Scripture is rich in stories of God’s people, yet they are not perfect people living perfect lives, untouched by tragedy or hardship. In fact, they are full of ordinary, flawed, and struggling people who overcame not because of any great things they could do but because they believed in a great God. They knew the end of their story.
Think of the rejected Joseph, who was sold by those who should have loved him, who later was unfairly accused and thrown in jail. He then rose to be second in command to Pharaoh of Egypt, supplying life-giving grain not just to his country but to the very family who rejected him.
Think of the widow of Zarephath with her son – ready to bake her last loaf of bread and die. She instead fed herself, her son, and the prophet for months until the famine was over.
Think of the hard cold floor, warmed only by ravenous wild lions. Think of the long night spent waiting for the dawn. Instead of being savagely consumed, Daniel surprised those who sought his life. These men didn’t realize that the God who made the lions can just as easily send an angel to close their mouths.
Think of the 3 brave men who walked into a fiery furnace because of their faith and were met by one “like a son of God.” They bravely went to what they (and their captors) thought was certain death and came forth “unsinged.”
Think of the agony of watching your innocent son beaten and nailed to the cross. Think of watching him “writhe in anguish and pain.” And think of the joy of finding the empty tomb.
Think….“For time would fail me to tell….Others suffered mocking and flogging, and even chains and imprisonment. They were stoned, they were sawn in two, they were killed with the sword. They went about in skins of sheep and goats, destitute, afflicted, mistreated— of whom the world was not worthy—wandering about in deserts and mountains, and in dens and caves of the earth” (Hebrews 11:32,37-38).
These men and women were not so different from you and me. They faced trials, struggles, and doubt. They had the same heartaches, the same emotions, the same weariness – and the same God. They overcame what they faced because they did not look to find the promise in this life alone. They knew the end of the story.
Beloved, what are you facing today? The drudgery of the daily grind? Toiling, caring for your family? The heartache of bereavement? The heavy anxiety of poverty? The ache of loneliness? The physical struggles of cancer and disease? More?
Hold tight to the cross.
Don’t give up.
Because, beloved, we know the end of the story – and His promises always come true.
Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for he who promised is faithful. ~ Hebrews 10:23
And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Behold, the dwelling place of God is with man. He will dwell with them, and they will be his people, and God himself will be with them as their God.He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away.” ~ Revelation 21:3-4
Photo by Kévin et Laurianne Langlais on Unsplash