Have you ever skipped to the end of a book you were reading to find out how the story would end? Or has someone ever given away the ending to a movie you were planning to see? Both of those experiences would have changed the way you read or watched. The plot twists wouldn’t have seemed as drastic if you already knew the protagonist would survive or good would prevail.
This week is my church’s annual missions conference, and Sunday’s message included a reminder that believers already know the end of the grand story that has been unfolding since the beginning of time. Through Scripture, we have been given a glimpse of what’s coming. We can’t predict how the details will unfold along the way or anticipate every sequence of events, but a joyful, victorious ending is guaranteed.
The biblical authors pulled back enough of the curtain for us to see our God’s ultimate triumph in the end. Satan, sin, and death will be vanquished. Wrongs will be made right. Tears will be wiped away. Fear will be nonexistent. Brokenness will be mended. Wounds will be healed. Worship will be uncompromised.
Knowing how a book ends changes the way we read it. Likewise, knowing how human history ends should change the way we live it. Sure, there will be plenty of mystery along the way, but we’ve had a preview of the story’s final page. So what difference does it make?
How does knowing death will be vanquished change the way you grieve?
How does knowing God will avenge affect how you forgive?
How does knowing tears will be a thing of the past help you process heartache?
How does knowing anxiety will be dispelled enable you to cope with worrisome situations?
How does knowing brokenness will be repaired alter your expectations of earth?
How does knowing wounds will be mended create a deeper longing for wholeness?
How does knowing God will receive the glory He’s due enhance your worship of Him now?
No doubt about it, this world hurts. We will wrestle with doubt, grapple with fear, walk through sickness and loss, and struggle through relationships. Unforeseen circumstances may shake us to the core, and unexpected blessings may take us by surprise.
In the midst of all the uncertainty we face on earth, we can’t forget this one major detail: we know how the story ends. By the grace of God, let’s live like it.
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