Two Very Different Messages

Genesis 3:4-5 – 4 But the serpent said to the woman, “You will not surely die. 5 For God knows that when you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.”

Matthew 1:20-21 – 20 But as he considered these things, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream, saying, “Joseph, son of David, do not fear to take Mary as your wife, for that which is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit. 21 She will bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins.”

As I begin a new read through the Bible, I find myself in familiar ground. But there is great help and wisdom in these familiar places.

In Genesis 3, we see just how the woman was tempted to oppose the Lord. Note the serpent’s tactic. He wants her to feel foolish. He wants her to feel like the concept of death for eating a piece of fruit is ridiculous. He wants her to think that anybody with sense knows better than to let some sort of religious command about fruit impact what she desires for herself. Doesn’t everybody know that the penalty for such a supposed crime is merely a myth?

How familiar is this theme? The world around us looks at those who hold to the standards of God, and they scoff, “Come on man!” They argue that nobody is really going to be punished by God for something as small as that. They suggest that God would never demand that marriage only be between a man and a woman. They suggest that God is not hung up on gender identity at all. They tell us that it’s crazy to think that God would judge anybody for not believing in Jesus. They suggest that there is no way that anybody should fear the judgment of God simply for doing what they feel is right. No way does God care if you skip worship for a few weeks if you have something you want to get done. Like the serpent, they hiss into our ears that we should not take the faith so seriously that it puts us out-of-step with the changing times.

How do we stand against such a tide? Consider what the angel said to Joseph in Matthew 1. There Joseph planned to divorce Mary because it seemed as though she had been unfaithful. But an angel from God told Joseph not to fear such a thing. Do not fear marrying this young woman. Yes, she is with child. But this child is conceived by the Lord. This child is the promised Savior. He will save his people from their sins.

Compare the garden message of the serpent to the angelic message to Joseph. The serpent tells Eve not to worry about the judgment of God. No way would God do anything to you for opposing his commands and design. The angel says to Joseph not to fear to obey God, because God is doing something glorious. One voice tells us that nobody takes God’s commands seriously enough to change our lives. The other voice tells us that only the word of God is solid enough to shape our lives.

As I begin this new Bible in a Year plan, I find myself encouraged. Only God’s word is solid enough for me to rely on. I cannot listen to the voices in our culture that tell me that I should take the word of God with a grain of salt. Instead, I need to, as Joseph did, know that God has given me his word, and that word is sure. While it may seem crazy in the eyes of the world, God’s word is the only sure foundation for what I think, what I feel, and what I do. May I learn to be faithful to the word regardless of the scoffing world around me.

Two Directions in Faith

Hebrews 11:1 – Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.

We know that living as a Christian is living by faith. Hebrews 11:6 reminds us that we cannot please God without faith. But what is it? Even the definition given at the beginning of the “Hall of Faith” as some call it is something that requires a little thought.

Faith is having a sure trust in something. What makes faith work is not the amount of one’s faith but the object of one’s faith. If I trust in thin ice with all my heart, I still fall through when I step on it. If I am afraid when I step on thick ice, even without faith, I am held because the object is strong.

What I considered when reading this recently, however, which is something I had not thought much about, is the two directions of faith given to us in the definition at the beginning of chapter 1. Faith is about what we hope for. Faith is about what we have not seen. One is the future. One is the past. Both are necessary.

Faith in the past, in things that have happened but which we have not seen, is required for life. In order to have saving faith, you must believe in the person and work of Jesus. You must believe that the Son of God came, lived a perfect life, died to pay for your sins, and rose from the grave. You must believe that Jesus is both willing and able to rescue you from your sins. Without such faith, you have no salvation.

Similarly, those who trust in Jesus have a faith that is future focused. WE believe that Jesus will return. We believe that he will raise us from the dead even if our bodies die in this life. WE believe that he will reign eternally. We believe that all who have trusted in him will live forever, forgiven, and joyful in the presence of God.

Here are two quick quotes from Michael Kruger’s new book on Hebrews that I think help us see what I’m talking about in the two directions of faith:

“Faith is not just a feeling. It is not just saying, “I hope it’s true.” It means being certain about something. Notice the two key words in this first verse: “assurance” and “conviction.” Faith is rock-solid trust that when God makes a promise, it is true and right. It is absolute assurance and confidence that God’s word can be relied upon.”

