Does everything really work out in the end?

If the answer to the question above is “No” then Christians don’t have a message to preach. Christians preach the Good News (and only good news), so where’s the good news in even the hint of things not working out in everyone’s life in the end? We have to say everything’s going to work out in the end.

But is it fair to say that to a person who’s dying of cancer that everything will be OK, when it’s obvious he’s not going to get any better than he is right now? His life can only get worse. But in movies, over and over again, people try to comfort the victim of a crime or illness with, “You’ll be fine, I promise.”

It’s a well-meaning attempt to comfort, but it’s also trying to be God, because no human can promise anything and guarantee the result. All sorts of things can happen that prevent a promise being kept. A simple statement of reassurance to someone like, “I’ll be there at 6:00 pm, I promise,” is highly risky, because an accident could happen on the way, another more pressing need may take priority, a stomach bug may suddenly strike, a babysitter doesn’t turn up on time, the taxi you’re in gets a flat tire, or life is so busy you forget the time. It happens. But we still think we can make promises and keep them.

But only God can make promises because he lives outside our realm of time, chance and accidents. He doesn’t get stomach bugs. Nothing, therefore, can stop him promising that everything will work out in the end, because it’s within his power to do it.

But how does that help someone whose life is only getting worse? How can you comfort him when it’s obvious he’s not going to get any better, and he won’t be OK? And what do you say in reply when he says, “It’s all well and good you telling me God works out everything in the end, but look at me, things aren’t working out in the end for me, are they?”

There’s only one answer to that, because if it truly is God’s promise to work out everything in the end for everybody, which being God he can do, and especially since Christ died for everyone, then if a person isn’t getting any better it can’t be the end yet for him, can it? Not getting better is just part of the journey that hasn’t ended yet. Even if the person dies, it must mean there is more to come for God to be true to his promise to make everything work out eventually.

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