Previous Challenge Entry (Level 2 – Intermediate)
Topic: FORGET (10/17/19)
- TITLE: SOME DAYS THE DRAGON WINS: But Read the Back of the Book
By Sandra Alsworth
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John the Baptist did everything God wanted him to do. It landed him in a filthy, cold, dark prison cell. He undoubtedly prayed for deliverance. God answers prayer, right? He didnâ€™t answer Johnâ€™s prayer. Luke 7:19-22 tells the story of John sending friends to Jesus asking, â€œAre you the Coming One, or should we look for another?â€ John had temporarily forgotten who Jesus was. The dragon won a battle.
Luke tells us Jesus didnâ€™t directly answer their question. Jesus â€œcured many of infirmities, afflictions and evil spirits; and to many blind He gave sight. Jesus answered and said to them, â€˜Go and tell John the things you have seen and heard: that the blind see, the lame walk, the lepers are cleansed, the deaf hear, the dead are raised, the poor have the gospel preached to them. And blessed is he who is not offended because of Me.â€™â€ Jesus did miracles for others, but didnâ€™t give John one. He showed Johnâ€™s friends His power and told John not to be offended in Him. John was killed in prison shortly afterwards. It looked like the dragon won again.
What do I do when the suspense gets too terrible in a book? I read the back of the book, of course. What does it say? Revelation 22, the last chapter of the Bible, describes Heaven, â€œAnd he showed me a pure river of water of life, clear as crystal, proceeding from the throne of God and of the Lamb. In the middleâ€¦ was the tree of life... They shall see His face, and His name shall be on their foreheads. There shall be no night there: They need no lamp nor light of the sun, for the Lord God gives them light. And they shall reign forever and ever.â€
John died in prison. But Jesus said â€œthere was not a greater prophet than John the Baptist.â€ John lost the battle of staying alive, but he won the war.
Paul said in Hebrews 12:2 â€œlooking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith.â€ In any good story, there is a flawed protagonist who has problems that get worse and worse until there is seemingly no way out. Finally, lessons are learned, and there is a happy ending.
God writes our lives, adding problems and suspense. We canâ€™t see any way that we will survive our distress. We think God has forgotten us. But God is in control. He is the author. We canâ€™t see our personal future. We canâ€™t read the back of the book of our lives, but we can read the ultimate back of the book and know that whatever happens here, Heaven is the end. Donâ€™t ever forget that.
Sometimes when prayers are not answered, it is easy to lose our faith. In Daniel 3:17, 18 the three Hebrew children had the choice of worshiping the king or being thrown into the fiery furnace. They answered, â€œOur God whom we serve is able to deliver us from the burning fiery furnace, and He will deliver us from your hand, O king. BUT IF NOT, let it be known to you, O king, that we do not serve your gods, nor will we worship the gold image which you have set up.â€
They said, â€œBut if not.â€ They didnâ€™t know if God would deliver or not, but they still stood with God. How many martyrs are there in history that did not get delivered? They didnâ€™t care if the dragon won the battle for their lives. They knew God was writing their story, and they trusted Him with how He chose to write the end of their books, even if they lost their lives.
Sometimes in the short-term, the dragon wins. But in the long-term, if we stick with Jesus, we WILL win the war. Trust Him with how He is writing your book. God has not forgotten you. Donâ€™t forget Him.
Scriptures are from the NKJV
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