In the movie Forrest Gump, we hear that life is like a box of chocolates. “You never know what you’re gonna get.”

Life has its ups and downs. Not many things are guaranteed. Batters strike out. Pitchers give up the long ball. Our world has in it words like “cancer,” “failure,” “unsafe,” and “it’s over."

The uncertainty of life raises the question of whether there is anything certain. Thankfully, we do have the promise that God will care for the flock. Give your ear to the truth of God’s presence and the promise of an eternal tomorrow.

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Then one of the elders addressed me, saying, “Who are these, robed in white, and where have they come from?” I said to him, “Sir, you are the one that knows.” Then he said to me, “These are they who have come out of the great ordeal; they have washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb. For this reason they are before the throne of God, and worship him day and night within his temple, and the one who is seated on the throne will shelter them. They will hunger no more, and thirst no more; the sun will not strike them, nor any scorching heat; for the Lamb at the center of the throne will be their shepherd, and he will guide them to springs of the water of life, and God will wipe away every tear from their eyes.”

Revelation 7:13-17

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Did you catch the interesting statement of where the people came from? They “have come out of the great ordeal.” God acknowledged to the writer of the Revelation 2,000 years ago that life is not easy. Life is the great ordeal. You’re probably thinking that God nailed it with that description.

What the “great ordeal” is exactly depends on each of us. For some, we are the seventh-grade boy who is afraid to go into the school bathroom. For another, we may simply find ourselves in a funk for no explainable reason. For still another, the ordeal consists of physical pain through either abuse or persecution.

The Scripture states that life doesn’t stop with the ordeal. We come out of it. Jesus, enduring the cross and overcoming the grave, provides for a different life. This eternal life is filled with worship for the one that provides shelter, takes away hunger, gives shade, wipes away every tear, and leads us to the springs of the water of life. True praise can be given for life through the risen Jesus!

Jamie Mackey

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Gracious God, give me the hope of Christ that promises life beyond the ordeal. Amen.

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Go in the assurance of God’s presence;
Go in being God’s child;
Go in the strength of God’s hand;
Go in the hope of the eternal tomorrow;
Go in the ability to speak words of life into others.

Jamie Mackey

Jamie Mackey is the minister to students at First Baptist Church in Huntsville, Alabama. He gratefully refers to himself as the husband to Hope and the father to Cade and Story Grace.

The Love of God

Ken Medema

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