How long is forever?
Persistent children say, “But, Mom, I haven’t been to their house in forever!“ And they keep trying to talk their way into going to their friend’s house, even though they’ve already been told, “No.”
Frustrated sports fans gripe, “But we haven’t had a call go our way in forever!” as one bad thing happens after another, and they are losing the big game that everyone thought they should easily win.
Exhausted wives tell their exhausted husbands, “We haven’t gone on a date in forever,” as they collapse into bed and wish things could be different, but not anytime soon.
But really, how long is forever? We throw around the word “forever” a lot, but there’s only one thing that lasts forever. God tells us all about it in this Bible verse: “The grass withers, and the flowers fall, but the word of our God endures forever (Isaiah 40:8).”
Human awards don’t last forever. But neither does human brokenness – at least not for the soul in Christ. Everything withers and falls, but God’s Word endures forever. Not just for a few decades, centuries or millenia. Not just for your lifetime, or for the lifetimes of your kids and grandkids. Forever.
That means that Jesus’ forgiveness for us endures forever. Same with the home he has crafted for us in heaven. Forever applies to his assurance that he will never leave nor forsake us, his peace that powerfully calms us, and his love that always warms us. It even applies to his vision that all things – even terrible mishaps – will work out for the good of those who love God. But this is only found in Jesus Christ, the Word made flesh.
The next time you’re tempted to gripe about some disappointment that seems to be forever, get a grip. Go and kneel before the manger. Rejoice in Christmas reality. Your peace in Jesus Christ is forever, and your sinful brokenness is not.
Prayer: Gracious Savior, lead me to your holy Word. Everything else I lay eyes upon withers and falls, but your Word never will. Give me heavenly comfort as I meditate upon what is forever, and what is not. Thank you for assuring me that my “forever” will be wonderful. Amen.
This week, we’ll be sending out three devotional emails highlighting our Christmas theme, “Peace for the Broken.” If you have no church home of your own, would you join us for worship this Sunday, December 24? We have a “Lessons and Carols” service at 9:30am, and a Christmas Candlelight Service at 7:00pm.