Several weeks ago I shared lunch – properly distanced and masked – with a group of friends, all believers. One of the men had invited a new gentleman, not knowing if he was a believer or not. Lunch conversation quickly turned to the typical topics of today: political divide; hatred; violence; and the great pandemic through which we’re all suffering. After a bit of wide-ranging conversation, the new lunch partner said, “What is it with you people?! (meaning believers). The world is ending and you all seem at peace with things!”
Why are we different? And how do others recognize that we are different? A few thoughts that I shared with my lunch partners: first, with all due respect to the late Paul Harvey, we know “the rest of the story.” And we know that because He has made promises to us, and it is upon those promises that we rely on.
We know that we have a Father with us who will care for and provide for us, whatever may happen. In the beautiful Psalm 30:5 David wrote,
“For His anger is but for a moment,
His favor is for a lifetime;
Weeping may last for the night,
But a shout of joy comes in the morning.”
We are given the promise that no matter what may happen in the darkness of night, a shout of “joy comes in the morning.” What an incredible promise for those of us who have experienced the pains of aging bodies or of loss.
We have the promise of the Father to Jeremiah 29:11-12,
“For I know the plans that I have for you,’ declares the Lord, ‘plans for welfare and not for calamity to give you a future and a hope. Then you will call upon Me and come and pray to Me, and I will listen to you.”
Our God has given the promise that he already knows the plans He has for us, and that they will be plans to give us “a future and a hope.” With this promise, we can withstand any onslaught because we know that He is there and has our back.
And finally, we have the promise of eternal life with Him – not just eternal life, but eternal life with the Creator and the Savior of the universe! In one of the most profound and impactful promises of Scripture, John 14:1-6 Jesus told His disciples,
“Do not let your heart be troubled; believe in God, believe also in Me. In My Father’s house are many dwelling places; if it were not so, I would have told you; for I go to prepare a place for you. If I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself, that where I am, there you may be also. And you know the way where I am going.”
So yes, we can be at peace in a troublesome and hateful world because we do know the rest of the story. And the rest of the story is that those who believe in Him are given the promises and will live with Him forever. Amen.