Tuesday, February 7, 2012
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We're pretty avid New York Giants football fans at our house. Don't hold that against us. You know, you can understand it if you follow football at all. We're eager after a long basketball season and a baseball season to see the first games, even when they're exhibition games. Now, when my children were growing up, there was a particular game on one season that we really wanted to see, because it was against a top NFL team.
There was one problem! That particular exhibition game wasn't aired live in the New York area. It was a home game. However, it was shown twice on tape late that night and then again the next morning. Now, we knew the score; we had heard the score of the game; we knew the outcome. My son was watching it and he said, "Well, Dad, it's sure exciting to watch a game when you already know the outcome." Well actually we did know the ending. We just didn't know how they got to that ending. It was fun to watch how they did it, but there wasn't much suspense.
I'm Ron Hutchcraft and I want to have A Word With You today about "When You Know the Final Score."
Now, our word for today from the Word of God comes from Daniel 3, and I'm going to begin reading at verse 16. It's the familiar story of Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego. Now, whether or not you recognize the names, you remember the story of the three men who were commanded by King Nebuchadnezzar to bow down to his 90-foot gold statue of himself. They refused to do it, and he said, "Then I'll have to throw you into this very, very hot fire," an oven prepared just for them. What a way to die, huh? They said to the king, "O, King Nebuchadnezzar, we do not need to defend ourselves... If we are thrown into the blazing furnace, the God we serve is able to save us from it, and he will rescue us from your hand, O king."
Now, I like this. They're saying, "We don't know how God's going to do, but we know He will. We're not sure all the plays He's going to call, we just know He's going to win." Now, you may be in a pretty bleak situation right now. Maybe the fire is heating up for you, and there's no apparent solution; there's no apparent way out.
One of my favorite passages of scripture is in Romans 8, where Paul speaks of some of the greatest stresses in life. And verse 35 talks about "trouble, hardship, persecution, famine, not enough food on the table, nakedness, no clothes, danger, sword, even death." Then right after all that in verse 37 he says this - and this is my life verse: "In all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us." Wow! As a soldier of Jesus Christ, you're in the same position I am when I'm watching a Giants victory being replayed. I know the final score; I know we win. I just don't know how.
In Christ, the question is never whether He will win in a situation, the only question is how. Our problem is if we can't see how victory will come, a lot of times we don't believe it will. "There's no money in sight, so I guess we're not going to make it." Or, "There's no person in sight, so I guess I'll be lonely." "There's no change in sight, so well, I guess it will always be this way." "Well, there's no progress I can see and there's no way to make any. I guess we'll always be in this mess." Read the scoreboard again! He wins all His battles. Live expectantly! The battle is not yours; it is God's. You can be more than conqueror, and He says it's in the middle of life's most intense moments.
After all, you're sitting back watching how God is going to win this one, because you know the final score, and your Father will decide the outcome.