God will Restore Us and Make Us Strong, Firm and Steadfast

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1 Peter 5:10Revelation 21: 3-7

1 Peter 5:10 New King James Version (NKJV)

10 But [a]may the God of all grace, who called [b]us to His eternal glory by Christ Jesus, after you have suffered a while, [c]perfect, establish, strengthen, and settle you.

Revelation 21:3-7 New International Version (NIV)

And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Look! God’s dwelling place is now among the people, and he will dwell with them. They will be his people, and God himself will be with them and be their God. ‘He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death’[a] or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.”

He who was seated on the throne said, “I am making everything new!” Then he said, “Write this down, for these words are trustworthy and true.”

He said to me: “It is done. I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End. To the thirsty I will give water without cost from the spring of the water of life. Those who are victorious will inherit all this, and I will be their God and they will be my children.

Sharing

One day we will wake up to a different reality: no lockdown, no isolation, no social distancing and no masks. We hope that these simple things that bring us joy and happiness will be back in our lives again.

We are praying that God will help us to overcome and, as Peter says, after we have suffered a little while, we will see how God will restore us and makes us strong, firm and steadfast.

One day we will wake up to a completely new reality: no lockdown because of sin, no isolation from God, no distancing from each other, no masks to hide behind shame.

God says that he will move so close, that he will wipe every tear from our eyes. Moreover, everything that used to cause tears will disappear. He will give us the water of life to drink without cost. He will renew and restore us as his children to live with him forever in the reality of his glory.

With your family

In the midst of challenging times it is often helpful to look forward to a better day. Today’s reading paints a little of that picture for us.

Gather the following items from your home and place them on your table: tissues (one for each family member present), a packet or bottle that contained medicine/pills, some dirt in a cup or container and a paper or plastic bag.

Sit around the table and read Revelation 21:3-5. As you read each part of verse 4: wipe each other’s eyes with a tissue, and say ‘no more crying’, and then throw them into the paper bag; say ‘no more pain’ throw the medicine packet into the bag; say ‘no more death’ – throw the soil into the bag. 
 Take your bag of things from this ‘old world’ and go outside together and put them into your waste bin. Thank God for promising to make all things new in your time.

Action

Think about all the people in Samoa and across the globe who are suffering for different reasons caused by the virus.

For example, those who have been in isolation for weeks from family and loved ones, those whove suffered the loss of death before they could see their loved ones, those whose livelihoods have been turned upside down because of the closed borders or other lockdown measures, those in domestic violence relationships who are now even more isolated than before.

Pray for God’s peace and comfort for them.

Prayer

Lord, in your great mercy, restore us and make us stronger. Amen


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