Comfort in the Chaos

This past few weeks I’ve been having my devotional time in the book of Revelation. I always come to this portion of scripture thinking, “Lord this book is really confusing.“ The seals, trumpets, beasts, plagues, wrath… A long list of let’s just say “not so clear stuff“. Upon entering the book, I often say “maybe I’ll just read chapters 1 to 3!“ But as you come to the very first paragraph in this marvelous book we read the following in verse three:

“Blessed is the one who reads aloud the words of this prophecy, and blessed are those who hear it and take to heart what is written in it, because the time is near.”

I’ve discovered once again how true that statement is! The book is incredibly encouraging! One clarification, it says in this verse blessed are those who “read aloud”. This is still true today but it was even more important when this was written, because people didn’t have Bibles like we do. So someone would be reading this aloud for the benefit of all. We now have Bibles in our homes and on our phones! So the reading aloud (which still is a blessing) is not quite as crucial as it was then. Still critical for all of us who believe is the part that says blessed are those who listen and take these things to heart.

You know what I found reading through the book of revelation again? (By the way, I love the fact that the Lord illuminates his word, still, and in a fresh way, to a pastor who has been at this a long time!). I found an incredible comfort. In many chapters, literally, all hell is breaking loose. (More accurately, all heaven is breaking loose). I still do not understand all the meaning behind the symbols, plagues, etc. But as I read, it is so clear that our Lord is in absolute control. He has set the times for this to unfold, it happens at his command, in his way, carried out by his angels, for his purposes!

Reading through the book makes me pause and want to weep, sometimes cheer, and often want to say, “I don’t think I’d have done it that way”. But, at every turn, God has a plan and purpose. He is on the throne, and in absolute command!

This helps me in my every day experience. Often our lives are a reflection of the end times. There is chaos, uncertainty, cringing, wondering what’s next. A feeling like we have no control.
Here are some important reminders God gave me in rereading this wonderful book: He wins. Truth will conquer all of the lies, deceit, and corruption. The evil one is doomed. The judge of all the earth will not be mocked. The wicked will be crushed. God has a plan and even in the chaos… It’s perfect and good.

The road we walk is often treacherous, at times heartbreaking, confusing, and difficult. But the Savior is leading us home. Maybe that’s the biggest reminder, we’re not home yet. In the end there’s a new heaven and a new earth! A new home. Perfect. Where every tear is wiped away. Where every trace of evil and sin is eradicated. We are not there yet – but the book reminds us to persevere, to press on, to wait, to endure. We hold on because we know God is in control.
He is also in control of whatever it is you are facing today. I think we all need that reminder….

Pete Nelson