Tuesday, January 18, 2011

What Lies Ahead: Hope for Those in Fear of the Future

In giving himself as an example for the church in ancient Philippi (Φίλιπποι), the apostle Paul wrote:
"I want to know Christ—yes, to know the power of his resurrection and participation in his sufferings, becoming like him in his death, and so, somehow, attaining to the resurrection from the dead. Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already arrived at my goal, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me. Brothers and sisters, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus. All of us, then, who are mature should take such a view of things. And if on some point you think differently, that too God will make clear to you. Only let us live up to what we have already attained." (Philippians 3:10-16)
Everyone has fallen short of the glory of God (sinned) and everyone has done things that they are not proud of or they regret. I have so so many things, even things I still do every day that I am ashamed of and regret. But we are not the sum of all our past (or present) mistakes. When we have accepted the gift of Jesus's death and His blood has cleansed our lives, God does not look at us and see our sins - past, present or future. Instead, He sees His only Son, hanging on a cross and then risen glorified. Although the past did happen and we even make mistakes with each new day, we do not have to hold on to those mistakes and those regrets. We repent of them by bringing them to the foot of the cross and we lift them up to our Lord and Savior, who died for those very mistakes and regrets. We do not have to carry the heavy burden of yesterday, but instead we give our burden to Jesus so that we can feel the precious hope of a future in Him. He has plans for me and He has plans for YOU:
"For I know the plans I have for you," declares the LORD, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future." (Jeremiah 29:11)
We press on and we fight the good fight in hope and expectance of the good things our Lord has in store for us. What JOY we should have as we walk through our days! What PEACE should be upon us as we think about our future. True, we know not what our God has planned or when our life will end, but when we trust that it will all be according to His perfect and good will, our soul and our spirit should be relieved and burden-free. For if we believe that God is, and we believe that our Messiah Jesus died and rose again to save us of our sins, then it should be easy for us to believe that our future holds blessed gifts of God like joy, peace, wisdom, and all other fruits of the Holy Spirit. We just need to keep our eye on the Cross and on the Risen Lord. If it sounds hard and you feel bound to those past mistakes and you are fearful that you may repeat those same mistakes again in the future, please remember the word of our God:
“No temptation has overtaken you except what is common to mankind. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can endure it.” (1 Corinthians 10:13)
Do not allow your past, or your fear of the future, keep you from "pressing on toward the prize"!

"Heavenward Toward Christ" created by me on www.Polyvore.com

This post has been my thoughts upon reading today's entry in the Upper Room Magazine that my friend recently got me as a gift.

God bless you!
♥ Jenn

No comments:

Post a Comment