Knowing the ending changes how we experience things.
For example, when you're watching an action-packed movie it is often full of suspense you don't know what's going to happen next, so it leaves you on the edge of your seat, biting your nails, holding your breath anxious to see what will happen next. You're curious and nervous as you journey through the plot of the movie, wondering what the outcome will be and if you're anything like me throughout the movie you'll begin to analyze and imagine different endings and plot twists that might happen; running through the different possibilities in your head. However, you won't be settled and at peace until you make it to the very end and get to see the outcome.
But let's go back, how does your experience change if you already know how the movie ends? What if your best friend spoiled the ending for you or you just don't like the suspense so you looked up a movie review to find out the story? What would be different about watching the movie this time? You already know the ending and how it is going to turn out. You can relax and breath, because you know what's going to happen. You don't have to spend time and energy mulling over all the various possibilities and potential outcomes as you sit and analyze different endings for the plot. Instead, you get to sit and watch the plot unfold into the already known ending. You know what happens in the movie so you are able to simply sit back and watch the story unfold, when anxious, nail-biting scenes come you're not anxious, because although you may not know all of the details you already know how it resolves.
Both of these scenarios involve the same movie, yet the experience of the person watching it is vastly different. Why? Because when you know the the ending that changes everything.
Guess what? With God we already KNOW the ending, we know that good will triumph over evil, we know that Christ has defeated the grave once and for all. We know that all things will work together for the good of those who are in Christ Jesus. We know that God is making all things new-- actively redeeming and restoring this world. We know that nothing can separate us from the love of God and we know that because of Christ's sacrifice that we can spend eternity with him in heaven-- where there is no more pain, no more tears and no more suffering.
Because of this knowledge, we can have peace even amidst all of the uncertainties and unknowns of life. We can trust God, because although we may not understand why this suffering, pain or hardship is a part of our life we can rest in the fact that he will work it out for our good and that "this light and momentary affliction is preparing us for an eternal weight of glory." So when life throws us curve balls, when we're blindsided by the waves or tempted to become paralyzed by the anxiety we can stop and remind ourselves that we KNOW how this story ends. We may not understand how all of these pieces are fitting into the story or the specifics of the plot or all the minuscule details, but we know the ending and that is enough to give us hope-- because we know where this journey is taking us.