“Verse 1 highlights the two types of things that we know by faith. “Things hoped for” are things in the future that have not yet happened. “Things not seen” are things in the past—events that we were not there to see. Or, put simply, our faith is in what God has done and in what God will do.”

Michael J. Kruger, Hebrews for You (Charlotte, NC: The Good Book Company, 2021), Chapter 10.

Be a Titus

What kind of man was Titus? Here are some things that came up in my study as I was preparing for sermons in this book.

Acts 15:1–2 – 1 But some men came down from Judea and were teaching the brothers, “Unless you are circumcised according to the custom of Moses, you cannot be saved.” 2 And after Paul and Barnabas had no small dissension and debate with them, Paul and Barnabas and some of the others were appointed to go up to Jerusalem to the apostles and the elders about this question.

Paul, writing about this time, says to us…

Galatians 2:1–3 – 1 Then after fourteen years I went up again to Jerusalem with Barnabas, taking Titus along with me. 2 I went up because of a revelation and set before them (though privately before those who seemed influential) the gospel that I proclaim among the Gentiles, in order to make sure I was not running or had not run in vain. 3 But even Titus, who was with me, was not forced to be circumcised, though he was a Greek.

Titus was a gentile. He was a convert to the faith. And Titus was man enough to go with Paul and stand with him in the Jerusalem council. Titus was willing to be the converted and uncircumcised gentile standing in front of the apostles and the circumcision party to declare that gentiles can indeed be saved without reverting to following Jewish laws.

Later, Titus is the man Paul sent to Corinth to deal with that crazy church and all its issues. Titus was the man left on Crete to appoint elders in every church to guard them against bullying and deceptive false teachers.

May God give us a few more Tituses in our churches today.

Turning Down Ungodly partnership

Ezra 4:1-3 – 1 Now when the adversaries of Judah and Benjamin heard that the returned exiles were building a temple to the Lord, the God of Israel, 2 they approached Zerubbabel and the heads of fathers’ houses and said to them, “Let us build with you, for we worship your God as you do, and we have been sacrificing to him ever since the days of Esarhaddon king of Assyria who brought us here.” 3 But Zerubbabel, Jeshua, and the rest of the heads of fathers’ houses in Israel said to them, “You have nothing to do with us in building a house to our God; but we alone will build to the Lord, the God of Israel, as King Cyrus the king of Persia has commanded us.”

During the earlier days of the Jewish return from Babylon in the 6th century BC, the Jews worked to rebuild the temple in Jerusalem. This work was started, stopped, and started again. We read of the drama here in Ezra 4-6.

Fairly early in the project, the people of God were approached by others who are here called adversaries. These are the Samaritans, people who were settled into the land of the northern kingdom after the Assyrian conquest in 722 BC. They declare their desire to join with the Jews in the building of the temple, claiming to have worshipped the same God over the past two centuries.

But the Jews would have none of it. They knew that the Samaritans did not worship the Lord. Nor did the Samaritans follow the word of the Lord. Perhaps the Samaritans used some of the same words as did the Jews, perhaps even using God’s name and some of his commands, but their religion was different.

The leaders of the people of God responded to the Samaritan demand to join in the temple building with a flat refusal, saying, “You have nothing to do with us in building a house to our God; but we alone will build to the Lord, the God of Israel, as King Cyrus the king of Persia has commanded us” (v3). The Jews were not willing to include the Samaritans in the project. Nor were the Jews willing to pretend that the Samaritans and they shared any sort of common faith.

With the story in mind, I think we can find an important application for all believers today. There are always those who are quick to say, “for we worship your God as you do” (v2). And when this happens, we need to have a ready biblical response.

First, understand that not all people, even well-intentioned, are correct when they claim to share with us a common faith. Many a person around us will say that they worship our God. Many will say to us that they believe in “God” too. And we need to be very careful. Before we embrace every person who claims belief in a higher power or even who names the name of Jesus, we need to examine their claim to see if they actually share with us a true and common faith. Do those who claim to worship God actually know Jesus? Do they understand that Jesus is God the Son, God in flesh, who lived out perfection, died as an atoning sacrifice, and rose from the grave for our justification? Do they understand that salvation is by God’s grace alone through faith alone in Christ alone? Do they grasp that following Jesus includes a surrender to his lordship under the commands of the Scriptures? If not, how can they claim a common faith?

