We always wish each other well at the beginning of a newly begun year. One often hears people say, "Happy New Year.” Yet such a wish raises questions. After all, what do you actually wish for? When do you have a happy new year? Happiness has to do with being content with and in your life circumstances. This is largely emotion and feeling. A sense of peace, relaxation, cheerfulness, and joy is present, and we call that "being happy.”
But being happy here on earth is a fleeting thing. Of course, we wish each other well in our daily lives here on earth. But it is not something you have in your hand. It comes and goes. Times of happiness and unhappiness follow one another. Happiness is fleeting, and the dark tone of sorrow, trouble, and grief continues to color our lives like a black frame.
In Revelation 22:7, we read, "Blessed is he that keepeth the sayings of the prophecy of this book." The book of Revelation appears to be a prophetic book. Just as the Old Testament has prophecies, so does the New Testament. God Himself and Christ lift the veil for believers who live after Christ's work on earth. The prophecies in the book of Revelation show us what is really going on in the end times, the time between Christ's ascension and His return on the clouds of heaven.
What is the main message? We read that in verse 7a: "Behold, I come quickly." The time is all about the return of Christ. And everything that happens in the time leading up to His second coming is fixed in His hands. He reigns as the Glorified One at God's right hand (Revelation 1). He cares for His church and believers. This is indicated by the seven stars He holds in His right hand. Out of His mouth comes a two-edged sharp sword. This is His word, His speaking. And His speaking is also His acting. What He says, He does; what He promises, He will do.
He is coming! With haste! We read three times in this chapter, "Behold, I am coming quickly," in verses 7, 12, and 20. Even though it seems long in our eyes, almost 2,000 years now. What a hunger and thirst there can be in the arena of this life for the righteousness that will be there in full when He returns. The moment when death is forever devoured, and there is no more misery and sickness. The moment when all tears will be wiped from our eyes.
But in the meantime, we live here. Who, even in 2024, is truly happy? He or she whose life is marked by His coming. Who hears His word and keeps it. His words are full of comfort and grace. He who hears and keeps His words, like Mary, is blessed.