All God's Stories Have Good Endings
Jesus knew the valley of the shadow of death better than anyone.
The Holy Spirit led Him into the wilderness and later to the cross. And if it was the Holy Spirit that led Him, and He was the Father’s love perfectly revealed, then the question has to be asked:
Was it the Father’s heart for Jesus to starve in the wilderness? Was it the Father’s heart for Jesus to die on the cross?
And by faith, the answer is, no. I believe in the wilderness it was the Fathers heart to send His ministering angels.
At the cross, it was the Father’s heart that Jesus be resurrected. It’s always about the joy set before us. It’s always about life—always.
And while I write this, my head is screaming at me, “that doesn’t make sense,” but at the same time my heart is encouraging me, whispering, “it’s true.” While writing this, my experiences lie to me and tell me that I must be wrong about His always-good love. But my faith tells another story.
Our Father’s Kingdom is discovered in the unseen and is accessed through faith. This faith chooses to believe in the always-good love of our Father, even when the evidence is unseen.
Is it the Father’s heart that we experience pain, disillusionment, and death? Never. It’s His heart that we experience peace, joy, and resurrection life. His heart is always love toward us.
David experienced the valley but the valley was never God’s heart for him. Jesus went to a cross. But the cross was never His focus. Death is never the focus with God, He is always and only about resurrection. Jesus said He came to give us life and life more abundantly (John 10:10). Jesus—the Father revealed—was focused on the joy of resurrection life.
“For the joy set before Him, He endured the cross” (Heb 12:2). What was the joy? We were His joy! I am convinced that Jesus was living in the same revelation that David wrote about in Psalm 23. Jesus knew there was a cross, but He also knew it wasn’t His Father’s heart. His Father’s heart was the joy of an unveiled love relationship with His kids.
Like David, I am learning to believe that the valley of the shadow of death is not my Father’s heart for me. He only has goodness and love, all the days of my life!
Like Jesus, I am learning to live in the sustaining joy of the resurrection. When it comes to my Father, I am convinced that death is never the point—He is always about a future and a hope, He is always about life!
Faith empowers us to see resurrection life, redemption and restoration. Faith is the end of the story, given to us in the moment of trial, disillusionment, or loss. Faith is the belief that He is always good, and His love has already brilliantly worked everything to our good!
Jason Clark is a writer, speaker and lead communicator at A Family Story Ministries. His mission is to encourage sons and daughters to grow sure in the love of an always-good heavenly Father. He and his wife, Karen, live in North Carolina with their three children.
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Great insights, Jason! Happy 4th to you and your family, my friend.
Thanks, Ken! Happy 4th to you and the whole family! Love from the Clark’s.