As bad as Israel's exile was and as bad as hopeless as the situation seemed, Isaiah reminded the people that God would swallow up death: yet another foreshadowing of Christ's death and atonement (payment) for our sins. Though their situation was bleak, the tears would one day be wiped away. This prophecy doesn't relate just to them, however, it relates to us, too. Our tears will one day be wiped away. The difficulties we face on earth will not be experienced anymore. Our tears will be wiped away, and we will be with the Lord in paradise. Death, where now is your sting? Christ has overcome you, so we have no reason to fear. As we enter into the New Year, be encouraged that there is hope.