Early this year, you may have seen the meme that says, “Before I agree to 2022 I want to read the terms and conditions.” Doesn’t it capture where we are? Unbelievably, since that meme came out, things did indeed get way worse in our world. We find ourselves living in a time of great turbulence and uncertainty—not just a 2-and-a-half-year pandemic and cultural unrest, but now a devastating war in Ukraine, horrifying images on our screens, and all the security concerns that come with tension between nuclear powers. Not to mention the usual stresses of day-to-day life: work, finances, relationship issues. It’s enough to bring anyone to a place of worry and fear.
But when that worry knocks on our door, we need to remind ourselves of the true reality beyond what we can see. Because while things may seem out of control from our human perspective, they’re not. The reality is that God is in complete control—from the biggest world issues to the smallest details of our own personal struggles. And there’s tremendous peace to be found in that knowledge. I love how Billy Graham once put it: “I’ve read the last page of the Bible. It’s all going to turn out all right.”
I reflected on this very idea in my devotional Find Rest, and I thought it would be appropriate to share a reminder of this powerful, comforting truth today.
Have you ever known someone who reads the last few pages of a book before they start the beginning of the book? One friend of mine reads the ending of every book first. It puts her mind at ease to know how the story will end—whether it’s happy or sad and who lives or dies. This habit always seemed funny to me, since knowing the ending takes all the tension out of the intense chapters. At least I thought it was a funny habit, until I was reading one particular book and literally begged a friend to tell me what happened next. I needed reassurance that the story would turn out right in the end.
Our lives are a story. As we scroll through, page by page, some chapters are victorious, while others are full of struggle. Some are a bit mundane, but others contain milestones such as marriage, the birth of a child or grandchild, a big move, or a new job. Some are scary: that day we got a diagnosis or a loved one died.Our stories are woven with many threads, including joy, worry, struggle, happiness, and—since we can’t know what will happen tomorrow—the great unknown. Click To Tweet
But what if we knew the ending? Would that change how we read the suspenseful chapter that we’re in right now? How would we interpret those few pages that were filled with sadness or struggle?
As Christ followers, we do know the ending of our story. Jesus Himself tells us the plot: we will have trouble in this world, but He has overcome the world! (John 16:33) There will be chapters of pain and heartbreak because we live in a big, broken, messy world. But then He flips to the last chapter because He wants us to know that in the end, He will defeat everything that makes us sad, scared, or defeated. We can’t see eternity yet, but we can cling to the truth that once and for all, God does win against the enemy. And as children of God, we win too.
What is worrying you today? What dark threads of fear are trying to weave their way into your story? Trouble may be there, but fear doesn’t have to be. In intense times, remind yourself that you know the ultimate ending. For those who are followers of Jesus, He promises us that the last chapter of our story is well worth it.
Excerpt taken from Shaunti’s devotional Find Rest from iDisciple Publishing
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