Where do you go for comfort when the rug is pulled out from under your feet? I am talking about those surprising events in life where you wake up on a regular day and then you get surprised with something serious. Perhaps even something tragic.
In the last year or so I personally have seen a significant uptick in these types of surprises. Maybe it’s because I’m getting older. More likely it is because I live in a broken world and this happens. I have found myself hunkering down in two particular passages of the Bible. They are conveniently located right next to one another, Revelation 4 & 5.
In chapter 4 we read of God the Father enthroned receiving the worship due him by his creation. The exclamation is that God is infinitely holy, eternal, forever worthy of worship. The exclamation is not limited to voices either. We read of this in verses 5 & 6:
5 From the throne came flashes of lightning, and rumblings and peals of thunder, and before the throne were burning seven torches of fire, which are the seven spirits of God, 6 and before the throne there was as it were a sea of glass, like crystal.
With rumblings and flashes of fire and light reminiscent of Sinai (Ex. 19.16) this reminds us that God is the law-giver and judge. He overlooks and sees everything on earth. There is nothing that escapes his notice and nothing that will not ultimately intersect with him and his sovereign plan. The Creator sees and sustains this world. He knows. This truth, combined with the thundering chorus of worship, causes me to smile and be reassured amid the uncertainty of this world.
When surprises happen to me the record doesn’t skip in heaven; the bass is still bumping at the infinite decibels.
In chapter 5 we read of another scene. In this one there is a scroll in the hand of the one on the throne. According to chapter 4 this is the Father. He has this scroll which is overflowing with content and sealed. What is this scroll about? Based upon what we see in chapters 6 and following, I would understand this scroll to be the impending judgment of all that opposes God and the final restoration of things. With the opening of this scroll the process whereby the planet is purged of its wickedness and Kingdom of Christ comes in all of its fullness.
If we read chapter 5 we see that there is a slight problem. The angel searches for one who is worthy to open the scroll and declares that there is no one. None in heaven or under heaven that can do this. This grips John and shreds his heart (Rv. 5:4), as he begins crying. Why is he crying? Well, if the scroll cannot be opened then this is the end. No kingdom, no restoration, no hope, no anything. We as Christians are of all people the most to be pitied.
This is not the end. There is one who is worthy; it is Christ! He is the one who has conquered and is worthy to crack the seals and execute its contents!
Christ was slain for our sins, conquered the grave, and is enthonred in heaven. He is willing and able to open the scroll and execute its contents!
When it seems like I am surprised by life’s events I have to remember that there is a King and a Kingdom. He is able to bring it to pass. Christ Jesus is alive and eagerly anticipating his Second Coming. He will bring judgment, salvation and restoration. It is certain.
When we are surprised we need to remember that the record doesn’t skip in heaven! Christ remains enveloped in an incense cloud of his own merit with the praise of angels and saints surrounding him!
At the core I get unsettled because I feel like John, “Oh no! What now? What are we going to do?” The answer is the glory of God in the face of Christ. Read Revelation 4 & 5. Peer into this heavenly portal and see: God reigns. This is good for my soul. Now the heavenly soundtrack is playing in my soul again.