“For behold, I create new heavens and a new earth, and the former things shall not be remembered or come into mind. But be glad and rejoice forever in that which I create. For behold, I create Jerusalem to be a joy, and her people to be a gladness. I will rejoice in Jerusalem and be glad in my people. No more shall be heard in it the sound of weeping and the cry of distress." - Isaiah 65:17-19
God, through the prophet Isaiah, speaks of the new phase of existence he will bring about in the future. He will create a new sky and earth for his servants to enjoy. They won't remember the pain and suffering of the past because they will be too busy being happy and rejoicing. This joy will never end. The new Jerusalem and its residents will bring joy and gladness to all people then living on the earth. Not only that, but God himself will rejoice in the city and his servants who live there. Sadness, pain, and grief will never be heard in the city again. These words refer to Jesus' millennial kingdom, eternity to follow, or both. Verse 20 suggests people will die during this period, so it is probably the millennium that is the focus.
I love how God himself rejoices in Jerusalem and its people. In the coming kingdom, we as believers will rejoice, and God will rejoice with us. The concept of everlasting joy is a repeated throughout the book of Isaiah. Joy is greater than happiness because it lasts longer and is felt more deeply. Unending joy is something God has promised to us as believers. He intends to share his joy, his deep happiness, with us.
Father, I look forward to the new heavens and earth you will create. I am planning to rejoice greatly when I finally get there. I expect we will celebrate with Jesus as he celebrated with his disciples at the wedding at Cana. We will feast on delicious food and drink the best quality wine. May I be filled with joy today in expectation of that future joy we will experience as believers. In Jesus' name, amen.
- Jeff Coleman