Fresh Start 2013: Day

The end of the beginning + the beginning of the end


Today's Text: John 19:28-42, Revelation 21:1-4

Text: John 19:28-42, Revelation 21:1-4

John, the beloved, stood and watched His Savior and friend bow His head.

He saw the simple autopsy of Jesus and watched as Joseph of Arimathea carried away the Son of Man to be buried. He witnessed all of it and I can’t help but wonder if it felt like the end of a horribly sad story. A huge part of me wants John to have written a sidebar right here, to see his humanness. I wouldn’t mind a “And guys – I was SAD. It did NOT look good” right around John 19:43. John must’ve known tears, right? He knew and saw death. And while I’m sure the events that would occur three days later brought a massive spring to his step, he’d know pain and hurt again in his life.

We catch up with John years and years later, now an old man, as he’s exiled on the island of Patmos. While we might be tempted to feel bad for him – let’s peek in on the picture he’s experiencing in Revelation 21. John the Beloved got to see things he could barely describe and things we can barely dare to interpret. A new heaven, a new earth, a resurrected and returning King wiping away all the tears.

Do you know pain? Do you know someone who knows pain?
Does it feel like the end or the middle or the beginning of just another sad story?
Don’t for a second let the enemy of your heart leave you in John 19.

Ladies, He rose from the dead – compelled by love and grace and power –  instilled and enlisted by His Father, to defeat sin and death and tears and pain. For the glory of God and for our restoration. And like John saw before he took his last earthly breath, He’s coming back. All the old sad stories are going to be weaved like beautiful vintage threads into a tapestry of grace and glory and Good News.

Where is your hope today? Is it in a life without tears that you couldn’t muster up if you tried or are you simply hoping for another story to begin that isn’t quite as sad as this one?

Let’s hope in a fresh start. A beautiful, true, eternal story. One that never began and never ends, but climaxed on a sad Friday over two thousand years ago and will see us through to this beautiful new place – where our tears are no more.


  • imperfectlyimperfect

    This message is right on time for me. I’m grateful that our God is so forgiving, so merciful. I know he won’t give me more than I can handle…

    Lord please help me be patient & persistent. Thank you that my rewards & comfort are coming. Amen.

  • Its almost scary to think about how powerful Revelation and John is. He has endured such pain and agony and then he turns around and brings heaven into Revelation. Hes so incredibly powerful and i cant imagine what it was like being in Johns shoes all those years ago. I get discouraged because we all know people who do the things listed in Revelations that are doomed to the sulfur of fire and you pray that you can somehow save them or bring jesus into their lives somehow. With some you just hope you get the chance and do it right

  • Wonderful. I need this going through hardtimes now it help me a lot

  • VanessaP

    Please pray for me for strength to connect myself to a church family and Godly mature women in Christ. Please pray that God would continue to build in me great faith. I am a single mom of a four year old girl and she goes to her Dads 50 percent of the time and when she’s gone I feel so alone, lost, depressed. I need Godly friends. I need family. Thank you for your prayers.

  • Pls Lord use this jar as U c fits Ur desires. I need U Lord more than the next heart beat. More than the air a breath Lord I need U more.

  • What a blessing you version has been to me. It seems that every time I really need to hear from God. I find him in a passage in you version that was meant just for me. What a wonderful God we serve.

  • I would see my self as a piece of clay that God could mold me unbroken a cup, vase, or even a plat using me as He sees me and needs me to minister. That was when I was, I thought,on the platform sharing his word with others. I no longer speak from that type of platform…and I have been wondering what type of vessel God has created me to be and after reading today's devotion God showed me that I am a paternal that can be carried around and wherever I walk I show Jesus and do not have to speak words all the time, just let His light shine through me. I work at a public school and a couple of teachers came up to me and said we talk about you in our meetings…how wherever you are God's light just shines through you. I said thank you and hank God because I have the opportunity to shine as a paraprofessional for Him in our school to both students and teachers.


    I am having such a tough time finding joy and direction. Like someone spoke earlier a feeling of just existence. I feel like I’m hovering over an airport waiting to land, only there is no place. I know that God is the captain, but I’ve become an impatient passenger and lost faith in God’s perfect plan for my life. I call out to him, but he doesn’t answer, yet, at times, I hear Him whisper my Name. I am thankful at those moments that I know for certain that He has not forgotten me. Please pray for me my Sisters that I am obedient to His will, to gain a fresh wind, and a deeper level of faith, which sustains me for the journey. My inward desire is to be a woman after God’s own heart, and I am not happy where I am with this. I will pray for you as well.

