God knows the future, and His plans for us are good and full of hope. As long as God, who knows the future, directs our agendas and goes with us as we fulfill His mission, we can have boundless hope.
Last week we saw In 1 Thessalonians 4:16-17 what will happen when Jesus comes back again. The dead in Christ will meet Him in the clouds, and then soon after, those who are alive in Christ will meet Him there too. Wow!! That will be something.
When I was growing up I remember hearing in Sunday School that Jesus would come back to earth to get me, and all who believe. At an early age, I believed, hoped, and had faith in what I heard. You might say that God grabbed my heart way back then. And since then, I’ve been leaning into that promise for years. I have found comfort in the fact that, although this world is hard, someday I’ll be taken up into heaven forever.
During the week of Christmas, I was reading a devotional “The Hope of Christmas” pastorrick.com on the You Version Bible app Luke 2:7 “and she gave birth to her firstborn, a son. She wrapped him in cloths and placed him in a manager, because there was no guest room available for them.”
Check out this devotional shared by Kelley last year!
I really didn’t think about fear much in my early days. I was young, naive, and really only had to “worry” about myself. Once I had a family to be responsible for however, I thought about fear a little more. I had these other lives I had to think about. But I learned quickly that I had to lean into my faith for help. I knew that I couldn’t control every part, every moment, or every situation of the lives of my family.
Everything is planned and in God’s time. Isaiah prophesied about things coming soon (next 200 years), farther away – Jesus birth (700 years later) and things that are yet to come. Amazing how God works!
Psalm 100: 4-5 says, "Enter his gates with thanksgiving and his courts with praise; give thanks to him and praise his name. For the Lord is good and his love endures forever; his faithfulness continues through all generations."
This promise has always been difficult for me claim or find victory in. I just always seem to give in to the enemy. Yes, I know that even though I’m a believer, I’m still a sinner. But it just seems like I can do better. Even the apostle Paul said when he was fighting temptation in Romans 7:15, “I do not understand what I do. For what I want to do, I do not do, but what I hate, I do.”
Think back 12 years ago… What job were you at? What did your family look like? Where did you live?
When I was growing up I remember my grandpa being a man of such contentment. He had hurt his back in a farming accident as a young father, and it changed the trajectory of the life that he knew. But to my recollection, he always seemed to be full of joy. His pain never seemed to phase his attitude towards life. He never complained or made a big deal about it. He seemed to be at total peace. I believe it was a peace that can only be explained with his walk with God.
When I was young and coming out of college, I was pretty idealistic. I thought I knew all the answers. It didn’t take me long, however, to be humbled by life. I realized pretty quickly that I needed to lean into the promises of God, seeking His wisdom and guidance to navigate this world.