Are Happy Endings Really Possible?

Gwen Smith Blog, Christian Living, Devotions, Encouragement, Forgiveness, God's Promises, Grace, Worship, Worth 19 Comments

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I love a good story. I love stories filled with drama, mystery, action, honesty, hope, grit, tension, release, passion, restoration, and redemption. My favorite stories, however, combine many of these elements and finish with a happy-ending. My heart beats big for happy-ending stories.

There have been days in my life that have been heavy on the tension and light on the release. Moments when I’ve felt deep pain and longed for deep peace. Weeks when hope evaded my heart because I had chosen to turn from God’s way and defiantly chose Gwen’s way. Season’s when I felt like I had messed up so bad that a happy-ending for my life was simply impossible.

Have you ever felt that way? Like there was a great chasm between your life and a happy-ending? Have you ever felt like you were in a situation, a relationship, or a condition that was un-healable, un-helpable, and un-redeemable? I sure have. I think we all have.

Luke 7 introduces us to a woman who endured her shattered, jagged life publicly. I bet she probably felt like there could never be a happy-ending for her life. Like hope and healing were for other people, not for her.

She was guilty of something, though we are never told what. She is simply described as a woman “who had lived a sinful life.” Though she is nameless to you and me, the people of her town surely knew her name. The Pharisees knew enough to condemn her with judgmental thoughts.

Her sin was public, not private. Yet the public disgrace of this broken, sinful woman became the perfect canvas for Jesus Christ to paint a beautiful picture of extravagant grace.

“Now one of the Pharisees invited Jesus to have dinner with him, so he went to the Pharisee’s house and reclined at the table. When a woman who had lived a sinful life in that town learned that Jesus was eating at the Pharisee’s house, she brought an alabaster jar of perfume, and as she stood behind him at his feet weeping, she began to wet his feet with her tears. Then she wiped them with her hair, kissed them and poured perfume on them.” (Luke 7:36-38, NIV)

Imagine what a scandalous moment this must have been. I’m sure the host was wondering how this uninvited woman managed to get into his home. We know his mind was racing, because the next few verses tell us so:

When the Pharisee who had invited him saw this, he said to himself, “If this man were a prophet, he would know who is touching him and what kind of woman she is—that she is a sinner.”

Jesus answered him, “Simon, I have something to tell you.”

“Tell me, teacher,” he said.

“Two men owed money to a certain moneylender. One owed him five hundred denarii, and the other fifty. Neither of them had the money to pay him back, so he canceled the debts of both. Now which of them will love him more?”

Simon replied, “I suppose the one who had the bigger debt canceled.”

“You have judged correctly,” Jesus said.

Then he turned toward the woman and said to Simon, “Do you see this woman? I came into your house. You did not give me any water for my feet, but she wet my feet with her tears and wiped them with her hair. You did not give me a kiss, but this woman, from the time I entered, has not stopped kissing my feet. You did not put oil on my head, but she has poured perfume on my feet. Therefore, I tell you, her many sins have been forgiven—for she loved much. But he who has been forgiven little loves little.”
Then Jesus said to her, “Your sins are forgiven” (Luke 7:39-48).

Imagine the freedom that flooded her soul when this woman looked up, through tear-filled eyes, into the face of grace for the very first time. Jesus looked beyond her reputation to her regret. Then He forgave her. Not because she had earned forgiveness, but because Jesus loved her.

She was forgiven much, so she loved Him much. Oh, how I can relate to this sinful woman. The love that resides in my heart is so great because the sins I’ve been forgiven of are so many.

Jesus still loves to extend grace, and I am so thankful.

Grace! What none of us deserves, but each of us longs for. “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life” (John 3:16). Why would He lay down His life for you, for me, and for all humanity? In one word: love. Perfect, unconditional, doesn’t-matter-who-you-are-or-where-you’ve-been-or-what-you’ve-done love.

God made a way, through Jesus, for our wounded hearts to be restored… so that everyone of us could experience deep peace, love, forgiveness, and hope.

Welcome to your happy-ending story. It’s available to each of us who turn our hearts to Him. What does that look like in your life? Confess your sins to God, ask Him for forgiveness, believe in Jesus Christ as your Savior and receive the gift of God’s grace. Then “Look to the Lord and His strength; seek His face always” (Psalm 105:4).

Thus begins your happy ending. The End.

Heavenly Father, You are above all and beyond all! You are mighty to save, gracious to forgive, and merciful to forget all that I’ve done wrong.  I praise You for who You are, and thank You for the grace that is at work in my heart and in my life.  Help me to cast aside everything that keeps me from You today, Lord.  In Jesus’ Name, I pray. Amen.

