the final word on suffering

What suffering are you living through today? God is in charge over the whole earth. He is not blind to your suffering, troubles, and pain. God tells us of future hope and glory and has the final word on your suffering.

Micah told God’s people of the hope and promise to come. He said, “In the latter days, in that day,” (Micah 4:1-8) a bright and shining time is to come. Fix your eyes upon that, look ahead beyond the glumness and troubles of today. God invites His people then (and now) to look ahead to future glory, everything good and positive to come. It will be a time when the mountain of the house of the Lord, once plowed and leveled like a field, will rise up and be the highest mountain. Peoples from many nations, languages, and families will come to the mountain to hear and obey God’s Word. He will judge and settle disputes among all the peoples and nations. There will be no more “unfair”. Nations will beat swords into plowshares and there will be peace in the land, including China, North Korea, Iran, Europe, Central America, and Russia. It will be a world of plenty, where everyone can have their own shade tree and enough food. In these latter days, peace and richness, glory, rest, joy, and walking in the ways of the Lord our God, will reign.

This is the message of Christmas. 700 years later from Micah’s time, this good news came, in part. In Christ, peoples can be united in Him and under Him. He has come and is “the way and truth and life.” He levies justice and rules in kingship and glory. In Him is peace and blessing, plenty, richness, no fear, joy, rest, and glory. Not completely, for sure, but we live in a time of “now and not yet.” It will come in fullness when He returns, and we look forward. The celebration of Christmas is paired with Easter, and joined to His return. It is a package deal.

This hope and glory and future vision fuels our living today and now. Do you see this hope and promise? It is an open window, letting in a fresh breeze to a stale and musty room that smells like death. It is an open curtain, letting in sunshine to a dim room. Hope and promise and “bigger picture” vision keeps us going in the hard times, sustaining us in suffering. The broader canvas and wider brush-strokes give meaning to day-to-day living. It strengthens and encourages us and helps us to endure, even in suffering.

God promises to rescue and redeem His people. Suffering will end. It has already come, in part. It may be for a night, but joy comes in the morning. Morning has begun in Christmas. God has spoken the final word on your suffering, and it is, “Jesus.”