Thankful: God makes all things new

Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and the sea no longer existed. I also saw the Holy City, new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared like a bride adorned for her husband.

Then I heard a loud voice from the throne:
Look! God’s dwelling is with humanity, and He will live with them.
They will be His people,
and God Himself will be with them and be their God.
He will wipe away every tear from their eyes.
Death will no longer exist;
grief, crying, and pain will exist no longer,
because the previous things have passed away.

Then the One seated on the throne said, “Look! I am making everything new.”

– Revelation 21:1-5a

Today, I am thankful that God makes all things new.

There will be a day when all that we have suffered, all the mistakes and failures, every hurt we’ve endured and inflicted, all the tears and grief, and all the destruction and sin around us will pass away. God will recreate what is worn out, torn, broken and stained. He will right every wrong. He will heal every wound. God will come and establish His Kingdom in a new heaven and new earth. He will reign supreme, over all and for always.

God will live with us. We will be His people, and He will be our God. He will personally take our faces in His hands, and lovingly wipe away every tear. Death will not exist – it has been defeated and banished! Grief, crying and pain will not be found. Our old lives of sin will be finished—gone.

We will be made new.

God speaks through Isaiah, “Look, I am about to do something new; even now it is coming. Do you not see it? Indeed, I will make a way in the wilderness, rivers in the desert.” (Isaiah 43:19)

Just as God will restore Israel one day, He longs to reconcile our hearts now. He sees our brokenness. He knows we are weary of trying to do life on our own. He feels our pain and wants to fill our emptiness. He stands ready, with arms outstretched, offering us the forgiveness and freedom we crave.

Will we let Him hold us? Will we give in and accept His embrace?

When we submit to God, and trust Him for salvation, He will remake us.

Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new.

– 2 Corinthians 5:17

We are personal to God

Faith and feelings don’t always line up.

A heart can be bursting in praise to God on Sunday morning, and just hours later succumb to discouragement and doubt. We can be reminded in song that never once have we ever walked alone and the God of angel armies is by our side, yet still suffer under the weight of loneliness.

We doubt in the midst of what we cannot handle. Hard-pressed in the valley, we falter as the darkness of sin closes in.

We feel like God isn’t there, that He doesn’t hear our cries. And silently, we may wonder if He even cares.

It is then that we must rely on the truth of God’s Word. Our feelings must collide with our faith.

God personally created us
Genesis tells us that God “formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living being.”

God reached His holy hands into the dirt to handcraft Adam. His skin was marked with God’s fingerprints. Mankind was the only creation of God where His voice was not enough. God chose to come close and breathe life into Adam.

Our creation is just as special. David writes in the 139th Psalm, “For it was You who created my inward parts; You knit me together in my mother’s womb.”

God personally gave us instructions for living
Not only is it God who made us, it is God who shows us how to live a satisfying, abundant life.

When God set His people apart and made them His own, He gave Moses rules for relating to Himself and others.

When He finished speaking with Moses on Mount Sinai, He gave him the two tablets of the testimony, stone tablets inscribed by the finger of God.

– ‭Exodus‬ ‭31‬:‭18

God personally came to set us on the right course. He gave us instructions for our protection and our prosperity. He knew us, He created us, and He gave us the law so we would know His standards and how to thrive in our faith and life. Just so we would understand how important and vital His commands were, He wrote them with His own finger.

Not only did God give us His law, He gave us a personal example of how to live it out. Jesus, God in flesh, came to fulfill the law and model for us how to live. Jesus loved unashamed, He pursued those who society rejected, He called out the religious hypocrites, He preached the Good News, He humbly served. Jesus willingly and wholly obeyed His Father.

When Jesus had washed their feet and put on His robe, He reclined again and said to them, “Do you know what I have done for you? You call Me Teacher and Lord. This is well said, for I am. So if I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also ought to wash one another’s feet. For I have given you an example that you also should do just as I have done for you.

– John 13:12-15

God does not leave us on our own to figure it out. He has given us His Holy Word and His Holy Spirit to guide us and teach us how to navigate this life and bring Him glory.

God personally sacrificed to cover our sins
When Adam and Eve chose to go against God’s rules and sinned, their relationship with God was broken. God loved them so much, He personally took action to cover them in grace.

The Lord God made clothing out of skins for Adam and his wife, and He clothed them.

– Genesis 3:21

How did God make clothing out of skins? He sacrificed an animal to cover the shame that sin had brought them. It was God who spilled the blood to provide atonement for His children.

And, it was God who decided to send His Son Jesus to come and shed His precious blood to pay for our sins. God personally provided us a way back to His side, where we can find shelter in His loving kindness and intimate friendship.

Yet He Himself bore our sicknesses,
and He carried our pains;
but we in turn regarded Him stricken,
struck down by God, and afflicted.
But He was pierced because of our transgressions,
crushed because of our iniquities;
punishment for our peace was on Him,
and we are healed by His wounds.
We all went astray like sheep;
we all have turned to our own way;
and the Lord has punished Him
for the iniquity of us all.

– Isaiah 53:4-6

God personally restores and strengthens us
Though we stand forgiven through Christ, we still falter in our faith. Grace isn’t a one-time deal; it is a daily need. God isn’t finished with us yet. All that we endure here—the suffering, the injustice, the failure, the frustration—God will use to shape us to become more like Him. He is the Potter, and we are the clay. Jesus is molding and making us.

Now the God of all grace, who called you to His eternal glory in Christ Jesus, will personally restore, establish, strengthen, and support you after you have suffered a little.

– 1 Peter 5:10

From the very beginning, God has loved us with an everlasting love. God has, is and will always be there, right beside us. We are His, and God Himself will restore, establish, strengthen and support us. He will see us through, to the very end.

We are personal to God.