Second, we need to guard against accepting supposed help from those who are not of our faith. I think here more of government aid than I do of temple rebuilding. In our culture, many community doors are flung wide to religious groups who will work together in an interfaith capacity. If Christians are willing to stand shoulder-to-shoulder with other religious groupings, there are all sorts of social benefits. The problem is, eventually those benefits run out. This is especially true when the Christians are actually faithful to proclaim the gospel. AS we truly point to Jesus, the support that we receive from others—support upon which we will rely too heavily if we are not careful—will dry up.

The truth is, the gospel is offensive. The gospel says that we are hopeless sinners on our own. The gospel says that people of other religions, people of sincere faith, are destined for the wrath of God in hell. The gospel proclaims that only those who will reject their former religions, who will reject all forms of human achievement for spiritual credit, only those who turn their eyes to Christ alone in faith will be saved. That exclusivity which cites the Bible as our sole authority and Jesus as our only Lord, a Lord above all governments and social opinions, will quickly turn a supposedly helpful and partnering world against us.

Christians, let us learn from the men rebuilding the temple. Let us be guarded against allowing those who do not know the Lord to claim that they are just like us. Let us not accept help today that will either mislead the lost or lead to our temptation toward compromise. Let us instead stand strong on the word of God trusting that the Lord will provide for all our needs by his mighty power and for his glory.

Responding to Wrath

Revelation 16:4-7 – 4 The third angel poured out his bowl into the rivers and the springs of water, and they became blood. 5 And I heard the angel in charge of the waters say,
“Just are you, O Holy One, who is and who was,
for you brought these judgments.
6 For they have shed the blood of saints and prophets,
and you have given them blood to drink.
It is what they deserve!”
7 And I heard the altar saying,
“Yes, Lord God the Almighty,
true and just are your judgments!”

How do you respond to the concept of the judgment of God? What is a godly way to respond to the Lord’s judgments? This is a bit complicated for us, as we are human, guilty of sin, and full of emotion. But we must always begin and end with our understanding that the Lord defines perfection and always does what is right.

In Revelation 16, we see the bowls of the wrath of God rapidly poured out on a rebellious earth. As we watch, we see the third bowl judgment poured out over the waters from which people would drink. This judgment is horrifying. And we see a pair of responses.

In verses 5-6, we see that an angel who is over the waters declares this judgment of God’s to be just. The people of the world have killed God’s saints. They have shed the blood of the innocent. And thus the Lord giving them blood to drink is, in the angelic opinion, right. In verse 7, we hear another voice, that of the altar. Back in chapter 6, we saw that the altar has under it the souls of martyrs. They too declare that God’s judgments are true and just.

At the same time, we know that the Lord does not delight in these just judgments. In Ezekiel 18:23, the Lord declares, “’Have I any pleasure in the death of the wicked,’ declares the Lord GOD, ‘and not rather that he should turn from his way and live?’” god is not cruel. He does not dance a jig at the destruction of the wicked.

What then do we do with the judgment of God and our emotion? WE see two things. On the one hand, there is sorrow. There is always sorrow when evil men refuse to repent. There is sorrow when men who were created in the image of God fall under the judgment of God.

But, and this is vital for our minds to grasp, the judgment of god is both just and good. The Lord has never once punished anyone wrongly. When the Lord pours out his wrath, his wrath is holy, good, right, pure, and perfect in every way.

OK, actually, let me amend my thoughts here. There is one time. Once in human history, the Lord poured out his wrath on one who did not deserve it. This, of course, is the time the Lord poured out his wrath on Jesus, God the Son, who died to bear away our guilt so that God might welcome the saved into his family.

Christians, weep over and affirm the wrath of God. Weep, because the death of any human being is sad. Affirm, because the wrath of God is always, absolutely always, perfect and right. The wrath of God is never wrong. It is never too far. It is not a thing to be ashamed of. But, as we see in the voice of the angel and the altar, God’s ways are just and right.

Jesus is a Great High Priest

Hebrews 7:23-28 – 23 The former priests were many in number, because they were prevented by death from continuing in office, 24 but he holds his priesthood permanently, because he continues forever. 25 Consequently, he is able to save to the uttermost those who draw near to God through him, since he always lives to make intercession for them.

