So the Olympics are well on their way and as with each year there are many events that take place earlier in the day and are rebroadcast in the evening.
For some of us whose work schedule is pretty flexible, we get to watch the events live and experience them as they happen. For others they get the ‘agony’ of logging into Facebook only to see all the results plastered on NBC Facebook page. Which of course leads them to the comment section to voice their rage, again, and again. Now maybe I’m the oddity in the world, but I love spoilers. I like knowing how things end. I like to know if something is worth the time and effort. So I read book reviews, movie reviews, and sometimes just hop on Wikipedia and read the story before I invest in all the minor details that make it up. With the destination assured for me, the journey is all the sweeter. The ups and downs of a story are not lost because the ending is known, but rather it leaves me open to see how the author, or director, moves the characters to make it through to the end.
For us in the Christian faith, we have been given the same spoilers. The scriptures we hold so dear, tell us the end from the beginning. In Genesis three we see humanity fall, but in the same text we are promised one who would come and destroy the serpent. Over the remaining 65 books of the Bible we see this play itself out. Sometimes in horror, as the people go back and forth in their commitment and love for God, but through it all He guides His sheep, He disciplines His children, and He leads them to the coming of Christ who sets them free. When we reach the conclusion of the text, we see the end of it all and the future that waits for those who are in Christ, which is a life of eternity with Him in glory. The author of Hebrews will point to this as a cause for us to run the race set before us. We are able to more fully enjoy the race as it were because the end result is assured in Him.
The promises of God are the reason the saints have run the race so diligently over the last 2000 years. During that time many countries have risen and fallen. Kings and thrones have been born only to be destroyed, but the kingdom of God has advanced. There is nothing that can stop the faith that saves the nations. Christ will save his people. He will bring the multitude before him from every tribe and tongue. He has called His children out of the jungles and deserts, out of Muslim and Hindu strongholds, out of democratic and communistic nations, our God knows no boundaries. No laws can contain Him and no man can stop the truth of His son who saves. This is why we have no fear in this life. Earthly kingdoms rise and fall on the will of God, not according to our own.
So again what does this all have to do with my love of spoilers, well in Christ’s revelation and the truth that we are His workmanship created for good works to honor and glorify Him. I know my story is not in vain. I know that whatever befalls my life, it is in the hands of my Lord and King. In every situation we know our only option is to truly trust in the one writing the story.
This past week the students from my church went away to camp, a yearly tradition for many church going students, but one of the things I love as the pastor is receiving the cards that the students write at the end of camp with what they learned and how the Lord worked in their lives. In one moment I am reminded of how the Lord has continued to write my story with all the twist and turns. There are still surprises around every corner both good and bad. In that moment I am able to pray for each of my students that they too may see that this is not all there is, but that the end is secured and it is with that in mind they can run the race. I pray that older saints invest in the generations behind them, to teach them that God has the end of their story already written.
To our students: remember He has the details hammered out. Even the ones that scare you and the ones that you don’t understand. They are all moving you forward. They are all growing you. They are all stops along the road to holiness. Trust in His plan. Don’t trust in the world, for the world and all its joys are fleeting and temporary, but God is eternal. This is the greatest spoiler of them all: God loves his children and is working all things for their eternal good, whether you see it or not. Whether you want to hear it or not, God can use your sin and depression and turn it around for His glory and your good. He can use your pain to free you and others; your hurts to show compassion you never knew possible; your past to liberate your future and the future of those who come after. Since our stories are written and secured in our Father, let’s go live them out in holiness and love for He who brought us out of this world into His Kingdom.
Spoiler Alert!!!!! If you are a child of God don’t cling to the past; watch as God, the author of it all, changes who you were into the image of His Son.