Sunday, November 1, 2015

The Rest of the Story

"But to you who are listening I say: Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you."

 -- Luke 6: 27-28

Paul Harvey's remarkable career in radio spanned eight decades and began while he was still in high school. His broadcasts were heard on about 1,500 stations and his commentaries appeared in hundreds of newspapers. No doubt he was best known for a segment of his program called The Rest of the Story: a five-minute, true-life narrative that always concluded with a surprising--and often uplifting--twist revealing greater meaning and purpose in an otherwise mundane or difficult situation.

The Rest of the Story maintained its popularity Microphoneover the years because it always resonated with Harvey's millions of listeners. They readily identified with the famous announcer's depictions of the unpleasant realities and struggles faced by everyday people like you and me.

What unpleasant realities have you had to face?  Whatever they are, it's a fact of life that you can count on facing more. Sometimes they come out of the blue, such as through a car accident or a natural disaster. And others might be more of our own making, like an arrest for drunk driving or the agony of a broken marriage. The difference for Christ-followers, however, is that we have access to a personal Power who's here to help us get through the hardest of times. We worship a caring God who gives us faith, hope and strength to carry on.

In fact, ours is a God who specializes in taking the worst situations and turning them toward the good. For example, the first Christ-followers were hunted down, imprisoned and sometimes executed for worshiping Jesus. But this only caused the upstart faith to spread far and wide from Jerusalem and into Asia and Europe. And let's consider the Apostle Paul's life-story. Although he spread the Gospel across the Mediterranean and made many converts, he spent years in jail before his eventual execution. That might sound to some like wasted potential. Couldn't God have kept Paul free so he could preach to thousands more and establish other churches in distant lands?

Yes, God could have chosen that route. But He had a much better plan for advancing the name of Jesus. While Paul was in shackles, he spent his time writing much of what we know today as the New Testament--words of truth that God has used for centuries to turn millions of men and women away from their destructive lifestyles and over to eternal life.

The saying goes that uncertainty is the only thing that's certain in life. But as Christ-followers, we can rest assured each day. That's because ours is a God who already knows The Rest of the Story.

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