What parts of the Bible do you turn to for uplifting, encouraging truth? Psalms? John? Philippians?
How about Revelation?
Yes. Revelation. Usually when we think of Revelation we think of judgment and beasts. To be sure, there are a lot of judgment and beasts in Revelation. But it’s not all judgment and beasts.
Here are ten happy reasons to read the Bible book of Revelation:
- Worship. The most magnificent and glorious scenes of worship are described in Revelation. In Revelation 4, God is seated on His throne with the elders and the creatures surrounding Him in worship. In Revelation 19, there is the Hallelujah scene in heaven with praise to God in conjunction with Jesus Christ’s return to earth.
- Joy. Recently on Desiring God, there was an article about the theology of Joy in the book of Revelation. The author points out four images of joy in God: “an ultimate deliverance, a decisive victory, a spectacular wedding, and a secure eternal home.”
- Jesus. The familiar sight of Jesus in Revelation gives us comfort in the midst of the less familiar scenes of apocalyptic descriptions of judgment. Jesus in Revelation 1 appears as a light-filled figure. Jesus is the Lamb who was slain (Revelation 5, 6, 7, 13, 14, 15, 17, 21). Jesus is the returning conqueror, Faithful and True (Revelation 19) who then reigns in the millennial kingdom (Revelation 20). As you read Revelation, keep a running list of all of the descriptions of Jesus.
- Judgment. Ok. So you may be wondering why this is a good thing. God has created us with an ache for fairness. We do not want the bad guys to get away with their constant evil and rejection of the Lord and His plan. God in His holiness cannot leave evil go unpunished. Those who do not turn to God in repentance will face the consequences. There is no happiness because the people are lost, but there is happiness because this world in it’s sinful state does not have the last word. The judgment means that we are one step closer to holy happiness when God’s kingdom will be visibly and perfectly on the earth.
- Patience. If God had no patience, humankind in its sinfulness could be wiped away at any time finally and completely. Instead, God’s judgment is doled out little by little through the seals, then the trumpets, and finally, the last dregs of it is poured out in the bowl judgments. Why does God take so long? Because He is patient. He is patient because He is waiting for people to repent and turn to Him. That’s why periodically through Revelation, John makes a comment about whether or not people have repented as a result of the judgments given. God
- Light. I don’t know about you, but I just feel happier on a sunny day. There is something about sunlight that makes my soul smile. There is a lot of light in Revelation. Jesus Himself is light in Revelation 1. In Revelation 21, God Himself is the Light in the New Jerusalem and the Lamb is the lamp. John writes a lot about Light in his other books, too, in the gospel of John and in 1,2,3 John.
- Belonging. Revelation is a good reminder that this world is passing away and it is not our final home. We have a taste of our forever home in the Church which is addressed in Revelation 2 and 3. Revelation 21 and 22 gives a beautiful picture of New Jerusalem, our forever home, encrusted with precious stones and paved with gold. This cube-shaped city is water-front property with access to the tree of life. John got a glimpse of his belonging when he sees his own name on the foundation stone (Revelation 21:4).
- Excitement. Every September, I am aware that Christmas will come, but it seems so far away. Before I know it, it’s December 19th and I’m in the midst of the Christmas excitement getting my last minute stuff together. Jesus’ second coming feels like it’s a long way off, but in light of eternity, it is closer than we think. In Revelation 22, we are reminded that Jesus is coming soon! Be excited as you look forward to Christ’s return.
- Overcomers. If you are a believer in Jesus Christ, you are an overcomer. The word “overcome” is used twelve times in Revelation attached to Jesus’ role and His glorious promises for believers such as the tree of life and inheriting the kingdom. In hard times here, we can remember with happiness that we know who wins: Jesus Christ and those who are with Him.
- Blessings. There are seven blessings in Revelation. These blessings or happinesses are for believers who obey in a particular way like taking the book to heart (Revelation 1:3) and being clothed with God’s character (Revelation 16:15).
What other happinesses have you found in the book of Revelation? Comment below and let me know.