Wouldn’t you love to be able to predict the future? The fact is we pretty much already do just by our attitude.
What comes into your mind when you hear those words “the future”? Hope? Fear? Optimism? Excitement? Concern? Regret? Yes, regret. Even though the future has not yet occurred, many of us experience regret because we don’t like where we are, conclude that nothing will ever change, and then project that into the future as an inevitable certainty.
I get it. The historical data is undeniable. The present situation is not what we had planned or expected. But can we really predict what will be? And by thinking so, don’t we actually step into a self-fulfilling prophecy?
Our attitude about the future greatly affects us in the present. A defeatist mindset not only destroys our contentment, but also our appreciation and enjoyment of the amazing gift God gives us called “today.” Our actions become slaves to our thoughts and impact tomorrow for better or worse.
Among the many wonderful virtues of the godly woman described in Proverbs 31, there’s one quality I particularly admire, “she smiles at the future” (Proverbs 31:25b NASB). Now don’t you love that! She is optimistic, hopeful and expectant so she smiles. She rejoices in the days, the opportunities, and the blessings God gives her and she smiles. Why? She just knows that, with the Lord, everything is going to be all right.
But with so much uncertainty about the future, how can that be true for you and me? We say, “Think about all the bad things that could happen.” “Look at where I am right now.” “You don’t know what I’ve been through.” True, bad things do happen. Current circumstances may be difficult. A glance in the rearview mirror might be particularly painful. I know.
But I’m telling you, you can’t outrun a miserable outlook of the future. If you are forecasting rain, you’ll probably get wet. “Words can never adequately convey the incredible impact of our attitude toward life. The longer I live, the more convinced I am that life is 10% what happens to us and 90% how we react to it” (Charles Swindoll).
So if you are frowning at the future (even if only on the inside), wouldn’t you love to turn that into a smile?
Consider this: Is not our God a God of hope (Romans 15:13; Jeremiah 29:11)? Isn’t He working all things together for good for those who love Him (Romans 8:28)? Isn’t He a God of amazing miracles and life-changing transformation (Psalm 40:5; Colossians 1:13)? Haven’t you read, heard, and seen Him do incredible things (Exodus 15:11)? Doesn’t He specialize in seemingly impossible situations (Jeremiah 32:27; Matthew 19:26)? Can anything separate you from the incomparable love of God in Christ Jesus (Romans 8:38-39)? Is He not fulfilling His plan and His work in your life (Psalm 139:16; Philippians 1:6)? Does He not promise that weeping may last for the night, but a shout of joy comes in the morning (Psalm 30:5)?
Yes, the sun also rises, but you must believe it to be true!
Imagine you are standing on this beach looking out across the waters as far as the eye can see. What’s over the horizon? Don’t know? Can’t see that far? God can! And if we are able to trust Him for heaven, why not with tomorrow! Even if storms are in the forecast today, there is a rainbow of His faithfulness on the horizon.
So have faith that, with Jesus, the best is always yet to be. Let that attitude reign over your thoughts and put a smile on your face.
“Whatever is true, whatever is worthy of respect, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if something is excellent or praiseworthy, think about these things” (Philippians 4:8 NET).
© 2013 Tim McKenzie – www.OnEveryWord.com
What a great word for “today”. I find that when I’m stressed about the future I’m not resting in His sovereignty. Those circumstances are His work of transforming me into the image of Christ.
What a beautiful reminder! So true! God is faithful, and it is an incredible blessing for the gift He gives us that is “today”!