This can be a tricky book to get your head around. It is looking forward to a time when death and suffering come to an end, but the imagery can be unusual. It's quite likely that the first readers of the book would have understood the symbolic language better than we do. Revelation starts with a series of letters of encouragement and warning to seven different churches. It then contains visions revealed to John, which all point towards a time when Jesus is completely victorious over Satan and we are with him in a new heaven and new earth.

While this isn't the easiest book to read, it is full of hope for a time when pain ends and everything is made new, both personally and in the wider world. It's an encouragement to the church and all of humanity that God is in control. It also affirms to us that the ongoing story of faith, which we are still part of, ends well.