  • I need to awaken my faith and get out of the rut I'm living in. I have so much to be grateful for and could stand to give it up to God way more often than I do. I pray that I really start to believe in the new life He offers every day, and the eternal new life we'll encounter when we leave this world. I'm not really sure where my hope is right now, but I know where I want it to be. And I pray for enlightenment and strengthening of faith.

  • Michelle

    Amen! And thank you Jesus!

  • Amen to that Darlene! I so want to draw nearer to God. Praying for you all and please pray for me. We are in financial bind and trying to be obedient to Gods word.

  • LaToya S

    It was a sad story, but a happy one because he gave up the ghost for a reason. He did it for us and I can't wait until we see him again. To take us away from this corrupt place that was once a peaceful paradise. Just stay faithful ladies. Keep talking to Jesus daily and stay in your Word for wisdom. Things will work work out for you because the same has happened to me and my family. God bless!

  • Happy Dr MLK Jr Day sisters! Its a great day to take the time to give Reverence to God for blessing us with a man of God. A man God who wanted to create peace among all men of different races and nationalities. Let’s continue to keep peace and let our light shine where ever me may go. God bless! :)

  • Ellen MR

    Awesome Darlene!! I’ll always keep this simple thought in my head in times of trouble!!

  • Yes Darlene. All the comments have been good but yours boiled it down

  • In times of trouble we have two choices: either we run to Christ or we run away from Him. “Draw near to Him and He will draw near to you.”

  • Praise The Lord! What an incredible reminder today! I probably need to read this daily :)

  • Tsalached

    What wonderful hope….thank God we know the ending…Pwerful! Have a blessed weekend ladies

  • The reading from Revelation ended at verse 4, but I kept reading. And boy am I glad I did. Jesus goes on to say that all who dont follow Him will experience a second death. I am so thankful that through God's grace and mercy we as believers have second life and not second death. Thank you Lord!
    Then he said, "It's happened. I'm A to Z. I'm the Beginning, I'm the Conclusion. From Water-of-Life Well I give freely to the thirsty. Conquerors inherit all this. I'll be God to them, they'll be sons and daughters to me. But for the rest—the feckless and faithless, degenerates and murderers, sex peddlers and sorcerers, idolaters and all liars—for them it's Lake Fire and Brimstone. Second death!" (Revelation 21:6-8 MSG)

  • jesusgirl71

    rocknitat55, thanks for your comment here.

  • Glory to God that the story doesn't end at John 19, and glory to Him also because I know that He has immeasurably more for each of us (Ephesians 3:20) and that He gives us peace and comfort while it's being realized. It's been such a blessing to be a part of this community. Can I ask for your prayer tonight also? For continued emotional healing and financial security in my fresh start.

  • Courtney M.

    I have always loved the verses in revelation…as I work with children in the foster care system that have experienced great pain the in the world…All things will be made new. But today as I was a crappy wife…I remember that all things will be made new…and are being made new in me. daily. Grace gives me new mercies each morning. each moment.
    Praise God.

  • I couldn't read the passage in John without crying. But this time the tears came when the two men were wrapping up Jesus in the oils and spices. I'm sure if I was there, I would have asked Joseph if I could help, and I'm sure my tears would be mixed in with the oils..but my tears today weren't of sorrow, but of pure thankfulness and awe of the beauty of Christ. :)
    I just went through the most fiery trails of my life where hope and faith seemed to be just a word, but nothing to comfort my soul. But by the grace of Jesus, He carried me through that and now I stand more refined in Him and I am so so thankful for His sacrifice and pure love for me and everyone. I have learned that my hope can be in nothing less than Jesus than Jesus' blood and righteousness; all other ground(my husband, job, family, circumstances) is sinking sand.
    My Jesus, please help me to remember what You taught me these past years, to fix my eyes, my hope, in You and You alone. You are faithful. You are worthy of all. I give my life to you, wholly devoted. :)

    • martina

      Jess, thanks for the reminder that everything but Christ is sinking sand..that hymn writer got it right! It is SO easy to slip into thinking I can add Jesus to my favorite people, circumstances, etc, and be living the abundant life. But Jesus shows us the cross-life, and we choose or reject it. I'll join you in praying to fix my eyes on Jesus only.

