Sunday, January 29, 2017

The Best is Yet to Come: Keeping a Vision for the Future

"Where there is no vision, the people perish:  but he that keepeth the law, happy is he." Proverbs 29:18

I can't believe we are already on our next to last week of this study!  We've looked at the past and our present now this week we will be looking at what's to come.  It's easy to look around us today and the future looks rather bleak but (to steal a line from one of my favorite former pastors:)  "I have good news - I've read the back of the book and we win!" 

As a mom I worry about what the future holds for my children. However, the Bible tells me not to worry or be anxious about anything. So as the redeemed, how do we keep from being discouraged as we see what's happening all around us today? 

Helen Keller said, "The only one thing worse than being blind is having sight but no vision."  I often find myself with sight but no vision.  Seeing all that's wrong, but not focusing on my Redeemer - the only one that can fix it.  When I look at my children and other children, I should realize more than ever there is still a cause.  My desire for them, more than anything, is to follow Christ.  What I'm doing today is affecting an eternity - and not just mine but theirs too. 

I absolutely love hymns and love hearing the stories that lie behind them.  One of my favorites here lately is "Be Thou My Vision."  If you aren't familiar with it, here's the first verse:

Be Thou my Vision, O Lord of my heart;
Naught be all else to me, save that Thou art
Thou my best Thought, by day or by night,
Waking or sleeping, Thy presence my light.


It was a hymn originally derived from lyrics from an Irish poet, Dallan Forgail.   Dallan was a blind man, yet he had vision!  In a world where all around him was dark, He had God as his light.  He is now known as the best Irish poet of the 6th Century and the words he penned are still comforting and bringing peace to us 1500 years later.  His desire was to see things through the eyes of God.  Can you only imagine what this life would be like if that was everyone's sincere desire?   

As we go throughout our study this week, we will be looking at some truths about our future as one of the redeemed:

  1. We are sealed until the day of redemption.  God's plan of redemption is perfect.  As evil as Satan is and as evil as this world may become - nothing can pluck us from His hand.  We are His - focus on that!
  2. We are a spiritual work in progress.  God is refining us and will continue to do so until the end of time.  Through the waiting, through the trials, through repentance we are growing closer to perfection through Him-focus on that!   
  3. We will go through some trials here - Christ did and we certainly aren't above Him - yet hang in there it's all going to be worth it in the end!   The sufferings we go through down here will not begin to compare to eternal glory - focus on that! 
  4. While it's great to think about the end - there's some good times ahead of us here too!  God didn't leave us alone.  We have the Holy Spirit with us to guide us and comfort us -focus on that!     
  5. We should be looking for the day when He shall return.  A day when we no longer have to worry about distractions, worry or separations - but our eyes will forever be on Him - focus on that!

Our challenge this week is to spend some extra time studying and meditating on what is to come.  I think in this era of information and technology we are living, perhaps Satan's biggest weapon is distraction.  We get so wrapped up in the frivolous things of this world, we forget eternity!  We spend our time focused on things that won't matter tomorrow.  Don't let Satan distract you from keeping the end in sight.  Let this be a week of refocusing our vision.  When we have a strong vision of our final goal, then we will be able to prioritize and accomplish what needs to be done today. 

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