26 For it was indeed fitting that we should have such a high priest, holy, innocent, unstained, separated from sinners, and exalted above the heavens. 27 He has no need, like those high priests, to offer sacrifices daily, first for his own sins and then for those of the people, since he did this once for all when he offered up himself. 28 For the law appoints men in their weakness as high priests, but the word of the oath, which came later than the law, appoints a Son who has been made perfect forever.

Hebrews and the discussion of Melchizedek can get a little obscure for some believers. But a look at this section of Scripture can give us some beautiful reasons to thank God that we know Jesus and are under the New Covenant.

Thinking of Jesus as our great high priest, we see two things that help us understand just how great a Savior he truly is. Jesus is sinless and permanent.

Unlike every priest who ever lived before or after the time of Jesus, our Savior is sinless. Jesus never needed to approach his Father with the blood of any sacrifice. Jesus is always welcome in the presence of the Father, because Jesus, the Son, has never been guilty of sin. In the Old Testament, every priest had to be ceremonially clean. Every priest also had to be atoned for by a sacrifice before ever approaching the holiest of places. But Jesus is always perfectly righteous, perfectly clean.

A major point in the letter to the Hebrews is that Jesus is qualitatively superior to all Old Testament priests. Yes, the priests accomplished something in their ministry. They carried out sacrifices that pointed to the one actual sacrifice that could take away sins. The good ones directed the people of God toward his holiness, toward repenting of sin, toward humble submission to the law. But none of those priests was holy enough to approach God on their own. Neither was any of them able to permanently remove the punishment men deserve for sinning against God.

Jesus is also permanent. Every high priest in the Old Testament eventually died. These men were sinners; and the wages of sin is death. No priest, not even a good one, could forever speak to the Father on behalf of a sinner. That is, none could do so until Jesus.

The author of Hebrews says to us that Jesus is able to save “to the uttermost” all who have come to him in faith and repentance. Jesus is not limited, as were the priests, to only being able to go to God for people for a limited time. Jesus, who died and rose from the grave, lives eternally to perfectly plead our case before God. Jesus is able to point to his perfect, infinitely valuable, truly finished work in the cross and empty tomb as an argument for our eternal salvation. Jesus has never been compromised. Jesus is not weakened. Jesus did not do a symbolic work that might lead to salvation for people. Jesus saved a people for himself to the glory of God.

Let us love that we live under the New Covenant. The Old was not a bad covenant. It pointed to the salvation to come. It showed us the character of God. It showed us our need for a sacrifice and a Savior. But praise God that we are not living on a treadmill of sin, sacrifice, repeat. No, in Christ, our sin is defeated once and for all. Yes, we still fail. But now we approach the one who has already sacrificed himself for our sin and who pleads that perfect sacrifice over us forever.

Praise Jesus, our sinless high priest. Praise Jesus, our permanent intercessor.

Reminder: God is in Control

Ezra 1:1-4 – 1 In the first year of Cyrus king of Persia, that the word of the Lord by the mouth of Jeremiah might be fulfilled, the Lord stirred up the spirit of Cyrus king of Persia, so that he made a proclamation throughout all his kingdom and also put it in writing:
2 “Thus says Cyrus king of Persia: The Lord, the God of heaven, has given me all the kingdoms of the earth, and he has charged me to build him a house at Jerusalem, which is in Judah. 3 Whoever is among you of all his people, may his God be with him, and let him go up to Jerusalem, which is in Judah, and rebuild the house of the Lord, the God of Israel—he is the God who is in Jerusalem. 4 And let each survivor, in whatever place he sojourns, be assisted by the men of his place with silver and gold, with goods and with beasts, besides freewill offerings for the house of God that is in Jerusalem.”

God is in control. How can we tell? God has shown us in his word, time after time after time, that he is in control. Take simply the return from exile in Ezra 1.

Years before the Jews were carried off to Babylon, God promised through Jeremiah that God’s people would return. Not only did God promise the return, but he promised exactly how many years the nation would be in exile before the return. Moreover, Isaiah told us the name of the future king who would order the return.

In Ezra 1, we see that the return happened in exactly the way God promised, at exactly the time God promised, under the command of exactly the king that God promised. What looked like an inescapable world empire was turned by the Lord to send the Jews back to their land. That same empire ordered that people help the Jews to rebuild the temple in Jerusalem.

