“Behold, I come quickly: hold that fast which thou hast, that no man take thy crown.” Revelation 3:11
Four times in Revelation Jesus said He would “come quickly,” this verse and three times in Revelation 22:7, 12, and 20. One of the tensions most difficult for me to maintain in my life is gratitude to God for His goodness, on the one hand, and my longing to be with Him in heaven, on the other. By any standard of comparison, I am a rich man. Not just the affluence of our environment, but more profoundly things such as my health, a wonderful family, my friends in Christ, the privilege of ministering in His Name – all of these fill me with gratitude.
Still, I find I am so very eager for His coming. Partly it is because of the incredible hurt and lostness I see everywhere I look; and partly it is the depth of my own depravity. As I may have shared with you before, I am sickened by the fact that I am more easily influenced by circumstances than the presence of God in my life. I have walked with Jesus for more than 60 years, and had hoped that there would be some abatement in the perniciousness of sin. But I am chagrined to confess that such is not the case, at least in my life.
Thus I find it hard to be grateful for a life so disappointing to the One I love the most. Despair is the absence of gratitude. It is hard to maintain balance between the discouragement I feel over the depravity that I see everywhere and a spirit of thanksgiving for His inexhaustible grace so obviously present in every phase of my life.
Lord Jesus, come quickly!