The world is full of godlessness – culture is living in error. Society has turned its back on God’s story and said that we can create a better story. But life lived in error is a narrative heading to a bad ending. All around us we can see the result of society rejecting God’s story, people living as lovers of self, lovers of money, proud, arrogant, abusive, disobedient, ungrateful, heartless, unappeasable, slanderous, without self-control, brutal and not loving good. We see the pain and destruction such lives create. We yearn for something better. We have this longing for something more than the narrative of culture – the story that says we are here for a few years and then we die – can offer us.
We have that yearning because we were made for a better story. As CS Lewis said “If we find ourselves with a desire that nothing in this world can satisfy, the most probable explanation is that we were made for another world.” We were made to live a better story – the story of grace. 2 Timothy 3 shows us very clear there are two contrasting narratives to live under – the narrative of the world which is godlessness – a folly that “will not get very far” (2 Timothy 3:9) and the narrative of the sacred writings (2 Timothy 3:15), the narrative of the Word of God which makes us wise and offers salvation through faith in Christ Jesus.
You want to resist this godlessness? You want to fight the temptation to do these things? Then get into the Word. Let it anchor you to what God has spoken. Let it remind you daily of His truth. Let it daily remind you we who have put our faith in Christ Jesus are now a part of the story of the unchanging, unfailing God who is the same yesterday, today and forever (Hebrews 13:8). The story of the God who loves. The story of the God who healed and still heals today and forever. The story of the God who opened the eyes of the blind and still does today and forever. The story of the God who did miracles and still does. The story of the God who stepped down into the story and made a better ending possible through his death on the cross in our place.
Let the bible align you to a better narrative for your life, use it for teaching, rebuking and growing in righteousness (2 Timothy 3:16). And remember that while it is a better story it may not be an easier story, at least not yet. God doesn’t promise a story free from conflict, but He promises to never leave or abandon us during the conflict. He promises the best resolution to the conflict we face, far better than any resolution we could achieve ourselves for the Word tells us that “for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose” (Romans 8:28). We can have faith during the conflict for God knows what He is doing and He knows the story He is writing. He has shown us that it ends with us together with Him in heaven and that nothing can separate us from His love – no conflict that we face during this earthly life, not death nor sickness, not angels nor rulers, not height or depth or poverty or unemployment or bereavement or robbery or persecution or famine or abuse or heartbreak or pain or anything – nothing else in all creation will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord (Romans 8:38-39). There is no problem, no conflict we face too great that God will not, in His better story of grace be able to one day bring about resolution and redemption. No matter the circumstances you face today, if you have put your trust in Jesus there is hope for we know where the narrative arc of our life is headed – it is headed to a day when every tear is wiped away and every broken body is made new. God is the master author who specialises in taking our broken stories and, through the blood Jesus shed on the cross, crafting perfect transformed redemptive endings that are abundantly better than anything we could ask or think.