Something to Look Forward to

Having something to look forward to in life gives us the motivation that it takes to get up in the morning and make the most of the day. At times we might have more to look forward to than at other times. The things we enjoy can be as simple as having a good cup of coffee, a conversation with a friend, or the sense of accomplishment after completing a challenging task. They might be big things too, like a long-awaited vacation or the birth of a child. Big or small, appreciating the wholesome things can motivate us to find the joy in life that helps us to appreciate the short time with which God has blessed us.

I’m sure we can all think of something that we look forward to on a day-to-day basis. Though, the magnitude of problems that threaten to squelch our hope demand so much of our attention that it can be difficult to even bring those elements of hope to mind. It’s probably easier to think of things that fight to bring us down. Problems may begin with ourselves, affecting our health or otherwise. Outside ourselves, problems that affect us scale up at every level, ending with the pitiable state of the world at large. We, however, have a responsibility to fight against the dark forces of discouragement.

As helpful as it is to find a source of hopeful anticipation in the physical things in our lives, we know that these things are fleeting. God offers us blessings for obedience in our lives, intentionally giving us reason for joy while we live in these physical bodies. But the world that we live in is passing away. Placing our source of joy in what the world offers us will end in sore disappointment (compare 1 John 2:15-17). If we only place value in the things the world has to offer, we place our hope in a precarious place. The state of the world will only continue to worsen, eclipsing even the simplest sources of worldly joy.

The Bible tells us that there is a better way to live! Our job is to put the Word of God to work in our lives so that we are not found vulnerable to the world’s decay. We have to realize that the true source of joy that we have comes from God. When we have that state of mind, even the most difficult of circumstances give us something to hope for. Consider the perspective of the disciples when they were beaten and imprisoned (compare Acts 5:40-42, Acts 16:20-34). They knew that their worldly circumstances, as dire as they were, served a greater purpose in God’s plan for their lives. With the understanding that the worldly discouragement they experienced was temporary and meaningful, the disciples found something to appreciate – that they could serve God mightily.

We would do well to acknowledge how fortunate we are. The knowledge of the Truth about God’s plan can help us every single day to understand the circumstances of our lives. God is doing a work with us individually, to help us grow, to challenge us, and to do as much as possible with the resources He gives us. Knowing this adds much deeper meaning in the small things of our lives. Anticipating the weekend becomes even richer because we have the Sabbath that God gives us as a day of rest. The joy in seeing the smiles on the faces of our family and brethren becomes more precious because those moments demonstrate the effect of love that God commands. We can also find strength to get through the hard things we experience, knowing that in the big picture, those difficulties will pass and that they will help us to develop the character that pleases God. When we are able to see our life as God sees it, we have much to look forward to.

But even more, God promises us the greatest possible gift, which of course is eternal life as glorified members in His Family. That event lies beyond the boundary of our physical lives, so we cannot experience it until we become glorified (compare 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18). However, it is going to be so awesome that nothing compares. “For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us.   For the earnest expectation of the creation eagerly waits for the revealing of the sons of God. For the creation was subjected to futility, not willingly, but because of Him who subjected it in hope; because the creation itself also will be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God” (Romans 8:18-21). This moment when we inherit the earth to share in righteous rulership under Jesus Christ and God the Father gives us a reason to enjoy the moments that lead up to that time. We know that every moment serves a virtuous purpose.

The world will try to convince us otherwise, but the FACT is that we have a tremendous amount of wonderful things to look forward to. When we have the right frame of mind, we can see God in our lives at every scale. From the micro-moments that put a smile on our face, to the culmination of God’s plan, when all pain and sorrow will be destroyed, we know that everything we experience serves His purpose for us. Now, that gives us something to look forward to!

©2023 Church of the Eternal God