Victoriously and Joyfully Ever After

I am a bona-fide, diagnosed read-aholic!

I read absolutely everything that I can lay my hands on.  (It’s actually everything that I can lay my eyes on but let’s not quibble over body parts here.)

I read new children’s books and classic literature.  I devour biographies and gobble up historical fiction. I am captivated by theological volumes and can’t put down self-help books. I am addicted to devotionals, commentaries and even antiquated novels.

However – I must tell you.  I always read the last chapter first.  Always.

Now, before you groan and throw rotten tomatoes at me, let me explain my thought processes to you.

I don’t want to waste my time reading a book that doesn’t end well or that is filled with illogical and unacceptable conclusions.

I only have so much time in a given day to drink from the books that satisfy my thirsty soul and so I selectively choose to read published works that come to a well-written, Biblically sound and victorious completion.

You can roll your eyes at me if you would like to do so … but this method of “knowing the end before the beginning” works for me.  It simply works.

And, the truth is … this is exactly what we all desire in our individual lives as well.

We all yearn for our lives to come to a satisfying and peaceful conclusion.

Deep within each one of us, we long for our lives and for our circumstances at long last to reach that “happily ever after” attainment that seems to work in fairy tales.

Certainly not one of us hanker for a tragic ending … or for an incomplete life … or for a worst-case scenario!

We all deeply desire that our prayers are answered, that our battles end in victory and that peace has the final word.

When you know the Creator of the universe, the Savior of the World and the power of the Holy Spirit, all of your life’s events are going to be better than “happily ever after …”

You might naively wonder, “What in the world could be better than happily ever after?”

I am so glad that you asked that impossible question because I am here to answer it for you today!

When God writes your story, every conundrum and each challenge in life is going to wrap up with the exclamatory reality, “And they lived victoriously and joyfully ever after!”

How is THAT for too-good-to-be-true news?!

Now … I don’t want to give you a spoiler here but I must. I absolutely must put you out of your life-long suspense. Here comes the spoiler…

Are you ready?  We are going to read the very last chapter of your life … here we go … this is how it reads…

Everything is going to be o.k.!

Everything is actually going to be better than o.k. … it’s going to be great!

How do I know that?  I know that because when you allow God to write your story – He is into happy endings.  He types, with indelible ink, victorious, joyful, hopeful conclusions to all of our stories!

Hallelujah!  “And they lived victoriously and joyfully ever after …” is not a phantom dream but it can be a reality in all of our lives.

However … there is a key variable that shifts this phrase from a wish to a guarantee.

The unavoidable and important phrase is this:  “When you allow God to write your story …”

I have come to the realization that God is a much better author than I am and I must partner with Him in the unfolding of my life story.  There are people, situations and events over which I have no control and I must give each one of those difficulties to Him. I must allow His goodness to deal with each fractious person, with each volatile situation and with each unwanted event.

I must resist the urge for revenge and for bitterness and I must allow Him to fight for me.

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In case you didn’t know it … He is much better at fighting and at winning than I am or than you are. We can fight on our own terms if that’s what we insist upon … but victory is not a guarantee in the self-fought scenario.

Victory is only guaranteed when you allow the Lord to fight your battles!

It is His delight to lead you in triumph but you must allow Him to do the leading while you do the following.

“But thanks be to God, who always leads us in triumph in Christ, and manifests through us the sweet aroma of the knowledge of Him in every place.” – II Corinthians 2:14

The more that I demand my own way … the more that He will sit back and let me have my own way. 

When I tell God what I think that He should do … I have a suspicion that He sits back with a knowing smile on His grand face and says, “Well … let’s see how that will work for you.”

And invariably, it doesn’t.  My ideas generally don’t work. Father really does know best.

I never have had a better idea than God.  Never. Not in 62 years of living have I found myself even one time to be as smart as or as wise as my Father.

He is the expert at brilliant, innovative, creative solutions to all of my life’s problems.

He has been to my future and it is good because He is good! He is already there, in all of my future days yet to be lived, writing my story with words of victory, with sentences of hope and with the exclamation point of joy!

His conclusion for all of my life’s events end with the words, “And she lived victoriously and joyfully ever after!”