I make no bones about it, I am a diehard Denver Bronco fan! Go, Russel Wilson! Like any fan, I’ve suffered through disappointing seasons and painful games. It looked like the game on October 15, 2012, was going to be one such game. The Broncos were down 24-0 at the half and their team looked overmatched. I thought about turning the game off, but boy am I glad I didn’t. In the second half of the game, Peyton Manning led the Broncos to score 35 unanswered points and the Broncos won 35-24… to the glory of God. 🙂

I learned a valuable lesson that day. Never draw an ultimate conclusion in the middle of the story. Never assume you know the ending in the middle. What I’ve noticed is that we have a tendency to do that in life as well – and every time we do, we limit what we think God can do. Jesus didn’t want his disciples to do that, so when they heard that Lazarus was sick, he told them, “This sickness is not to end in death.”(John 11:4, NASB) That word “end” means, “to terminate or reach its final conclusion.” Jesus didn’t say, “Lazarus won’t die…” what he said is, “death won’t be the end.” It’s like Jesus is calling his followers not to turn life off in the middle of the story because there is a glorious ending that they could never imagine.

On Sunday, we made the point that because of what Jesus has done we can remain confident in the middle of the story because we know how the story ends. What a great truth. It doesn’t mean we’ll always know exactly what Jesus is doing in our lives. It doesn’t mean we will live free from pain. It doesn’t mean everything will eventually work out this side of heaven.  It means we are assured that resurrection is our final reality and ought to give us hope in the often painful middle of our story.

We live in the middle, but take heart, friends, we know the end! I don’t know all that you’re walking through today, but I want to encourage you to take a moment to remember one day Jesus will “wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things, have passed away.” (Revelation 21:4) That’s our end, so let’s remain faithful and confident in the middle.

Ryan Paulson
Lead Pastor

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