If we know anything about the age in which we live, we must know this: God is in control. Yes, I know that our country seems out of control. I know that it looks like society is beyond the point of no return. But the truth of the matter is, God never changes. God never fails. God will save his children. God is in control.

I read the following that summarizes my thoughts here well in a commentary soon to be published by Crossway:

In our unstable world of superpowers and wars and rumors of wars, it is not Joe Biden or Vladimir Putin or anyone else who is in control—it is God. His purposes to save, bless, and keep a people for his glory cannot and will not be thwarted. Our God reigns, and he works throughout history and even uses unbelievers to achieve his purposes. If he can use Cyrus, he can use anybody. He rules and overrules the course of human history for his ends.1

1 Wallace P. Benn, Ezra, Nehemiah, and Esther: Restoring the Church in the Preaching the Word Commentary Series edited by R. Kent Hughes (Wheaton: Crossway, 2021), Ezra 1.

Right but Wrong

Revelation 2:1–7 – 1 “To the angel of the church in Ephesus write: ‘The words of him who holds the seven stars in his right hand, who walks among the seven golden lampstands.

2 “ ‘I know your works, your toil and your patient endurance, and how you cannot bear with those who are evil, but have tested those who call themselves apostles and are not, and found them to be false. 3 I know you are enduring patiently and bearing up for my name’s sake, and you have not grown weary. 4 But I have this against you, that you have abandoned the love you had at first. 5 Remember therefore from where you have fallen; repent, and do the works you did at first. If not, I will come to you and remove your lampstand from its place, unless you repent. 6 Yet this you have: you hate the works of the Nicolaitans, which I also hate. 7 He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. To the one who conquers I will grant to eat of the tree of life, which is in the paradise of God.’

The people of Ephesus were right. The people of Ephesus were wrong. These two things were true at the same time, but not in exactly the same way. And, if we pay attention, we will grasp that this danger is ours as well.

How were the Ephesians right in the days that Christ sent them a little note in the book of Revelation? We see a couple of significant positives. The Ephesians were hard workers (v2). They endured hardship and pressed on (v3). They knew enough of Scripture that they could test false teachers, find them wanting, and turn them away (v2). (.

In verse 6, we even see a particular commendation from the Savior. The Ephesians hated the works of the Nicolaitans. While we do not know much about the Nicolaitans, for sure, we see that they are false teachers and perhaps have some tie to the gnostic false teaching that says a Christian can do whatever he wants with his body, because only the spiritual matters. The Ephesians knew better than to give into whatever was the false teaching of the Nicolaitans, and Christ commends this.

Let’s be honest, there are Christians today who need the Ephesians’ Commitment to doctrine and Christian morality. And, thankfully, there are Christians who have the same sort of doctrinal passion. There are Christians who can spot false teachers, expose bad doctrine, and call out sinful practices. And make no mistake, such commitment and discernment is good.

But the Ephesians were also wrong. How? Christ says that they had forsaken their first love (v4). What is our first love to be? We are to love the Lord our God with everything we have (Mat. 22:37-38). In case you’re curious, our second love is to love our neighbor as ourselves (Mat. 22:39). It is a fair deduction to suggest that the Ephesians, though they had solid doctrine and high moral standards, somehow failed to love the Lord their God along the way. And this failure, if not corrected, would result in Christ removing that church from existence (v5).

Here is the question you must not miss. Could this happen to us? Is it possible for us to get our doctrine right and hold our morality high while we fail to love the Lord our God? If so, then we must guard against being right but being terribly wrong. We must guard against having only right doctrine and right practice without having a right heart.

Be careful here. I am not, and the Lord is certainly not, suggesting that we ought to ignore right doctrine or proper morality. Christ commended the Ephesians for championing godly morality based on solid, biblical doctrine. To let that go is deadly, sinful, and dishonoring to God. Never once think for one moment that you should stop studying, stop correcting false teaching, or stop calling people to God’s standard for Christian living.

