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You Know How the Story Ends
By Rick Warren

“So we do not look at what we can see right now, the troubles all around us, but we look forward to the joys in heaven which we have not yet seen. The troubles will soon be over, but the joys to come will last forever.” 2 Corinthians 4:18 (TLB)

One of the most suspenseful TV shows ever was 24. The main character, Jack Bauer, could solve three world catastrophes in every single episode. But I never even watched the show until it went off the air, because I hate watching commercials. I bought the entire series on DVD so I could watch it commercial-free.

When my wife Kay and I were watching the first season of 24, I started to get really tense as Jack got into one of his predictable messes and had only five seconds to save the whole world. I thought, “Is Jack going to make it? Is this the end for our hero?”

And then I thought, “Of course not. There are five more seasons!”

Your tension goes down when you know the end of the story. When you don’t have to wonder if things will turn out badly, it affects your perspective and your attitude. 

This is why believers in Christ grieve differently from the rest of the world.

When believers lose family or friends who are also believers, they grieve because they miss the person who is gone, but they also know they are in a far better place: in heaven, with God, forever. 

In a sense, we grieve for ourselves because we have to find a way forward without our loved one. But we grieve with hope because we know the end of the story: One day, we will join them in heaven and be with God forever. 

You can have hope, even when there is loss. 

How? You’ve got to get a bigger perspective and a longer view. You’ve got to refocus your attention. You’ve got to stop thinking about just the here and now and start living as if there is much more to your story. 

This life is not all there is! If you just look at today and what’s happening right now, you’re going to be hopeless. But if you can see what’s happening to you in light of eternity, you’ll realize that this life is preparation for the next. God is getting you ready for eternal life.

“So we do not look at what we can see right now, the troubles all around us, but we we look forward to the joys in heaven which we have not yet seen. The troubles will soon be over, but the joys to come will last forever” (2 Corinthians 4:18 TLB).

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

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