Facing the Future
By Dave Breese
One of the most obvious attitudes of our present time is fear. One sees it written across the faces of most of the men and women whom he meets. This fear, in its largest form, is now apprehension of the future. What will happen tomorrow? Will I survive? Can I make it much further along the road of life? These are the questions which press upon the anxious minds of the men and women of earth.
It is possible not only to be unworried about the events of tomorrow but rather to face them with joyous anticipation. Indeed, it is possible to reach forward with bright hope to the things which lie before. What must be true about the person who is to be delivered from anticipatory anxiety? The following recommendations are certainly in order.
1. Be a Christian. The Bible teaches that the one who has believed in Christ as his personal Savior has eternal life and will not perish. In addition, he has the presence of Christ, the privilege of prayer, the promise that his needs will be supplied and the assurance that God will be with him in trouble. Christianity then, properly understood, causes a person to be anxious for nothing.
2. Be consecrated to Christ. One who has committed his life to the Son of God has, in a very real way, placed himself in the hands of another. One who has taken up his cross already sees himself as being dead to this world, crucified with Christ and now living for Him. The consecrated life is one then that can no longer be hurt, jeopardized, buffeted or put in peril. It belongs to the Lord and is no longer mine to protect.
3. Don't let the past have too much influence. The Apostle Paul said that one of the principles of his life was forgetting those things which are behind. For each of us the trail of life has been characterized by successes, failures, mistakes, accomplishments, joys, sorrows, regrets and moments of which to be proud. The point is that none of these should unduly influence the present or the future.
Past accomplishments can produce pride and this can destroy us. Past sins produce guilt, but the Christian knows that forgiveness is available from Christ. He, therefore, lives the forgiven life which is then succeeded by the victorious life. He learns from the past, but he knows that those lessons are of little value compared with the presence of Christ and the leadership of the Holy Spirit today.
4. Reach forward to the future. The Christian wisely faces every new day by asking in the morning, What wonderful thing is going to happen to me today? More properly he asks What grand thing will I do today? He looks forward to the fulfillment of the promises of God in his life this very day. Such an attitude produces spiritual initiative, the imperative quality for any accomplishment. The Christian, living life with zeal, is constantly reaching forward, certain that he will daily enjoy the fulfillment of the promise of Christ, I am with you always, even to the end of the world.
5. Remember, heaven awaits beyond. Above all other considerations that have to do with time, the Christian knows that he will, one day, be translated from the vicissitudes of time into the glorious, sunlit skies of eternity. He is sure that the day is coming in which God will wipe away all tears, in which there will be neither sorrow nor crying. He knows that the greatest joys and deepest anxieties of this passing, shadowy scene are ephemeral, impermanent things. All that life has to offer, which seems so big today, will soon become the former things which will have passed away. Earth is the shadow, heaven is the substance. This life is but the prelude to reality. The life to come is reality itself.The believer who remembers these things can handle every difficulty of the journey through the passing scene of time. He can face the future with joyous anticipation because the certainty of heaven to come is a far more sure thing than any of the variegations through which he may now be traveling.
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