But, and this is our danger, watch your heart in the process. There are some whose hearts grow colder and colder as they do the things that Christ commended in the Ephesians. Ask yourself, as you study, as you correct, as you endure, is your heart growing cold? Does your study make you love the Lord more? Does your protecting the doctrine in the church help you see Jesus as beautiful—not just intellectually appealing but actually heart-capturingly glorious? Do you have more anger in your heart for the way that some falsely handle Scripture than you have love for Jesus? Are you more often mad at the world around you than joyful over the gospel?

Never let go of biblical doctrine. Never let false teachers have their way. Never let yourself or other brothers and sisters in Christ embrace sinful practices. And, along with this, never let your heart get so full of anger over wrong that you forget to deeply love the Lord whose word you claim to defend. Never let your heart be fuller of anger at wrong than of amazement at God’s grace. Love the Lord first. Do not let your love fade. Right doctrine, if it is truly right doctrine, produces love of the Lord your God. Remember that and let it cause you to check your own heart so that you will not be right but wrong.

The Reverend Doctor Mudge Printing Mishap

Just a little story to brighten your day –

…A little over a hundred years ago the editor of an English newspaper opened a copy of his paper—after it was already for sale—only to find in it a most embarrassing, unintentional typographical conflation of two stories, one about a patented pig-killing and sausage-making machine, and the other about a gathering in honor of a local clergyman, the Reverend Doctor Mudge, at which he was presented with a gold-headed cane. A portion of it read as follows:

Several of Rev. Dr. Mudge’s friends called upon him yesterday, and after a conversation the unsuspecting pig was seized by the hind leg, and slid along a beam until he reached the hot-water tank. . . . Thereupon he came forward and said that there were times when the feelings overpowered one, and for that reason he would not attempt to do more than thank those around him for the manner in which such a huge animal was cut into fragments was simply astonishing. The doctor concluded his remarks, when the machine seized him and, in less time than it takes to write it, the pig was cut into fragments and worked up into a delicious sausage. The occasion will be long remembered by the doctor’s friends as one of the most delightful of their lives. The best pieces can be procured for tenpence a pound, and we are sure that those who have sat so long under his ministry will rejoice that he has been treated so handsomely.*

*Mark Dever, The Gospel and Personal Evangelism, (Wheaton, IL: Crossway, 2007), 31-32.

Comfort in Tribulation

Revelation 7:13-17 – 13 Then one of the elders addressed me, saying, “Who are these, clothed in white robes, and from where have they come?” 14 I said to him, “Sir, you know.” And he said to me, “These are the ones coming out of the great tribulation. They have washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb.

15 “Therefore they are before the throne of God,
and serve him day and night in his temple;
and he who sits on the throne will shelter them with his presence.
16 They shall hunger no more, neither thirst anymore;
the sun shall not strike them,
nor any scorching heat.
17 For the Lamb in the midst of the throne will be their shepherd,
and he will guide them to springs of living water,
and God will wipe away every tear from their eyes.”

Let’s not argue about timelines and tribulations. But let’s not lose the glorious hope that is to be found for the believer in the book of Revelation. In this glorious book, God wants his church to know a few things that are spelled out beautifully, regardless of your best guess as to the future timeline.

Chapter 7 begins with God sending angels to hold back the four winds until God’s servants are sealed for his protection. A look at Revelation will show us that this seal does not protect God’s servants from the persecuting hatred of the evil on earth. But that seal is certainly a mark that shows that God’s children are not appointed to receive God’s wrath.

Another thing we see pretty easily in Revelation is that, though we are kept and cared for by God, believers may suffer hardship, torture, even death at the hands of evil men who hate God and oppose his church. This is no surprise. Jesus promised his disciples the very same thing. As followers of Jesus, we will see the glory of God and watch the church grow. As followers of Jesus, we will face the hatred of a world that rejected the perfect God-Man and will certainly reject us the more we point to Jesus.

But, and this is what grabs my attention this morning, Even if the world hates us, kills us, turns against us in every way, God never ever loses his own. Instead, if we are willing to follow Jesus and testify to his glory, even in the face of persecution, we see the reward. Jesus clothes us in white robes, comforts us for all the pains we have ever faced, and keeps us with him eternally.

Friends, we may face hardship in this life. If we love Jesus in the face of this world, we definitely will face hardship. But it is so worth it. The glory of Jesus is worth it. The reward of Christ’s comfort, shelter, and presence is worth it. Jesus will dry all our tears. He will give us a place to serve him forever. And this will delight our souls forever.