Hope Beyond Hardship (Isaiah 65:17) - Radical

Hope Beyond Hardship (Isaiah 65:17)

For behold, I create new heavens and a new earth, and the former things shall not be remembered, or come into mind.
– Isaiah 65:17

I love this verse that is basically a foretaste of what we read in Revelation 21–22, as we see heaven described, and really the rest of Isaiah 65 goes on to describe this picture of a new heaven and new earth that God creates, and new is the key word where the old things are gone and the new has come.

Isaiah 65:17 reminds us there will be no hardship or sorrow in heaven.

And I love this description, the former things shall not be remembered or come into mind. And I don’t know for sure all of that means practically about what our memory will be like in heaven. This is talking about all who’ve trusted in Jesus. That’s clear. All throughout this chapter, there’s a very clear distinction between this reality of a new heavens and new earth for those who’ve trusted in God and trusted in his servant and those who’ve not. So for all who have trusted in Jesus.

I’m not sure exactly how memory will work in heaven, particularly when we think about the hard and painful and hurtful and difficult things we walked through in this world. But the picture I have in my mind is, you know how some days are just really hard and then something happens that just totally turns the table and it’s so joyful, it’s so awesome and it lasts so long that you can hardly even remember those hard days before that, because of what has happened that’s totally different.

That’s the picture I have when I think about heaven. When I think about a place where there is literally no sin, no sorrow, no sadness, no suffering, no mourning, no death. And we will experience this for not just a day or for a week or for a month or a year, but for all of eternity. In a way that will make hard days from this world that we didn’t understand and that were so hard to get through and will make them either such that we don’t remember them at all, they don’t come into mind, that’s a possibility, or that they are put in their proper place, their proper perspective.

Isaiah 65:17 encourages us to hope in this coming reality of redemption.

Kind of like when the martyrs around the throne in Revelation are crying out for justice and in the end they see the justice of God come about, and there are no questions about his justice at that point. So I do know that when we get to heaven, in the new heavens and the new earth, we will not have questions about God’s justice or God’s goodness. We will not be wrestling with the kind of questions we have in this world on that day, because the old will be gone and the new will have come in a way we cannot even fathom right now.

So hold onto this hope today, especially if you’re walking through hard days, persevere in faith, in trust. Hold on to God as your strength, as your help in time of trouble. As your refuge, as your rock to stand on, believing. Trusting that one day new heaven and a new earth will be a reality.

And the former things, days like we experience in this world of sin and suffering and sorrow and death, oh, God’s going to make all things new in a way that totally puts those days in a proper perspective and with a joy that will make it at least hard to even remember those things.

This verse encourages us to look forward to Jesus’ second coming.

Oh God, we praise you for the hope that we have in you. Jesus, we praise you for dying on the cross for our sins and for rising from the dead, for your victory over the grave, and for your ascension into heaven and your promise that you are coming back. Even in Revelation 22, surely I’m coming soon. So we pray. Come, Lord Jesus, come quickly. We long for your return. Lord, we long to be face-to-face with you. We long for this new heaven and new earth, and we long to bring others with us to that new heaven and new earth.

God, help us to be urgent and bold in our sharing of the gospel today with people. Lord help us to lead a friend, a family member… Somebody we just happened to meet today in your sovereignty, to trust in you that they might have this hope.

Prayer for the Kahar People

God, we pray for people around the world who’ve never heard of this hope. We pray specifically today for the Kahar people of India. Almost 10 million of them, no known believers among the Kahar in mainly Northeastern India.

God, we pray that the Kahar would be reached with the hope of Jesus… That they might be a part of this scene just as you promised in Revelation 7, 9 and 10 gathered around your throne… Proclaiming your salvation, praising you for your grace and your mercy. God, bring it about. We pray among the Kahar today… Send laborers to the Kahar from the church in India… And from the church outside India for the spread of the gospel among them… That they, we, all who trusted in you might experience what you promised here in Isaiah 65:17.

Oh God, you are our hope and we trust in you today. Lord Jesus, we wait for you with anticipation, with longing, and with faith, especially amidst hard days in this world.

In Jesus’ name, we pray all these things. Amen.

David Platt

David Platt serves as a pastor in metro Washington, D.C. He is the founder of Radical.

David received his Ph.D. from New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary and is the author of Don’t Hold Back, Radical, Follow MeCounter CultureSomething Needs to ChangeBefore You Vote, as well as the multiple volumes of the Christ-Centered Exposition Commentary series.

Along with his wife and children, he lives in the Washington, D.C. metro area.


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