 

FOR YOUR RESPONSE and REFLECTION
Leave a comment below summarizing in one sentence
how you have experienced the wonder of grace at work in your life? Then have fun reading other posts and encouraging one another! 🙂

Every step of transformation begins with the heart of God. If you would like to learn more about how your brokenness can be reworked into a picture of God’s beauty, order my book Broken Into Beautiful. This resource will help you experience the power of hope, healing and restoration!

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Comments 19

  1. Sorry, one sentence can’t cover it. I have tried to live a Godly life my entire 53 years. I believe God is real, have complete faith that he is in control and has the power to change people’s hearts and situations, however I have never experienced the “happy ending” that is talked about. It seems that when he answers my prayers, brings wonderful things into my life and I feel that I am walking with him and they are gifts from him, they are there but for a short while and then taken away. It is a pattern repeated over and over, in many different areas of my life to the point where all of my christian friends just look and say..”only in your life” and “we just don’t know what to say anymore”. I have come to a point where I no longer dream nor hope as I can not take the emotional told of believing things are from God and then they are taken away. Having said that, God has given me MANY wonderful things in my life and I thank him daily for each and every one of them. I am not angry with God, nor do I blame God for he gave everyone a free will and it is that free will that I have experienced over and over again. Thanks for listening and blessings to you!!

  2. Good morning Ladies and a special morning to Gewn. I just sat down to read and what a wonderful reqdibf this was. I am too that women from the bible i am dealing everything that can tossed in my direction. I want bettwr for myself so i can be a better mother for my children. I fight so hard to make their young lifes full of joy peace and love. I am a single mother that works full time and school. I was diagnosed with Crohns the beginning of this year , lost car and apartment while deqling with being sick. Now i move into new apartment and when i struggling i am struggling. I spoke with and i share with Him and askes Him why would you give me something and allow me to struggle taking care of it. I pray daily for the ability to be a mother to my children that are excellent students in school and good kids at home, because of my inability to provide they are suffering and so am i. Gwen this message really open my eye up to a new way of approaching my life. Thank you for all the encouraging devotions they are very helpful to the women that are struggling daily.

    1. Hi Chaquita,
      God is able to overrule the negative circumstances in your life by working for your good,,, Rome.8:24
      will keep you in my prayers.
      sheren

  3. Amen. What a blessed hope. When all else fails try Jesus. He may not come when we want but he is always right on time. Hallelujah in the highest. Thanks for this reminder, I am already reminded that with Jesus we can have not just a happy ending but joyous eternal beginning!

  4. I am the same as that sinful woman in today’s reading but 2 years ago when I let the Lord be my guiding light my whole life transformed! God is truly great and watches over us and NEVER FAILS us! Thank you so very much for this incredible devotional today Gwen!! What a perfect reminder for me of the grace given to us when we REPENT, TRUST, and BELIEVE❤️❤️

  5. I want to praise God for his amazing love, patience, and making me new through His Son’s birth (and death) in this Christmas season. There is little money due to unemployment and job search/training to buy gifts for others this year. I have always known that God has a plan to use all circumstances for good. This season has made me aware of the need to ask forgiveness from God for a life long sin of pride – basing my self image on the ability to posess and give materialistic things to please others. When I studied my bible yesterday, I was directed to 1Peter 1. It shares many blessings to Christ’s chosen ones- grace, peace, freedom from fear, protection, and hope. It stated we can be glad even though we have trials and be THRILLED with TRIUMPHANT JOY because we Believe in Jesus and we have a reward in heaven as our life goal! (Suffering is where Jesus opens our eyes and meets us in a special way!!!) Merry Christmas to all who have sinned and fallen short of the Glory of God, but who are Redeemed by Jesus!!!

  6. Time and time again I try to take control of my life and God patiently draws me back and lets me know that HE is Sovereign-
    Isaiah 55:8-9 “8 “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,” declares the Lord . 9 “As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.””

    1. Thank you for this remind, we seek to go before God daily when we should be sitting back and allow God to be God. Merry Christmas

  7. Hi Gwen your message today is truly an encouragement of just how good God is, and I stand true to his word. Daily I old on to what the word of God says, as I believe in a supernatural miracle for my brother. He has made many mistakes in his life and sinned much. I believe with the both of us standing firmly on God’s word and believing that one day soon God will turn is situation around and he will be released from prison. You see I had a dream 2 years ago that my brother’s home would be raided by the police, in my dream, I saw everything happening to his destruction, I called him to warn him, to clean his home, but he didn’t listen, 3 days later, the police raided his home only to find a large amount of drugs that his friend put there. Guess what, he received a 13 year sentence. I feel so much heart and pain in my heart because he didn’t listen to my first warning and I didn’t listen to my 2nd warning the morning of the raid God spoke to me telling me to remind him. Well that afternoon, the unthinkable happened. God have mercy on my brother and free him from prison in this season, is my daily prayer. I know that with our actions of an appeal and motion for new trial, he will have the grace and mercy to be set free. Thank you for this forum to share

