from Bill Sayer

Have you ever read a novel, only to be disappointed about the ending? Maybe the bad guy wins, or the good guy doesn’t get his romantic interest. With the benefit of life experiences, we know that not everything appears to end happily ever after. Maybe we have become conditioned by society to expect the worst……. But from God’s perspective, there is always another chapter to the story.

Take Israel in the Old Testament, for example. God blessed the nation through Kings David and Solomon, but due to Israel’s continual sin, God’s hand of blessing was removed, and they were taken into exile in Babylon. You can read about God’s word of judgment against Israel (and Judah) in Jere. 32:26 – 35.

But this was not the end of the story – there is a postscript, another page to the story, as it were:

36 “You are saying about this city, ‘By the sword, famine and plague it will be given into the hands of the king of Babylon’; BUT this is what the Lord, the God of Israel, says: 37 I will surely gather them from all the lands where I banish them in my furious anger and great wrath; I will bring them back to this place and let them live in safety. 38 They will be my people, and I will be their God. 39 I will give them singleness of heart and action, so that they will always fear me and that all will then go well for them and for their children after them. 40 I will make an everlasting covenant with them: I will never stop doing good to them, and I will inspire them to fear me, so that they will never turn away from me. 41 I will rejoice in doing them good and will assuredly plant them in this land with all my heart and soul.

Even when things looked bleak for Israel (v36), there is a BUT, and the story doesn’t end there. Notice the following promises that God gave Israel, before they experienced their exile:

I WILL gather the banished (v37)

I WILL bring them back (v37)

I WILL give singleness of heart (v39)

I WILL make an everlasting covenant (v40)

I WILL never stop doing good (v40)

I WILL inspire them (v40)

I WILL rejoice in doing them good (v41)

I WILL give all the prosperity promised (v42)

We may see (and sometimes sadly experience) a demise in our personal situations, or in our city, or in the nation at large, BUT it is not the end of the story. God’s will to redeem is far stronger than our negative expectations. When all is seemingly bleak around us, it takes FAITH to believe for the next chapter:

For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Then you will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart. I will be found by you,” declares the Lord, “and will bring you back from captivity. (Jeremiah 29:11 – 14)

Today, when things look so bleak and the future so uncertain, or even dire, stir up your zeal to believe for the impossible because the story doesn’t end as you might expect……

Bill Sayer