    • Kim

      Jess, I don't know your circumstance, but you spoke beautifully of your love and gratefulness. I have been experiencing that same joy when reading the word ~ like I have never felt it before. My heart is just overwhelmed at the love that we have been given. Bless you for your your faithfulness even when you weren't sure of it! I think God has a beautiful plan for you!!

    • Nance

      I understand. The Lord Jesus has carried me through some very rough times. I am so very grateful and He is the ONLY ONE that can carry you. I liked how you used sinking sand as a metaphor. He is our ONLY ROCK to cling to in times of trouble!

  • lisabethjean

    Thank you for the beautiful & inspiring thoughts this morning!

    ~"The end of the beginning + the beginning of the end" ~
    So poignant that Jesus' dear friend John bore witness to both.

    Thank God for the cross, the blood that was shed, the sins that were washed clean away.
    And I thank Him for the place He is preparing for me, a place where there is no sorrow, a place where I can live eternally!

  • Ellen MR

    Poor lil guy! Susan, praying that all will be well!! Your trust in Him is obviously strong!! Strength to your daughter…

  • Autumn Dawn Leader

    Oh, for no more tears. No more sorrow to cause the tears. Today's devotion has hit home, because I am struggling with enjoying life. I know that Jesus came so that I could have and enjoy my life (have an abundant life), but I have always felt that I simply exist…and I can't wait for that existence to be over. I have moments, sure, that make me smile and laugh…moments that are enjoyable, but I can't honestly say that I truly enjoy my life or enjoy being alive. Too much pain. Too many tears. I'm trying, with God's help, to receive His grace daily to overcome and enjoy life – instead of simply enduring it until I go to a much better place.

    • Emily

      Autumn, I am sorry. this world doesn't offer much is the problem I think, and sometimes our expectations are set too high. And sometimes our bodies are just not being fed the nutrients it needs to function at our peak. I am not one to state those Christian platitudes, but I do know how your feel. Will be praying for you.

    • martina

      Autumn Dawn-you with the lovely name:)-I am so touched by your post. I have missed you! Your posts dropped off awhile ago and I took note…please know I have prayed for you in the interim. Now I realize it was the Holy Spirit drawing me to intercede for you. I am sorry for your pain. I recall you said you lead worship and have a real passion for this ministry. It seems to me that the evil one would like nothing better than to bring you down. I am placing rhe shield of faith in front of you and encouraging you to put your hands on the other weapons in Ephesians 6. Even while you are thinking about doing that, the Lord is your Shield and your Defender.

    • Just a few days ago we read. . . the Lord will FIght for you. . . you only have to be still!! Autumn Dawn ~ He is at your side, sister and walking with you every step of the way. HE will defend you, He will fight the fight for you! Praying for you. . . . and loving you from afar

    • jesusgirl71

      Oh Autumn Dawn, me too! I am trying, I really am, but things seem to bring me down every day. i start out so well, spending time with god, everything, go to work and boom! I try, but I let people get to me; it just goes downhill from there. I'm doing better than I was, but oh I so just want to enjoy the abundant life!

  • Sometimes during a storm or trial it fells like we Are swallowed up with no route of escape. My 2 month old grandson has been hospitalized twice for seizure type storms after his two month old shots. No one so far has found what’s wrong and it is exhausting for my daughter. I know the a Lord is good and sees all and one day this too will pass. Just hard to keep peace knowing that innocent two month old is possibly suffering. Your will be done Lord!

  • Kellie i will be praying! Great reminder not to “let the enemy of our hearts keep us in John 19.”

  • Praise The Lord! He is so faithful to finish all that he starts. I am continually thankful for the fresh start he provides us through Jesus. As a community of believers I would really appreciate some prayer right now as I am seeking God’s will regarding a new job. Would you ladies pray that I can be filled with wisdom and discernment regarding this choice? And that I will go where The Lord leads me-not to where I am most comfortable!! Thank you all!

    • Alyssa

      I'm praying for you Kellie! I love that you are looking for what God wants, not what is comfortable. I struggle with that every time I have to make a big decision! :)

    • Nance

      Rest in His peaceful presence. Relax in the decision He will make for you. Everytime I changed jobs The Lord's hand lead me to the position He needed me for. Guaranteed!

