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This Is Not the End of the Story
By Rick Warren

"We often suffer, but we are never crushed. Even when we don't know what to do, we never give up. In times of trouble, God is with us, and when we are knocked down, we get up again . . . we know that God raised the Lord Jesus to life. And just as God raised Jesus, he will also raise us to life. Then he will bring us into his presence together." 2 Corinthians 4:8-9, 14 (CEV)

When the future is uncertain and there is a lot of fear, it might seem like your story is coming to an end.

But the Bible says, "We often suffer, but we are never crushed. Even when we don't know what to do, we never give up. In times of trouble, God is with us, and when we are knocked down, we get up again . . . we know that God raised the Lord Jesus back to life. And just as God raised Jesus, he will also raise us to life. Then he will bring us into his presence together" (2 Corinthians 4:8-9, 14 CEV).

When life seems uncertain, remember this truth: You can’t lose! You’ll win in the end, no matter what happens. Even if you lose your life, you’re going straight into the presence of God if you believe in Jesus Christ as Savior. 

And when you arrive in heaven, your story is just at the beginning.

Have you ever watched a TV show where every single episode ended in a cliffhanger and left you thinking the hero might not survive? Even though it’s just a story, the tension can feel enormous. 

But what if all the episodes from all the seasons of the television series were all together, the complete series available through a streaming service or a collection of DVDs. Then, when you’re watching a cliffhanger episode that’s from the first season, you wouldn’t feel as much tension because you know the hero survives for another six seasons. When you know the series will continue, then you know each episode is not the end of the story. The hero will make it out of a tight spot and on to the next season.

That’s how your life is. Even when you’re in a difficult circumstance, you know that the tough spot isn’t the end of your story. You can live with hope in the middle of a crisis when you have an eternal perspective. 

One day, when you meet Jesus in heaven, all your pain, sickness, sorrow, sadness, stress, and grief will end. Here's what you have to look forward to in heaven: "He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away" (Revelation 21:4 NIV).

This life is not the end of the story. We don't know what the future holds, but we do know who holds the future.

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This devotional © 2018 by Rick Warren. All rights reserved. Used by permission.

You can listen to Rick Warren on OnePlace.com.