Then I saw heaven opened, and behold, a white horse! The one sitting on it is called Faithful and True, and in righteousness he judges and makes war. On his robe and on his thigh he has a name written, King of kings and Lord of lords (Revelation 19:11, 16, ESV).
Spoiler alert: In the end, Jesus Christ wins.
Scripture tells us repeatedly and pointedly that Jesus Christ, the Mighty Warrior, is always victorious. Make no mistake about it. Jesus is going to win. Someday the clouds will break open, and we will see Him on a white horse (Revelation 19:11). His powerful appearance will be breathtaking and terrifying: “His eyes are like a flame of fire. . . . He is clothed in a robe dipped in blood, and the name by which he is called is The Word of God. . . . From his mouth comes a sharp sword with which to strike down the nations, and he will rule them with a rod of iron. He will tread the winepress of the fury of the wrath of God the Almighty. On his robe and on his thigh he has a name written, King of kings and Lord of lords” (19:12–13, 15–16). With simply a word, He will instantly set the world in order. In the end, Jesus Christ wins.
All of history leads to Jesus’ victory, and all of God’s promises culminate in Jesus.
All of history leads to Jesus’ victory, and all of God’s promises culminate in Jesus. We experience God’s promises through Jesus.
For example, do you need peace, that calm assurance that God is in control? Ephesians 2:14 assures us that Jesus “himself is our peace.” Remember, God doesn’t dispense peace like a pharmacist filling a prescription: “Take two, and call me in the morning.” He gives us Himself. God doesn’t have to give us something. He is the something! Jesus Christ fulfills the promise of God’s peace.
It’s Christ’s presence that takes away fear.
It’s Christ’s sovereignty that assures and calms us in the face of doubts.
It’s Christ’s goodness that renews us when we are weighed down by despair.
It’s Christ’s watchfulness and intervention that keep us from faltering.
And it’s Christ’s inevitable victory that assures us we will not fail.
When we think about times of trial in our lives, if we really pinpoint what’s most difficult about the trial, it’s the not knowing. The biggest reason why we fear, doubt, despair, and falter is that we don’t know how it’s all going to end.
Every one of us lives with some level of uncertainty. You’re not alone in this struggle. You have some insecurities in your life right now; I’m living with some question marks too. Yours might take the form of a health crisis, a broken relationship, a financial problem, a wandering child, a self-destructing family member.
Think of the stresses that keep you awake at night, those issues that linger on the edges of your thoughts and never fully go away. If you definitively knew when and how that circumstance would end, you would be okay. If you could foresee that it would end well, then you could bear the waiting. If you could predict with certainty that it would end badly, then you could prepare yourself for what’s to come. It’s the not knowing that pushes you to the limit.
A football team doesn’t give up because they lose a few yards. Their focus is on the final score, not one bad play. We fixate on our momentary trials (2 Corinthians 4:17), wondering, How will this finish? If only we knew.
We do know.
God is always victorious. Ultimately, I will not fail. Sure, I will experience some pains and losses along the way. But in the end, because Jesus wins, so do I.
Lord God, by faith I choose to lift my eyes from my momentary trials to the final outcome. Jesus wins. No matter how my life looks or feels today, ultimately Jesus wins. And as an adopted son or daughter of the living God, because Jesus wins, I do too. Teach me an eternal perspective, Father. Though life is painful, it’s short. I set my heart on eternity, and I thank You that I know exactly how this all ends. I pray in the name of Jesus, King of kings and Lord of lords, amen.
The Pivotal Piece
1 Corinthians 15
Without one pivotal piece, the entirety of Christianity comes tumbling down. Thankfully, there are many supporting details and truths surrounding this. Tune in as Pastor James preaches from 1 Corinthians 15 regarding the resurrection of Jesus Christ.
When I look at your heavens, the work of your fingers, the moon and the stars, which you have set in place, what is man that you are mindful of him, and the son of man that you care for him (Psalm 8:3–4, esv)?
Creation reminds us how little we are. When we stand on the shore of the ocean, we realize there are worlds underneath the waves. When we look up from the base of a mountain, we are reminded, “Before the mountains were brought forth, or ever you had formed the earth and the world, from everlasting to everlasting you are God” (Psalm 90:2).
Those seemingly ageless mountains had a clear beginning, created by God who has no beginning or end. It is the infinite that reminds us we are finite. We hear the awe in the psalmist’s voice when he marvels at the expanse of the heavens, the majestic work of God’s hands, and His personal care despite our smallness.
“A true encounter with the God of the universe makes us feel gladly small.”
When God’s handiwork reminds us how little we are, we experience His transcendence. A true encounter with the God of the universe is not at all belittling. Rather, His transcendence makes us feel gladly small, perfectly puny, and happily assigned to our insignificance and place.
We need to be brought down to our proper proportion before an awesome God. To a race whose root sin is pride, transcendence offers a healthy dose of insignificance. It is a wonderful, freeing discovery.
The sum of human knowledge is fractional and miniscule; what we do know should remind us of how little we know. God not only established but also “upholds the universe by the word of his power” (Hebrews 1:3). There are great mysteries surrounding how He holds all things together. Some things are unknowable, and only a fraction of what is knowable has been discovered. Even the most learned people must acknowledge the vastness of what we do not understand.
What’s true of the cosmos God spoke into being is also true of the Bible, which He wrote. The Scriptures are vast and deep, and how little we know of the layers of revelation. Moses reminds us, “The secret things belong to the Lord our God, but the things that are revealed belong to us and to our children forever, that we may do all the words of this law” (Deuteronomy 29:29).
The more we study God’s Word, the more the Holy Spirit opens our eyes to new and powerful truths overlooked the first, fifth, and fiftieth times we read a passage. In those moments, we experience transcendence. The humble awareness of our own limitations invites awe in the Creator who knows the end from the beginning and everything in between.
Experiencing transcendence helps you accept that there is One who exists outside the boundaries of human knowing. “Oh, the depth of the riches and wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are his judgments and how inscrutable his ways” (Romans 11:33)! You can never figure God out, but you can hear His call to bow before Him and serve Him as the true center of the universe.
Let every experience of His transcendence diminish any false sense of personal sovereignty, and lead you to resign as the chairman of the board of your own life.
Lord God, how good it is for me to consider Your vast size, knowledge, and power. It is the only way to gain the right perspective on my relative ignorance and powerlessness. As I experience Your transcendence, let it lead me to accepting my proper place under Your sovereignty. In awe I praise You, humble myself before You as Lord, and surrender my life. You are unsearchable, God, and the secret things belong to You. Thank You for letting me find my place in relation to You. In the powerful name of Your only Son, Jesus, amen.