In Christ, All Things Sad Will Become Untrue
I’ve been enjoying Dr. Tim Keller’s new book, King’s Cross, and there
is a phrase repeated in the book that I love: “All things sad will
become untrue.” Speaking about the hope of the resurrection in Christ,
If you can’t dance and you long to dance, in the resurrection you’ll
dance perfectly. If you’re lonely, in the resurrection you will have
perfect love. If you’re empty, in the resurrection you will be fully
satisfied. Ordinary life is what’s going to be redeemed. There is
nothing better than ordinary life, except that it’s always going away
and falling apart. Ordinary life is food and work and chairs by the
fire and hugs and dancing and mountains - this world. God loves it so
much that he gave his only Son so we - and the rest of this ordinary
world - could be redeemed and made perfect. And that’s what is in
store for us.
And if you know that this is not the only world, the only body, the
only life you are ever going to have - that you will someday have a
perfect life - who cares what people do to you? You’re free from
ultimate anxieties in this life, so you can be brave and take risks.
You can face the worst thing, even life in a wheelchair, with joy,
with hope. The resurrection means we can look forward with hope to the
day our suffering will be gone. But it even means that we can look
forward with hope to the day our suffering will be glorious. When
Jesus shows the disciples his hands and feet, he is showing them his
scars. The last time the disciples saw Jesus, they thought those scars
were ruining their lives. The disciples had thought they were on a
presidential campaign. They thought their candidate was going to win
and that they were going to be in the cabinet, and when they saw the
nails going into the hands and feet and the spear going into the side,
they believed those wounds had destroyed their lives. And now Jesus is
showing them that in his resurrected body his scars are still there.
Why is this important? Because now that they understand the scars, the
sight and memory of them will increase the glory and joy for the rest
of their lives. Seeing Jesus Christ with his scars reminds them of
what they did for them - that the scars they thought had ruined their
lives actually saved their lives. Remembering those scars will help
many of them endure their own crucifixions.
On the Day of the Lord - the day when God makes everything right, the
day that everything sad comes untrue - on that day the same thing will
happen to your own hurts and sadness. You will find that the worst
things that have ever happened to you will in the end only enhance
your eternal delight. On that day, all of it will be turned inside out
and you will know joy beyond the walls of the world. The joy of your
glory will be that much greater for every scar you bear.
So live in the light of the resurrection and renewal of this world,
and of yourself, in a glorious, never-ending, joyful dance of grace.
Keller’s words hearken back to C. S. Lewis’ words in The Great
[Some mortals] say of some temporal suffering, “No future bliss can
make up for it,” not knowing that Heaven, once attained, will work
backwards and turn even that agony into a glory.
The opposite is true as well. For those who are in Christ Jesus by
grace through faith, all things happy will become true! All the
unfulfilled, intense longings and desires we experience in this life
for joy, happiness, and satisfaction will be quenched beyond what we
could ever ask or imagine in the life to come because we will be
married to our great and glorious and perfect and most beautiful and
most loving and most satisfying Spouse - The Lord Jesus Christ! This
is good news indeed for the Christian!
John Piper confirms this truth with his comments on Romans 8:37: “No,
in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved
Explaining what it means to be more than a conqueror, Piper writes:
If you venture some act of obedience that magnifies the supreme value
of Jesus Christ and get attacked by one of the enemies mentioned in
verse 35, say, famine or sword, what must happen for you to be called
simply “a conqueror”? Answer: You must not be separated from the love
of Jesus Christ. The aim of the attacker is to destroy you, and cut
you off from Christ, and bring you to final ruin without God. You are
a conqueror if you defeat this aim and remain in the love of Christ.
God has promised that this will happen. Trusting this, we risk.
But what must happen in this conflict with famine and sword if you are
to be called more than a conqueror? One biblical answer is that a
conqueror defeats his enemy, but one who is more than a conqueror
subjugates his enemy. A conqueror nullifies the purpose of his enemy;
one who is more than a conqueror makes the enemy serve his own
purposes. A conqueror strikes down his foe; one who is more than a
conqueror makes his foe his slave.
Practically what does this mean? Let’s use Paul’s own words in 2
Corinthians 4:17: “This slight momentary affliction is preparing
[effecting, or working, or bringing about] for us an eternal weight of
glory beyond all comparison.” Here we could say that “affliction” is
one of the attacking enemies. What has happened in Paul’s conflict
with it? It has certainly not separated him from the love of Christ.
But even more, it has been taken captive, so to speak. It has been
enslaved and made to serve Paul’s everlasting joy. “Affliction,” the
former enemy, is now working for Paul. It is preparing for Paul “an
eternal weight of glory.” His enemy is now his slave. He has not only
conquered his enemy. He has more than conquered him.
Affliction raised his sword to cut off the head of Paul’s faith. But
instead the hand of faith snatched the arm of affliction and forced it
to cut off part of Paul’s worldliness. Affliction is made the servant
of godliness and humility and love. Satan meant it for evil, but God
meant it for good. The enemy became Paul’s slave and worked for him an
even greater weight of glory than he would have ever had without the
fight. In that way Paul—and every follower of Christ—is more than a
John Piper, Don’t Waste Your Life (Wheaton: Crossway, 2003), pp. 96-
Hear the good news from God Himself!
Isaiah 65:17-19: 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.
Romans 8:18: For I consider that the sufferings of this present time
are not worth comparing with the glory that is to be revealed to us.
Revelation 21:3-6: And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying,
“Behold, the dwelling place of God is with man. He will dwell with
them, and they will be his people, and God himself will be with them
as their God. He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death
shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning nor crying nor pain
anymore, for the former things have passed away.” And he who was
seated on the throne said, “Behold, I am making all things new.” Also
he said, “Write this down, for these words are trustworthy and true.”
And he said to me, “It is done! I am the Alpha and the Omega, the
beginning and the end. To the thirsty I will give from the spring of
the water of life without payment.”
ALL OF THIS IS TRUE ONLY BECAUSE ON THAT DREADED, GLORIOUS CROSS,
EVERYTHING SAD BECAME TRUE FOR JESUS CHRIST, AND EVERYTHING HAPPY
BECAME UNTRUE FOR HIM AS WELL - HE BORE THE WRATH OF HIS FATHER - GOD
FORSAKEN BY GOD. BUT THE SADNESS WOULD NOT LAST, DEATH COULDN’T STOP
HIM, AND THE GRAVE COULDN’T HOLD HIM! AND NOW, IN HIM, ALL SADNESS’S
WILL BE GONE AND ALL HAPPINESS’S WILL BE TRUE FOREVER AND EVER AND
EVER! PRAISE BE TO GOD!
Note: The phrase “everything sad becoming untrue” comes from the
J.R.R. Tolkien book The Lord Of The Rings
Christ is All! Blog