  • In the movie “The Passion of the Christ” there are so many scenes that brought tears to my eyes. But…one stood out as bittersweet.

    Jesus in His agony looks up at Father in Heaven (as a son seeking approval) and makes the statement, “See I make all things new”. Isn’t that good to know?

    Through Salvation, old things are passed away and all things are being made new! Because of Calvary and especially because of Resurrection Day, we can be assured of this. God our Father does not leave us there; He, Himself, states it again in Revelation 21.

    He reminds us, as if He is confirming (and He is) a promise a father made to a child long ago. When things may have looked and/or felt horrible that we wanted it to ALL be over, that there is always hope in Him.

    He is the same, He is immutable, there is no changing in Him, but He is ever changing MAKING ALL THINGS NEW!

    So this day…lift up your heads for the King of Glory desires to do something new in each of our lives. Lift up your heads, dry your tears or you may miss it…He has something NEW especially designed for you!

    It may not look like it NOW…wait for it…wait for it…there it is…see it…YEAH, HE STILL MAKES ALL THINGS NEW!

  • Bethlynn

    Ricknitat you are in my prayers. My boyfriend also has daily severe pain I don’t know how he survives it. By the grace of God he lives with dignity through pain I cannot imagine. People like you and him are heroes to me. I love the Revelation image of God here living among us without pain or death. A better destination to come!

  • Great devotional this am! I love the line "Don't for a second let the enemy of your heart leave you in John 19." love it! And I love the encouragement from you guys to keep our eyes on the finish line. As the old coaches say . . . ."Don't let a defeat beat you twice." thank you sisters for sharing your time, your insights, and your words of encouragement!

  • Good Morning,

    While reading 2days devo, I tried to imagine witnessing Christ on the cross. It seemed pretty gloomy! But what stood out, was the v34, when the guard pierced Jesus side and His blood & water poured out…For me it symbolizes Christ’s blood being she’s for us and Jesus as our eternal water and how after we are saved we NEVER thirst for anything or anyone else But Him!

    Thank you Lord for reminding me how GLORIOUS U ARE!

    Be Blessed My Fresh Start Sisters & Stay Encouraged

    PS..we only have 2 days left in this devo

  • As I read this plan these past few weeks, the same Jann Arden song keeps popping into my head. "I am saved, I believe…"

  • Praying for you, Rocknitat55. Stay encouraged and continue to trust in God.

  • Caroline

    God, help me keep my eyes on You, on your promises and on the finish line and our great prize. Help me live for heaven, live for the day I'll meet you face to face.

    This life is just a second compared to the glory of eternity!

  • rocknitat55

    I feel so blessed because our heavenly father left us with a roadmap, with a completed story… we know the end! I imagine that John on what he thought was a fateful day was devestated, he felt alone. As many of us do, he masked his pain in the businest and the necessity of the situation. For those who have lost love ones u know what I am talking about. Preparing to burying them.

    As a person who experiences pain everyday, I am looking forward to that fresh star!
    Jesus says that by his stripes I am healed. I believe that. Hope for me is eternal.
    My illness would have me bent over but I defy it I continue to look up to the hills from which my help comes from

    Jesus u r my fresh start!

    • jesusgirl71

      rocknitat55, I, too deal with illness. on top of my blindness, which I don't really consider an illness as I have dealt with it all my life, I have hormonal issues caused by the same cause for my blindness, and they continually have me exhausted. also, I have not had a full voice in almost a year now, and my hope that it will fully come back is diminishing with each passing day. so I truly understand illness. let us hold each other up sisters.

      • Brandi

        Praying for you. Thnk you for your opennes. He is Able!

      • rocknitat55

        Jesusgirl71 I am praying for u. As I rise this morning stumbling and bent I rise. I remind myself some will not. There r always some one who’s situation is not ours. To think God has directed us to this wonderful site!
        Where I am blessed daily with the word of God and real to God dialog with sisters.
        May God continue to bless u and make those crooked places straight in your life.

  • This is a beautiful reminder of God’s ultimate plan for us! I pray that we will keep this vision clear as we go through trials that are certain to come. I, for one, am looking forward to the no more tears and death part, and seeing my beloved sister again. Hold fast, sisters!

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