ODB: God’s Epic Story

September 1, 2023

READ: John 16:25–33 

In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world. John 16:33

Life magazine’s July 12, 1968, cover displayed a horrifying photograph of starving children from Biafra (in Nigeria during a civil war). A young boy, distressed, took a copy of the magazine to a pastor and asked, “Does God know about this?” The pastor replied, “I know you don’t understand, but, yes, God knows about that.” The boy walked out, declaring he was uninterested in such a God.

These questions disturb not only children but all of us. Alongside an affirmation of God’s mysterious knowledge, I wish that boy had heard about the epic story God is continuing to write, even in places like the former nation of Biafra.

Jesus unfolded this story for His followers, those who assumed He’d shield them from hardship. Christ told them instead that “in this world you will have trouble.” What Jesus did offer, however, was His promise that these evils weren’t the end. In fact, He’d already “overcome the world” (John 16:33). And in God’s final chapter, every injustice will be undone, every suffering healed.

Genesis to Revelation recounts the story of God destroying every unthinkable evil, making every wrong right. The story presents the loving One whose interest in us is unquestioned. Jesus said to His disciples, “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace” (v. 33). May we rest in His peace and presence today. 

— Winn Collier

How does the story you see feel tragic? How does Jesus’ promise to write a good ending free you?

Dear God, it’s hard for me to see how You’ll right all the evils. But I trust You to do it.

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