What’s Coming?

My daughter texted me this morning.


“I don’t know.  What?”








That sentiment made me wonder (as a life-long-suffering Texas Ranger fan), “will this year be better…?”

After more than 50 years of watching the Rangers the skeptic (realist?) in me says, “probably not.”  There have been too many bad trades, too many unwise contracts, too many untimely injuries, and too many heartbreaking losses to make me particularly hopeful.

And some of us, looking beyond baseball to the condition of the world — the political influences, the bioethical decisions, the judicial renderings, along with the depravity of “entertainment” and the demands of social pressures — are even more despondent.  Is there a way out?  Is there really hope for our long-term future?  Reading even one or two headlines per day can perpetually tempt us to despair and despondency.

Here is a simple reminder from Zechariah 8, echoing many other passages in Scripture:  what is ahead for God’s people far outweighs what is behind us.

No matter the sorrow of the past, for the one who is in Christ, there is a surpassingly beautiful future.

Consider just a few principles and passages to guide us to rest in our certain future:

God will vindicate righteousness by judging sin — all sin ever committed.  No deviance and rebellion against God will go unpunished:

“I will gather all the nations
And bring them down to the valley of Jehoshaphat.
Then I will enter into judgment with them there
On behalf of My people and My inheritance, Israel,
Whom they have scattered among the nations;
And they have divided up My land.” (Joel 3:2; cf. also Zech. 1:15; 9:1ff)

God will restore Israel and will save the entire nation:

“For I do not want you, brethren, to be uninformed of this mystery — so that you will not be wise in your own estimation — that a partial hardening has happened to Israel until the fullness of the Gentiles has come in; ‘and so all Israel will be saved; just as it is written,
HE WILL REMOVE UNGODLINESS FROM JACOB.’” (Rom. 11:25–26; cf. Zech. 10:1ff)

God will establish His Messiah to rule on the throne of David in Jerusalem:

“Then I saw thrones, and they sat on them, and judgment was given to them. And I saw the souls of those who had been beheaded because of their testimony of Jesus and because of the word of God, and those who had not worshiped the beast or his image, and had not received the mark on their forehead and on their hand; and they came to life and reigned with Christ for a thousand years.” (Rev. 20:4; cf. Zech. 8:1-3; 14:3-5)

God will provide unprecedented peace and safety for His people in His Kingdom:

“And the wolf will dwell with the lamb,
And the leopard will lie down with the young goat,
And the calf and the young lion and the fatling together;
And a little boy will lead them.
Also the cow and the bear will graze,
Their young will lie down together,
And the lion will eat straw like the ox.
The nursing child will play by the hole of the cobra,
And the weaned child will put his hand on the viper’s den.
They will not hurt or destroy in all My holy mountain,
For the earth will be full of the knowledge of the LORD
As the waters cover the sea.” (Is. 11:6–9; cf. Zech. 8:4-8; 14:6ff)

God will save people from every tribe and nation and bring them in the Kingdom to worship in Jerusalem:

“Now it will come about that
In the last days
The mountain of the house of the LORD
Will be established as the chief of the mountains,
And will be raised above the hills;
And all the nations will stream to it.
And many peoples will come and say,
“Come, let us go up to the mountain of the LORD,
To the house of the God of Jacob;
That He may teach us concerning His ways
And that we may walk in His paths.”
For the law will go forth from Zion
And the word of the LORD from Jerusalem.
And He will judge between the nations,
And will render decisions for many peoples;
And they will hammer their swords into plowshares and their spears into pruning hooks.
Nation will not lift up sword against nation,
And never again will they learn war.” (Is. 2:2–4; cf. Zech. 8:22; Rev. 5:9; 7:9; 10:11; 14:6)

Every sin will be punished and every unrepentant sinner condemned eternally (nothing and no one will escape the wrath of God):

“Never take your own revenge, beloved, but leave room for the wrath of God, for it is written, “VENGEANCE IS MINE, I WILL REPAY,” says the Lord.” (Rom. 12:19; Rev. 20:11-15)

No matter how weighty our trials now, in eternal Heaven we will have no disappointments — nothing will disappoint in that day, and there will be no regret for our days on earth now:

“Therefore we do not lose heart, but though our outer man is decaying, yet our inner man is being renewed day by day. For momentary, light affliction is producing for us an eternal weight of glory far beyond all comparison, while we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen; for the things which are seen are temporal, but the things which are not seen are eternal.” (2 Cor. 4:16–18; cf. Rom. 9:33; 10:11)

Everyone lives in a broken and fallen world (Rom. 3:10-18; 8:20, 22).  But that world will be redeemed and what will be received by the believer in that redemption is of infinitely greater value than the loss that is experienced now (Rom. 8:18).

No matter the sorrow of the past, for the one who is in Christ, there is a surpassingly beautiful future.

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