#1: JESUS knows your story.
“For I know the thoughts (or plans) I think toward you, says the Lord, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope. Then you will call upon Me and go and pray to Me, and I will listen to you. And you will seek Me and find Me, when you search for Me with all your heart.” Jeremiah 29:11-13 (NKJV)
Ever wonder what the future holds for you? Of course you do. It’s a natural thing built-in us to wonder and ask questions.
I think such curiosity is even more obvious in young people. We feel like we’re standing on the edge of our future and we’re not sure if we should be thrilled and excited or trembling in fear!
I’ve talked to lots of teenagers and most of them are asking questions about the future. Their future. What does it look like to walk through the door of adulthood? What career should they choose? What about life-calling…and when will they find it?
I get it. It’s a huge thing (especially in our Christian circles) to wonder deeply about our hearts, our futures and life calling. That’s why I’m going to be writing a little bit about life calling in the next few weeks. We all want to know… What does Jesus say about my future? And we become painfully worried that we will miss God’s calling on our life.
So, for starters, we need to get one thing straight: JESUS KNOWS. He knows all about you. He knows the road you have before you, the gifts and talents inside of you, and how He can use them for His glory. He knows the end of your story as well as He knows your beginning. He knows that you can be victorious. Think about this…
The headings in my Bible are great. They help me find the stories I am looking for and remind me how each story ends. Headings are helpful in life. In books they’re called titles. In the newspaper they’re called headlines. All of them giving a glimpse into what is to come.
So that got me to thinking….what if I knew the ending of my story now? What if the stories in my life were titled like they are in my Bible? What if I knew the end at the beginning? It struck me how very differently I might live my life if I knew the outcome ahead of time. This could go either way…maybe I would be overwhelmed or maybe I would be encouraged. Or perhaps both.
Humor me and think about that for a minute. What if you knew the ending of your life story right now?
This lured me to start looking through my Bible at the headings. Now I realize the titles are not inspired…but they are helpful. Here are some examples from my Bible:
The flood ends. Abram inherits Canaan. Lots captivity and rescue. Isaac marries Rebekah. Isaac’s twin boys. Jacob marries Leah and Rachel. Esau sells his birthright. Joseph sold by his brothers. Joseph’s rise to power. Seven years of famine. Moses at the burning bush. God gives Moses power. Miraculous signs for pharaoh. Israel’s deliverance assured. The Red Sea crossing. Bread from heaven. Water from the Rock. Rahab hides the spies. Gideon’s valiant 300 men. Gideon subdues the Midianites. Sampson defeats the Philistines. Boaz redeems Ruth. Samuel is born and dedicated. Saul is chosen to be king. Elijah revives the widow’s son. Elijah’s Mount Carmel victory. Elijah ascends into heaven. Naaman’s leprosy is healed. Isaiah is called to be a prophet. Hosea takes back his unfaithful wife. Jonah finally obeys. Peter’s mother in law is healed. Jesus feeds the five thousand. The empty tomb. Peter freed from prison. Paul and Barnabas are chosen. Peter raises Dorcas to life. The conversion of Cornelius.
Now take a minute and visualize with me. What if the above people had seen their chapter headings before they walked through their stories? (Take time to reread some of these again!) Would Moses have been as frightened at the burning bush? Would Gideon have trembled when God chose him? Would Naaman have doubted his healing? Would Jonah have gotten it right the first time? And seriously…would everyone had still cried over Dorcas’s lifeless body?
Each of these headings help me look past the yucky parts of the story…after all, I know what’s coming! I am compelled to read on through the uncomfortable facts…like floods and famines and battles, knowing that the end is what really matters. These endings are beautiful. Faith-filled. God-breathed stories of His power.
To be honest, life doesn’t usually give us those glimpses of greatness ahead of time. I am in awe of this thought. What if I lived my life in the shadow of my heading. How would I make my next move? Would I be as overwhelmed if I knew that I win in the end? And yet…I live too often as if I am already defeated. That made me dig into a few more of my Bible headings:
Victory in Christ. Christ is coming quickly. God answers prayer. God is love. Walk in the light. Heaven is worth the wait. Be doers of the Word. God keeps His promises. Never give up.
All summed up, God has the end of our story. He knows that we are more than CONQUERERS. He has planned out every move. When we are faced with a decision…a big move in life, I want to think it terms of my ending. What does God want from me? His Spirit and His Word agree. He will give us wisdom if we ask for it. (James 1:5-6). Yet, sometimes I spend more time worrying about the next step. All the “what ifs” crowd my brain. I spend more time wondering and pacing the floor than trusting in His writing of my story.
I don’t know about you, but I want to be numbered with the faithful. The saints who have gone on before are my heroes of the faith. The folks in Hebrews 11 are regular people…but they trusted in the God of their stories. They knew that He was orchestrating their next move. They understood His heading over them.
Why don’t I start living my life like that? Why don’t I start waking up each morning knowing that God has all my moves planned out…He sees the bigger picture. My only responsibility is to trust His all-powerful knowledge and obey His leading. Then, and only then, can I know my heading is clear. My title is obvious. I am a conqueror. My story will end in greatness…because He is the Author and Finisher of my faith.
“Now unto Him that is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us, unto Him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus…” Ephesians 3:20-21
He knows your story…beginning to end. Let’s trust Him and follow obediently. It’s a grand adventure of courage to walk with the Creator of your story!
I’m looking forward to diving into Scripture and talking about life calling, our stories, and what we can do to follow Jesus. Feel free to reach out to me with questions on this topic or just to tell me your story! Invite your friends to join in the conversation (you can receive the following posts to your email by following my blog).
Let’s be numbered with the faithful. Let’s walk in our stories with courage and obedience.
(The post in italics was originally published on the Polished Cornerstones Ministry blog on March 25, 2015.)