  8. When first diagnosed with cancer in 2002, I was told by a well meaning person it was a punishment from God because of the sins in my life. I was crushed. Sins I had already given to God and asked forgiveness for? Not being able to wrap my head around the thought of God punishing me and completely turning His back to me, I spiraled into a deep depression as I had always understood that although I am a sinner and fall short of the glory of God, when we ask for forgiveness, by His grace I was and I am forgiven. Now this?! As I sought an answer from God over the years all the while withdrawing from my once energetic, compassionate self, I was again diagnosed in 2010 with recurrent cancer, but this time God spoke to my heart and reminded me this:
    2 Corinthians 12:9New International Version (NIV)
    9 But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. I was NOT being punished! God led me to this scripture to reassure me of that,
    2 Corinthians 4:16-18English Standard Version (ESV)
    16 “So we do not lose heart. Though our outer self[a] is wasting away, our inner self is being renewed day by day. 17 For this light momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison, 18 as we look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen. For the things that are seen are transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal”.

    I now understood that my illness was not a punishment but a transformation that God would use to shine His love and light through. A testimony to many of His love, compassion and healing. Even if healing doesn’t always come in physical form it most certainly makes His spirit within us all bright and shiny, giving us the strength to move forward and share His all encompassing unconditional love.
    I know with all certainty that God does not punish us. He loves us with every fiber of His being! 2 Corinthians 4:8-12New International Version (NIV) tells us “although 8 We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; 9 persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed. 10 We always carry around in our body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be revealed in our body. 11 For we who are alive are always being given over to death for Jesus’ sake, so that his life may also be revealed in our mortal body. 12 So then, death is at work in us, but life is at work in you.”
    Thank God for His infallible plans for our lives. When we are saved we are no longer a part of this world but that does not mean we will never be afflicted. Praise God for His grace and Mercy!

  9. I am so broken and hurt I am on a rollercoater of emotions because I know God has forgiven me for my sin of living with my husband for 6 years before we were married. But now I feel like I am being punished now after 14 years and 8 years of marriage and kids we have separated because he is having an affair and does not want to work things out. I have been told God does not get us back for disobeying him, but thats what this feels like. I am so sad and mentally depressed over It. I pray and I get better but then fall back down into sadness again. I need faith to know this is not a punishment and god will work this out.

    1. Good morning this not a punishment form God. Know that God makes no mistaes. What happened because you were far from God now that you are close to God you can see clearly. God loves you so much and never harm you. Love on yourself love on your kids forgive your husband so that you can be healed. Read your bible daily meditate on Gods word and you will be free.

  10. Thank you for this! I committed a great sin that still weighs on me like a boulder even after my confession and apology, and my husband is angry and hurt about my behavior. I will continue to believe is grace is sufficient and is sacrifice covers ALL my sins. Thank God!

  11. Thank you Gwen, for your beautiful encouragement. I really felt that the title “broken can be beautiful when grace sings the melody” is where I am right now. I am a pastors wife and have been dealing with depression and anxiety for the past 7 years on and off. God has brought me soo far, and have done amazing things in my life and without His grace I don’t know where I would be. Currently I am comng off of medication that has been prescribed for my anxiety problems. Yesterday was especially hard day but God met me in His grace through various Scriptures with His love and promise that He will deliver me through this. He reminded me yesterday of the woman who anointed Jesus feet with perfume and that I am also broken woman, that all I want is to clasp His feet and to feel Him that close. Today you were talking about this woman in your devotion! Thank you! The verse that spoke to me and I hope will encourage anybody who might be going through hard time is from Psalm 17:15: ” And I – in righteousness I will see your face; when I awake, I will be satisfied with seeing your likeness. ” When we seek His face He meets us. In these two days he has done that for me and I hope and pray He meets you all and satisfies you with His likeness.

  12. I’ve been struggling with a big sin lately, and this morning, I was feeling so guilty and dirty and far from God, but this was what I needed to remind me how much His grace can really do! Thank you so much, Mrs. Smith!

  13. Such a beautiful illustration of the heart of God. It reminded me again why I love Him so. At one point in my life I was that kind of woman but His Grace and unconditional Love set me free and I have not turned back since. That was over 10 years ago. Praise be to God!!

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