Father is preparing us for a glorious future. This much we know. We can often get downhearted because our present doesn’t appear to be too fantastic. It’s so easy to get embroiled in a current predicament. We find it straightforward to say to a child: “Cheer up, you’ll feel better soon” after a disappointment, but we don’t know how to say it to ourselves.
At church on Sunday we had some superb advice: to look at what we are, rather than what we’re not. Straight after that very meeting, I started commenting on ‘what I wasn’t’, and my wife told me to take the advice that we were given by the Holy Spirit. Have a look at the UCB Word for Today from a few months back:
Before God gives you more, He observes you with what you already have. Furthermore, when He speaks a word over your life it’s like a seed; it needs time to take root and sprout. If God has planned it for you, don’t be impatient; ‘…wait for it; because it will surely come…’ (Habakkuk 2:3). Patience develops in us the ability to stand up to the pressures that accompany blessing. Look back; aren’t some of the things you’ve been through the very things that have equipped you to handle what you have now? Had God given them to you sooner you couldn’t have handled them, and He loves you too much to let that happen. Think: if you’re having difficulty handling criticism from a few people, how would you cope if God made you pastor or company president? Are you ready to pay the price? And, more importantly, are you able to pay it? The more God gives you, the more He holds you responsible for. Jesus said, ‘No man builds without counting the cost.’ Sometimes we want things because others have them. You say you want a husband and children, for example, but are you ready to start living sacrificially? You say you need a wife, but are you ready to give yourself for her? (Ephesians 5:25) Whatever you’re going through today, there’s great peace in knowing that nothing the enemy does can pre-empt God’s plan. So, ‘Don’t be impatient for the Lord to act! Keep travelling steadily along his pathway and in due season he will honour you with every blessing’ (Psalm 37:34 TLB). Rejoice; God is getting you ready.
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I urge to you look back today and see how far you have come. Have you thought about the good things that you have received from His hand? He does not stint with his blessings. The moments of happiness and joy have been to deep and unexpected to measure at times, haven’t they? The way the Lord brings us perfection in a morning, or delight in a friendship. The variety of food, the spicy brew of a group of people relating to each other spontaneously and each bringing of their own unique divine spark to share.
We do not need to fear what the future holds. But as we are urged above, we should consider the cost as we go. Today, I remembered that I needed to get in touch with a brother and make some arrangements for a church gathering. It was a good thing to do. The flesh might have pushed me away, into something else: but the cost of fellowship has to be counted. The cost of discipleship. If meeting together as believers costs us nothing, it is worth nothing. As we gradually and gladly yield up more and more of ourselves for the Body, for the sake of the Saviour and to make His joy complete, the returns come tumbling back toward us in a flood of blessing, an ocean of glory, orchards full of the sweetest and ripest fruit.
Keep travelling steadily. Keep steady. Set your face like flint, and look upwards, for see He is looking down on us with fatherly love, and the Son is fixing our gaze with the tender and passionate probe of the Lover.