in a posture of victory. We can boldly stand for life and serve this community because we know how it ends. The Lord gave us Revelation 21. The Lord has provided the good news. Please let this good news drive you to act and engage the society you live in. The needs are vast, the pain is real, and the sorrow is heavy, but our God is strong! It is in this truth that HOPE is able to exist and serve. Join us!

posted by Andrew Wood, Executive Director of Hope Resource Center