This week was the final week in our series called Helpless: Where Would We Be Without God. This week Jeff asked the question, “how does the story end?”
Consider this – all good fairy tales have happy endings; sleeping beauty wakes up and gets the guy, Pinochhio becomes a real boy, Nemo finds his dad, etc. They don’t write fairy tales with sad endings. If they did, you wouldn’t read them. Most of us have a built in optimism that makes us believe “things will end well” against all odds. Honestly, this is not logical. For the most part life is not a fairy tale. Some people are miserable. Most people don’t “go out in a blaze of glory”. They don’t “have it all together” and “live happily ever after”. Life is messy and can be very painful at times. So why is it that nearly all of the stories that we write end with such optimistic, happy endings?
However, the Bible gives believers good reason to be optimistic. Think about those fairy tales; when you read them you don’t flip to the last page and see how it ends. You spend the whole story NOT knowing how it will end and NOT knowing for sure that it will have the happy ending that you want it to. The Christian life is not like that. The Christian life is grounded in the Bible and the Bible is a book in which we should read the ending first. We do know how our story ends. It ends with Jesus on the throne in heaven. It ends with no more pain and suffering; no more tears. No more separation from God. The dwelling place of God will be with man. The whole story is basically this: God made the world and mankind perfect, but sin has wrecked and twisted everything. God is putting it all back together and God WILL finish the job.
The Church today can have a tendency to avoid talking about “how it all ends” for fear that focusing on the end will lead people to be passive and uninvolved in the world today. But knowing how the story ends should lead to a few different things. 1) It should change the way we live today. We should have less anxiety about our present situations. We are guaranteed to go through hard times but by knowing the end of the story we should remember that God is in control and will make everything right in the end. 2) It’s natural to wonder why we go through times of suffering in life and the truth is we don’t always know why. But we can be assured that God DOES know why. He has a plan and everything is unfolding in exact accordance with it. God is for us and working all things together for good and for his glory. What’s the worst that could happen? Even physical death does not compare to an eternity of life with Christ. Finally 3) we are able to focus more on the needs of other people. True salvation will result in a concern for the needs of those around us. The knowledge that everything will end well for us should lead us to lay everything on the line to help others hear the good news and see the light of Christ in their lives.
In the end, be assured, if you are in Christ then your story ends well. It ends with you in heaven with Jesus where you will spend eternity with him. Pain and suffering in this world is of little consequence in the light of eternity. Our prayer is that we would keep this in mind throughout our lives and live with the knowledge that the all-powerful, all-knowing, all-seeing, ever-present God has guaranteed us that our story has the happiest of endings.
Band for the Week was:
- Jake Taylor – guitar + vox
- Aaron Chappell – guitar + vox
- Julie Watkins (back after having a baby!!!) – vox
- Brent Francese – drums
- Scott Wenger – bass
- Ben Davis – guitar + vox