Read: 2 Corinthians 4:16–5:10
Grace to you and peace from him who is and who was and who is to come. (Rev. 1:4)
Following his introductory comments, John opens with what our liturgy’s Order of Worship used to call the Salutation: “Grace to you and peace . . .” The apostle Paul began most of his letters the same way. In the book of Revelation, this greeting is beautifully Trinitarian. Here, note what John said about the first person of the Trinity. God the Father is described as “him who is and who was and who is to come.”
God is the eternal one, the great “I AM.” God’s creatures, from the smallest microbes to the greatest stars, come into existence and pass away again. But God simply is. He always has been and always will be. There never was a time when he was not; think of the Bible’s first four words: “In the beginning, God . . .” The Bible never tries to prove the existence of God. It simply states that in the beginning, before there was time or space or anything at all, God was just . . . there. He was then what he is now.
And he always will be what he is now. God’s nature doesn’t change. He who was never young does not grow old. God doesn’t grow anything; he doesn’t grow wiser or more forgetful, stronger or weaker, kinder or crotchety. Yet here’s the big thing: this God is, was, and will be for us. “Grace to you, and peace”; now and forever, we have a gracious God. —David Bast
As you pray, sing “Great Is Thy Faithfulness.”
About the Author
Rev. Dave Bast retired as the President and Broadcast Minister of Words of Hope in January 2017, after 23 years with the ministry. Prior to his ministry and work at Words of Hope, Dave served as a pastor for 18 years in congregations in the Reformed Church in America. He is the author of several devotional books. A graduate of Hope College and Western Theological Seminary, he has also studied at both the Fuller and Calvin seminaries. Dave and his wife, Betty Jo, have four children and four grandchildren. Dave enjoys reading, growing tomatoes, and avidly follows the Detroit Tigers.