Are you a past, present, or future-oriented thinker? Whether good or bad, the past is just that, the past. It is gone, and there is nothing you can do about it. If you are a present thinker, you might relish the moment, and there is nothing wrong with that. People that are not present can miss the moment, especially one that can potentially create pleasant memories. However, if it is an aggravating or excruciatingly painful moment, your thoughts may go back into the past or toward the future.
Nonetheless, the mind centered on having a future with Christ matters the most. Imagine yourself raised with Christ, seated with Him in the heavenly realms, surrounded by angels, praising and worshipping God all day and all night. Think about “the Holy City, the new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride beautifully dressed for her husband” (Rev. 21:2). Imagine not ever experiencing death, mourning, crying, or pain again. These are the lovely, honest, and pure things that should occupy your mind. Make all imaginations and thoughts obedient to Christ’s will for your life!
There are many examples in the Bible, but I think of Abraham. He was 75 years old when God called him to leave his family and go to a promised land that his offspring would inherit (Genesis 12). Fifteen years later, God appeared to him as El Shaddai, “the Almighty-Self Sufficient,” letting him know that He was in control and would not allow His mission to fail (Genesis 17). God encouraged him to walk faithfully and blamelessly, then gave him a new name, confirming His covenant. Ten years later, when Abraham was 100 years old, just when God promised, Isaac was born (Genesis 21). Waiting requires work.
The work is to believe in Jesus (John 6:29). We live in an uncertain, increasingly complex, fast-paced, and changing environment. Society has gotten used to and yearns for instant gratification. Time is in His hands, and there is no other way to receive His promises but to wait on Him patiently. God is sure, simple, and not slack in His promises. They are Yes and Amen! Do not give in to discouragement. The Father is Faithful! If Abraham could wait for 25 years, so can you! God will make the work of waiting worth it!
I am sure you will agree that some choices are more complicated than others and it’s sometimes best when someone else makes them. God selected His disciples, doing the same for you out of love, providence, and His Spirit. He initiated intimacy, not because of your wisdom and goodness but His grace and glory. He chose them, and you as ambassadors and prime ministers, endued then and you with His power, and appointed them and you for eternal salvation and to bear lasting fruit (John 15:16). God entrusted the treasures of His gospel to you as His royal priesthood, a holy nation, and special possession to negotiate kingdom business worldwide, declaring His praises (1 Peter 2:9). What a simultaneous burden and honor for the chosen church which God appointed, doing good works prepared in advance! Have you produced any fruit lately? Today, if you hear His voice, ask God for another opportunity – eternal salvation or to bear lasting fruit.
Have you ever had difficulty believing God and the promises in His Word? The devil is relentless in his efforts to curtail your belief using all kinds of schemes and wicked devices. Thus, it would be best to guard yourself against all of his tactics. If you do not have the mind of Christ and do not constantly meditate on the infallible Holy Scriptures, your brain becomes the devil’s playground. Not thinking about God’s pure and flawless Word is risky business and a matter of life or death. Life if you believe what God has done for you through Jesus (Jo. 3:16), and death by consignment to the fiery lake of burning sulfur because of unbelief (Rev. 21:8). Unbelief implies stubborn refusal to act according to God’s will. A father brought his son, whom a spirit possessed, to Jesus, asking if He could have pity and help them (Mark 9:22). Jesus told him that all things are possible for those who believe (v23). Then the father asked Jesus to help him overcome his unbelief (v24). Belief is achievable, and God is ever-present to help. All you need to do is ask, and thanks to God, there are no limits!
Do you feel like you have been held captive to a person or situation? The chains and shackles are heavy and solid. You may have many marks and bruises as reminders of your confinement. However, God will break and destroy the strongholds of your enemy. He will make a way of escape, bringing you out with His mighty hand and outstretched arm. Here is a precious promise, “The One who breaks open the way will go up before them; they will break through the gate and go out. Their King will pass through before them, the Lord at their head” (Micah 2:13). Hallelujah! If you need a breakthrough, your King will do it! The Lord will deliver you out of every trial, trouble, and tribulation! Nothing is too hard for Him! Wait on the Lord and have good patience. Again, I say, wait on the Lord!
We are often sure of ourselves because of the things we’ve accomplished. Our assurance becomes even more remarkable when others tell us how great we are. We fail to realize that the arm of the flesh counts as nothing and that our reliance should rest entirely on the Lord. Hezekiah trusted the Lord when Sennacherib, king of Assyria, came against him and the people gained confidence in the God who saved them (2 Chronicles 32:8, 22). Nehemiah received tremendous opposition as he rebuilt the walls of Jerusalem. Still, the Lord strengthened his hands to complete the project in fifty-two days, causing his enemies to lose their self-confidence because God helped him (Nehemiah 6:9, 15-16). Jeremiah declared that the one who trusts and has confidence in the Lord is blessed (17:7). Paul, who served God by His Spirit and boasted in Christ, put no confidence in the flesh (Philippians 3:3). Whatever giants you face, have faith in God, and know that He will cause them to fall, making them your footstool.
Thank God for the breath of life, for another second, minute, hour, day, week, month, and year. Isaiah 46:9-10 reminds us that there is none like God; He makes known your end from the beginning, His purposes stand, and He does whatever He pleases. I pray that you remember this good news as you proceed in your process. The Word of God further reminds us in Revelation 22:13 that Jesus is the Alpha and the Omega, the First and the Last, the Beginning and the End. If you belong to Christ, you are somewhere between all of His goodness. Know that God is presently over, under, around, in, and radiating through you! Be encouraged and confident in the fact that God began a good work in you, and He will complete it until the end (Phil. 1:6). May the knowledge of these truths set you free from all bondage while trusting God as He fulfills His promises in you.