The Story of Jesus Guarantees How Your Story Will End

Unanswered Questions

How will this story end?
This is the question in the mind of every human being.
How will my marriage end?
What will happen to my career?
Will my suffering ever end?
How will my kids turn out?
Will my investments pay off?
How will I get myself out of this mess?
Will I pass this course?
What will I have to deal with in old age?
What will I do after I graduate?
How will my ministry turn out?
Will the Bible turn out to be true?

These kinds of questions somehow, some way, haunt every human being. It doesn’t take many years of life before you conclude that you’re not only not in control of the big things in life, but also that there are very few things you actually control. It doesn’t take long for the delusion of self-sovereignty to shatter. We’re all also confronted with the fact that we live in a broken world that doesn’t function the way the Creator intended. As a child, you aren’t capable of theologically thinking this through, but you know messed-up and hurtful things happen a lot. As an adult, you adjust your expectations because you know the kinds of things that can happen in a fallen world.

Journey to the Cross

Paul David Tripp

Through this 40-day Lenten devotional, best-selling author Paul David Tripp invites readers to find freedom from the world as they experience the Savior more fully, celebrate him more deeply, and follow him more faithfully.

In our smallness, we wonder if our lives will turn out the way we hoped and dreamed. My answer may surprise you. No, you won’t get much of what you hoped for and probably few of your dreams. But here’s the wonderful encouraging flip side of my answer. What you will get as God’s child is way better than anything you could’ve hoped for and incomparably better than your brightest dream. Pay careful attention to what I am able to say. God doesn’t guarantee you’ll get your temporary dream; what he guarantees you is forever.

Because we are rational beings, we don’t live life based only on the facts of our experience; we depend on our interpretation of our experience. We never leave our own lives alone. We are always thinking, interpreting, and rethinking. We carry assumptions with us and we draw conclusions, which color future observations. Let me say this another way: we are all storytellers, and our audience is us. We all compose a story of how we think our life should unfold; it’s a story of what we desire and dream. And we all work to make the plot that we have written for ourselves come true. But grace introduces another author.

We are not actually the authors of our own stories; God is.

We are not actually the authors of our own stories; God is. He wrote our story ages before we took our first breath. Every situation, location, and relationship was written into the chapters of his book, by his sovereign hand. And by grace, he has embedded our story into the great and grand, origin-to-destiny redemptive story. We are now citizens of his kingdom; we now live in the shadow of his glory, and we are now called to live with his purpose in mind. Because our story has been embedded in his story, there is no doubt how our story will end. Yes, we will suffer along the way.

Yes, our hearts will go through seasons where they are laden with grief. No, we won’t always be healthy. Yes, we will be weak and we will fail. Yes, loved ones will leave us. Sometimes we will go through seasons of want. We won’t always be respected and appreciated. We won’t always experience true justice. There will be chapters in the story that God has written for us that will be very hard. But we must remember two things. First, he has written himself into the story so that he will always be with us, giving us what we could never give to ourselves. Second, what your Lord has written for you is not less than the plot you have written for yourself, but infinitely more.

Most of us would be satisfied with temporal human happiness. We’d be satisfied with a good job, a nice house, a reliable car, a good church, a good marriage, successful children, and health and pleasure in our later years. But all of these dreams are not only self-oriented, but they are so dramatically brief when compared to the expansiveness of God’s story. So rather than deliver our small and self-oriented dreams, God did something better: he sent his Son to earth.

Jesus was willing to come, suffer, and die so that we would have a way better story. He suffered so that our suffering would end forever. He lived a selfless life so that we would be freed from our bondage to ourselves, so that for all eternity we would know the liberating joy of living for something and someone bigger than ourselves. Because of his humiliation we will know the exaltation of living forever in the presence of the King.

Know today that no matter what you are going through, because of the grace of the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus, your little story has now been absorbed into his great story of victory over all that sin has broken. Because of what Jesus has done, you can rest in knowing the glorious way your story will end. In fact, because of the grace of Jesus, the end of your story is that it has no end!

This article is adapted from Journey to the Cross: A 40-Day Lenten Devotional by Paul David Tripp.

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