yesterday i finished reading the Bible all the way through in a little bit less than a year. it was really cool to see the whole story in chronological order and see how God's story weaves through all 66 books. something that struck me as i was reading the last chapter was how even though there's a whole bunch of junk that happens in the Bible (death, life, persecution, suffering, grace...) the first and last chapter are full of hope. that despite all that happens, hope remains. love remains. the first chapter of Genesis talks of creation, of us being created in His own image, so full of potential and hope. nothing yet had gone wrong, it was perfection. and then the last chapter of Revelation tells of heaven and Jesus coming, of the free water of life He offers, that He is coming soon. despite all that's happened, Jesus is coming and everything will be redeemed and perfect once again. "'He will live with them, and they will be His people. God himself will be with them. He will wipe every tear from their eyes, and there will be no more death or sorrow or crying or pain. for the old world and it's evils are gone forever.' and the one seated on the throne says 'behold, I am making all things new!'" (rev 21:3-5) if that's not hope, i don't know what is. that soon all of this will be gone and we will be with Him, Him with us, joy for eternity. we will return to perfect union with our Creator as it was intended in the beginning when He made the heavens and the earth. life gets ya down, but there is oh so much hope for those of us who belong to Christ Jesus and have faith and believe.