Today’s Scripture Selection: Revelation 21:4

It sounds too good to be true:

  • No sorrow
  • No crying
  • No pain
  • No death

But it’s what God has promised.

The prophet Isaiah put it this way:

“…he will swallow up death forever.  The Sovereign LORD will wipe away the tears from all faces; he will remove the disgrace of his people from all the earth.  The LORD has spoken.”

Pure joy – that’s what the Scriptures are talking about.

Not a surface happiness; not a fleeting bit of mirth before it’s back to “business as usual.”  And a grim business it can be.

Our world is broken.  It has been a long, long time.

And, at least to me, it seems as if parts of it are spinning a little more out of control all the time.

But…God keeps His word.  God always keeps His word.

So, joy is coming.  We don’t know exactly where; when; how.  We don’t know we will experience it first on an individual level (as in “Today, you will be with me in Paradise.”) or on a worldwide level (as in the Church being “caught up” to meet the Lord in the air).  But one thing we know for sure – joy – like we have never experienced it – is coming.

And just knowing that can help you face a whole lot of pain.

Prayer: Gracious Lord, thank you for the promise of coming, everlasting, joy.  Come, Lord Jesus, Come.  AMEN.


By Paul Simrell

The Reverend Paul W. Simrell has served for over thirty years in a variety of congregational and institutional settings. He is a recognized minister with standing in the Virginia region of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) in the United States and Canada and is nationally endorsed by the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) for specialized ministry in both pastoral counseling and chaplaincy. Ordained in 1982, he has served congregations in Kentucky, Texas, Florida, and Virginia. He currently serves as the pastor of Elpis Christian Church, a small, historic congregation located just a few miles west of Richmond, Virginia. Elpis is the Greek word meaning “expectant hope.” He also serves on the associate clinical staff of the Virginia Institute of Pastoral Care, Richmond, Virginia, both as a pastoral counselor and a ministerial assessment specialist, specializing in executive, clergy and relationship coaching. He is a graduate of the University of Florida and Lexington Theological Seminary and has done advanced clinical training in chaplaincy and pastoral counseling at the University of Kentucky Medical Center in Lexington, Kentucky, Children’s Medical Center and Parkland Hospital in Dallas, Texas and the Virginia Institute of Pastoral Care in Richmond, Virginia. He is a Certified Pastoral Counselor, an ACPE Practitioner, and a member of the American Association of Christian Counselors. He is a Certified Facilitator of the Prepare-Enrich relationship assessment and skills-building program and served as a volunteer chaplain for over twenty years with the CJW Medical Center campuses in Richmond, Virginia. His avocational interests include playing the piano and drawing. He is very happily married to his wife Elizabeth Yeamans Simrell, a free-lance writer, who is also a Certified Facilitator for the Prepare-Enrich program. Good company in a journey makes the way seem shorter. — Izaak Walton

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