Wednesday, December 4, 2013


Waiting doesn’t come easily. We often want to know how a story is going to end whether in fiction or in our own lives. For me, though I don’t wish to speed things up, I’m still often eager to glimpse the next chapter, curious what it will look like.

By God’s design, the future is unknown to us. We know not what next year or even tomorrow will bring; we know not what our children’s lives will look like when they’re grown; we know not how many days we have ahead of us—there could be thousands or there could be but one. Between this day and our last, there are pages, chapters, of our story that we can’t possibly anticipate no matter how much we try. Though we know there will be seasons of joy and of grief, we don’t know the details.

Do you ever wonder why God designed life—our future—to be something we cannot know? Perhaps one day He’ll illuminate his reasons, but even in simple, finite reflection we realize how the unknown cultivates in our hearts a deep trust in the only One who knows all things.  

Yes, the days of our future are uncertain to us. Except for one. There is one day God has told us about in detail.

In His grace and care for us—for our fretting hearts—He has revealed to us how our lives will conclude. It’s true, of course, that we don’t know any details. We don’t know if we’ll die young or old, surrounded by loved ones or alone, peaceful or suffering. But this we know: if we are trusting in Jesus, we will be sustained to the end, guiltless!

There will be perseverance of the saints; God will sustain His people; we’re covered in blood that cannot be washed away. With all that is unknown between today and our last day, what grace that He has written—yes, actually written!—the final words of our story.

In the apostle Paul’s first letter to the Corinthians he offers these words of encouragement: 
“I give thanks to my God always for you because of the grace of God that was given you in Christ Jesus, that in every way you were enriched in him in all speech and all knowledge—even as the testimony about Christ was confirmed among you—so that you are not lacking in any gift as you wait for the revealing of our Lord Jesus Christ, who will sustain you to the end, guiltless in the day of our Lord Jesus Christ. God is faithful, by whom you were called into the fellowship of his Son, Jesus Christ our Lord."
Knowing that He will sustain us to the end is not only about the last day but about every day in between. 

There’s such incredible hope in knowing that He will keep us. Even during agonizing seasons where our faith wanes feeble and we grow weak, our hope is not in ourselves. We trust we will persevere in the faith because of Him! We believe that we will be sustained to the end, guiltless, because Jesus came and took our guilt. The perseverance of the saints is a gloriously hopeful doctrine not because of anything within, but because Jesus already persevered and, for the joy set before Him, endured the Cross for us.

For any runner, seeing the finish line infuses the mind with hope and the body with strength. The end is in sight! I can do this!

So it is for the Christian. The last day is not unknown, for God has promised that He will sustain us to the end, through our last day.

Do we see the finish line? When the days are hard, when sin looms ugly, when weariness takes hold, there is hope when we lift our eyes and look to the finish line. For standing there, at the end of the race, at the end of our days, is our Saviour. And He’s standing in our place as though we’d already run the race and reached the finish line ourselves.

It's a promise. God will sustain us through each day and He will sustain us to the end.