– William Carey
If you could draw a line that measured the days of your life and then keep drawing that line a million years, what would the days of your life look like compared with the rest of the time? Naturally, it’d be just a tiny section of the whole line, so in that frame of mind, the Apostle Paul writes, “For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory that is to be revealed to us” (Rom 8:18). In other words, you can’t compare this short life against eternity, and the glory that’s coming will make it seem small.
When the Apostle John wrote down the Book of Revelation, some things he couldn’t really put into words. How can you describe the beauty of a city whose twelve foundations were “jasper, the second sapphire, the third agate, the fourth emerald, the fifth onyx, the sixth carnelian, the seventh chrysolite, the eighth beryl, the ninth topaz, the tenth chrysoprase, the eleventh jacinth, the twelfth amethyst” (Rev 21:19b-20). How can you describe the indescribable? The truth is, you can’t. We’ll have to see it with our own eyes.
The descriptions of the New Jerusalem that the Apostle John gives us have resulted in many different paintings over the years. Some of the greatest artists in history have attempted to paint what the City of God looks like, but think of it this way; I have a beautiful picture of my wife (who is also beautiful). It looks just like her, but I would rather the real her so that I can hold her, and kiss her, and love her, and serve her. As good as a painting can be, nothing takes the place of the real thing. That’s why we’ll just have to wait to see how incredible it really is.
The promises of God are sure and amen, and that includes the day of no more death, sorrow, pain, suffering, crying, and tears (Rev 21:4), and best of all, it says “God himself will be with them as their God” (Rev 21:3). That’s one of the greatest reasons of all to compare today’s troubles with the joy that is to come.