This time of the year is marked by great anticipation! Through the month of December, many lived in anticipation counting down the days until Christmas. Now that Christmas is behind us, there is the anticipation of a new year and new opportunities that lie ahead in 2024. Yet, each year as these events come and go, the anticipation is short-lived and temporal. Sometimes the excitement of anticipation is met by disappointment of reality.
Yet, for the believer in Christ, there is an anticipation that is not merely temporal, short-lived, or met by disappointment. This is the anticipation of the return of Jesus Christ. In Revelation 22, Jesus reminds us of an event that we ought to anticipate every day of every year! Jesus reminds us that this event will usher believers into an eternity of enjoying God’s very presence. Jesus assured us of our future and gave us a great hope when He said: “Surely, I come quickly” (v. 20). What hope that promise should bring to the heart of every believer. Christ isn’t promising us a mere temporal and passing moment of happiness that comes and goes like Christmas or New Years. Rather, Christ is directing our hearts towards His imminent return! This great promise was given over 1,900 years ago, yet His coming has been imminent to every generation of believers. In reality, 1,900 years is not very long in the scope of eternity. As 21st century Christians, we should be even more ready, and we should be even more watchful for His return than previous generations.
Notice, however, the response of John in the book of Revelation. John responds from the overflow of his heart with a longing for the return of Christ. He said, “Even so, come, Lord Jesus” (v. 20). This longing for the return of Christ is the heart cry of every true believer. As pilgrims passing through this world, we look “for a city which hath foundations, whose builder and maker is God” (Hebrews 11:10). Our attitude should not be one of desperately clinging to the soil of this earth as if we will live here forever. Rather, our attitude ought to be one of anticipation. We ought to be looking forward to the coming of Christ!
I believe that this anticipation only grows in the heart of the Christian the longer they journey through this barren wasteland of a world that is filled with troubles and trials. The hope of the Christian is not some passing festivity that comes and goes once a year. Rather, the hope of the Christian is an eternal and sinless abode with God. May we ever be watchful and may our hearts continually cry out, “Even so, come, Lord Jesus.”
~Pastor Aaron Francis