To All Who Despair: Jesus is Making All Things New

by Jared C. Wilson June 29, 2015

Someday, Jesus the Redeemer will return to redeem everything. Fully. Completely. Eternally. He's going to come to finish what he started. This life will be redeemed, this earth will be redeemed, these very bodies will be redeemed, and so our hopes and dreams and fears and failings will all be redeemed as well.

Revisit the Apocalypse with me:

Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the
first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and
the sea was no more. And I saw the holy city, new Jerusalem,
coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. And I heard a loud
voice from the throne saying, "Behold, the dwelling
place of God is with man. He will dwell with them, and
they will be his people, and God himself will be with
them as their God. 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." (Rev. 21:1-5)

… I'm counting on that. I'm "all in" on that. Behold! He is making all things new. And he's doing it now. So whatever you're going through, whatever you've been through, trust that the God who loves you is in control and is redeeming your life in and through your circumstances. Trust that the God who loves you will sustain you as you seek to live redemptively with and toward others. Trust that the God who loves you will not forget you, that he's crafting beauty out of your darkness, that he's telling a great story in your life, an epic one that places you in a vital role in the story of the body of Christ.

Your heart, soul, mind, and strength yearn for their redemption. Believe it is coming, deep down in your bones, for it is your bones that Jesus is promising to redeem. Believe it not as inspirational but as factual. I'm reminded of something Thomas Schmidt writes in his wonderful little book A Scandalous Beauty. Throughout several short meditations on the cross of Christ, Schmidt crafts brilliant and penetrating images of the gospel, none as penetrating as when he reflects on the loss of his young daughter, Susanna. In the conclusion of his book, in the postscript to his collection of redemptive stories, Schmidt reflects on Revelation's promise of a new heavens and a new earth:

It matters to me that this is true, not merely interesting, not merely comforting. The chaos of this life, the flood waters, have closed over my head. Yet I choose against despair. I believe that death will one day die, that the love of God will prevail. In the meantime, even if the rest of my path lies in shadow, I will follow the Lamb in trust and in hope—until I see Susanna again. It may be that faith is no more and no less a choice between the words "it may be so" and "I will live as if it is so."

Not far from my apartment, on a bluff overlooking the heaving sea, there is a marker on a new grave that bears the name of my only child and the following inscription:

With joy still deeper than pain
Gently flows the River
Where we shall meet again.

That is sentiment born of conviction, of hope in things unseen.

And my hope is that you can share it. My hope is that somehow in the storms of your life, even if you—or someone you love—are at the brink of death, you are seeing the light of redemption in the Son of God who died to redeem life and who rose to conquer death.

Whatever you're doing, wherever you are, trust that the former things are passing away. Jesus the Redeemer is making all things new.

—from my first book, Your Jesus is Too Safe (Kregel, 2009), 169-171.