Begin with the End in Mind

by Pastor Mark Jordan

“The first thing to know about your word is that it is true and that all your righteous rules last forever.” (Psalm 119:160, CEB) 

One of the things I’ve come to experience in my ministry is the question over whether or not God is real, and if so, does God care. I think it is safe to say that even some of the most ardent believers come to question this from time-to-time. When we see how awful people can be to each other, it is easy to wonder and question with a simple word, “Why?” Did you know that even Mother Teresa had times when she questioned God because of all the suffering she encountered? Without putting myself on the same plane as Mother Teresa serving those in Calcutta, I must say that as a pastor, I can relate. I will say there is something that has helped me over the years when I get down and despondent, which is to remember that even my questions are a statement of faith. Think about that for a moment. The ability to trust God, even with a question of faith, presupposes that there is someone there to answer.

Today’s verse gives us some interesting insight when faced with questions spawned from suffering. There is faith enough in the midst of suffering not to quit, even when feeling like it. There is a call to remember the faithful love of God (Ps.119:159) even while surrounded by others without faith (Ps.119:158). The Psalmist, therefore, made a decision in the midst of suffering to trust that God is real, loves His children, and has a purpose for our lives. With that decision came a point to remember, which is whenever anything comes up, the very first thing to do is recall God’s Word, and the eternal promise that it lasts forever. That, my friends, is an acknowledge that the junk of life won’t last forever, but God definitely will. This, too, is a statement of faith.

The Good Book closes with a promise for the future. In Revelation 21, we read that the time will come when God will declare an end to suffering, death, and mourning. The Lord went on to say, as recorded in Revelation 21:5, “‘Look! I’m making all things new.’ He also said, ‘Write this down, for these words are trustworthy and true.'” Did you catch that? God’s words are trustworthy, true, and will last forever. This is the case if you’e in a place of suffering or not, because God is with you regardless.

You might be in a place where you wonder if God’s way will win in the end. It will. So make the commitment to start there, knowing that God’s word is true and will last forever. Once you start there, everything else will fall into place.

Prayer: Dear Lord, I confess how hard it can be to stay faithful when I see so much suffering going on in and around me. I wonder sometimes if your way will win in the end, but that is the wrong way to think. Help me to start there, knowing you are righteous forever, because everything else falls into place from there. I lift this prayer in the name of Jesus. Amen.

 

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