Summary: As individual Christians and as a church, we are somewhere in the “middle”. Our game’s not over yet. We don’t have to know the whole story, if we’re convinced there is a story, and if we’re trusting the Author for the conclusion and the “middle”.
Having a proper
perspective is imperative
to living the Christian life with the
"joy" the of the Lord.
The big question is HOW do we obtain that proper perspective? Life is a little bit like a good novel. Well-written novels are usually unpredictable. Good authors often do not know how their novel will end when they begin to write. In the process of writing, the plot may take unexpected turns, keeping the reader in suspense (and sometimes the author).
You don’t know where the plot of a good book is headed, but in the back of your mind, you expect the final chapter will bring a satisfying conclusion, will explain the twists and turns of the plot, and clarify any questions raised. Most novels do not meet all those expectations.
I’m going to ask a question, but I’m quite sure that I already know the answer. When you are in the "tangle" of the novel’s suspense, are you ever tempted to flip to the last chapter, just to see if everything turned out OK?
Real life has it "tangles" of suspense, also. As we live, we often ask:
(1) Why is this happening?
(2) Will I ever get out of this difficult situation?
(3) What should I do about… my job, this difficult financial problem, this health problem.., finding a new pastor?
Wouldn’t it be nice, if life was like the novel.., and we could turn to the last chapter to see if it turns out OK? Well, interestingly enough, we can turn to the last chapter of life, not only our personal life but all life and see how it will turn out.
Revelation 21:1 And I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away. Also there was no more sea. 2 Then I, John, saw the holy city, New Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. 3 And I heard a loud voice from heaven saying, "Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and He will dwell with them, and they shall be His people, and God Himself will be with them and be their God. 4 "And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes; there shall be no more death, nor sorrow, nor crying; and there shall be no more pain, for the former things have passed away." 5 Then He who sat on the throne said, "Behold, I make all things new." And He said to me, "Write, for these words are true and faithful." 6 And He said to me, "It is done! I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End. I will give of the fountain of the water of life freely to him who thirsts. 7 "He who overcomes shall inherit all things, and I will be his God and he shall be My son. 8 "But the cowardly, unbelieving, abominable, murderers, sexually immoral, sorcerers, idolaters, and all liars shall have their part in the lake which burns with fire and brimstone, which is the second death."
Christ said that He was and is the Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and the end. In your heart of hearts you may be thinking, "Yes, in the first part of God’s book, He made everything "good", and in the last part of God’s Book, He will once again make everything "good", "But I’m not living in the first chapter or the last chapter. I’m living somewhere in between, like ‘chapter 10’ and there doesn’t seem to be anything ‘good’ in this chapter of my life!"
That’s why we
a little perspective!
We know that "in the beginning" of God’s book ( Genesis 1& 2), God declared that all things were very good. We can even agree that in the end of God’s Book ( Revelation 21-22) all things will be good, again. With such a good beginning and glorious ending, it comes as a surprise or even a shock and total dismay to many Christians that the "middle" contains many bad things, such as: sorrow, disappointments, despair, tragedies, pain, etc.
This misunderstanding stems from the fact that some expect the Christian life to be an uninterrupted experience of "good" times and they expect to be showered with a unending supply of "good" things. Often a Christian, with such a distorted perspective, finds that the "middle" chapters of God’s novel can take some pretty nasty turns.., and those turns often leave them confused, disappointed, disillusioned and sometimes angry.
When the false bubble of Christian living breaks, instead of trusting God for the "middle", many throw up their hands in despair or retreat to a point of self-hypnosis in which they don’t look at reality as real and say that the stresses of life do not exist, BECAUSE of their "position" in Christ.