What Chapter Are You On?

With books, you can cheat: even if you don’t read the last chapter ahead of time, you know where the end is. But in the rest of life, there are many times when we can not know how much longer we have. We hope we can hold on, but in the end, we don’t really know. And this can be unsettling.
I just recently finished reading through 1 John. Tradition (and most scholars) think it was written by the apostle John late in his life. It has a kind of simple wisdom that is often found in people who have lived through much and are able to explain what they have observed just as simply and easily to peers as to the very young. (If you are sports fan, imagine the wisdom of Yogi Berra, who coined such phrases as “it ain’t over ‘til it’s over” and “if you can't imitate him, don't copy him.”)
What does John say about hanging on?

  • My dear children, I write this to you so that you will not sin. But if anybody does sin, we have an advocate with the Father—Jesus Christ, the Righteous One. (1 John 2:1)
  • And now, dear children, continue in him, so that when he appears we may be confident and unashamed before him at his coming. (1 John 2:28)
  • This is love for God: to keep his commands. And his commands are not burdensome, for everyone born of God overcomes the world. This is the victory that has overcome the world, even our faith. (1 John 5:3-4)
Forgiveness, perseverance, faith, love. These are the things we need if we want to keep moving forward – even as we stumble through real hardships, heartaches and failures.
Whatever your struggle is today, keep fighting. Don’t give up!

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