Celebrating What is to Come

How do we celebrate the future when it seems anything but certain?

There are days when the weight of current pressures seem to have a hook connected within your middle and dragging you down. Thinking about the future seems stifling and each breath you take seems to catch and prick on the feeling of that sharp heaviness.

I think everyone has carried a few extra weights this year. Worse than the worries of today, are the fears that we are heading into an even more uncertain future over which we have no control.

But what if we let go of those fears? What if we take a moment and cleanse ourselves from that weight we were never meant to carry? And in the place of fear, what if we embrace hope? If you’ve felt worn down and tired, then that’s a warning sign that you’ve been placing your hope in something other than the Lord.

When we place our hope in worldly things, we are sure to be disappointed. Wealth, positions, and possessions are uncertain, and if you trust in these things, you will be subject to the cruelly changing tides of circumstances.

“But those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.” - Isaiah 40:31

I don’t know about you, but I could use some renewed strength. I definitely grow weary when I try to live out of my own power. I’d certainly rather have a spirit of celebration and a reason to rejoice. I want to be filled with the joy of the Lord and a hope for the future.

We can have all these things, because of an amazing promise: the best is yet to come. Our future is not contingent on this world, because our future is not on this world. We have the promise of eternal life with Christ to look forward to – the ultimate hopeful future.

“For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.” - Romans 6:23

So even when our plans don’t work out as we hoped – something that we are all familiar with at this point – we can trust in the fact that they will work out better than we had planned. Of course, this kind of trust is much easier said than done. In the midst of a season of waiting, it can be difficult to believe that the end will be worth the wait.

I certainly felt this way at the beginning of quarantine, until God revealed something to me during Easter. I read the story of Jesus’s crucifixion and resurrection with new eyes this April. For the first time, I thought about what those three days of waiting would have felt like to the disciples and friends of Jesus.

They were shocked, confused, and scared. For two whole days, they were in mourning for their friend and Rabbi – but also, for the plans they had made. When we read the story of Jesus’s death and resurrection, we know that the first will be followed by the latter, but His friends didn’t have that luxury. In the midst of that waiting, they did not know what Sunday morning would bring.

 They probably would have traded anything for some security and answers. They didn’t want those days of uncertainty, because they couldn’t see what was happening behind the scenes. While they felt alone and forgotten, Jesus was defeating death on their behalf. Their time of waiting was not wasted – and neither is ours. The future we are waiting for is greater than anything we can imagine.

 “Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer.” - Romans 12:12

 With this reminder of God’s victory, we can declare His goodness in our lives and His promises for us. And if there is anything that is worth celebrating, it is the hope that we have in God’s promises.

Therefore, let our hearts beat the rhythm of a dancing tune. Let our bodies lift themselves off the floor out of an abundance of joy. Let our ears hear the beautiful music of chains falling to the ground.

When we align ourselves with God’s good plans for our lives, we open ourselves up to the power of prophecy. There is a power in declaring the goodness that is promised to us. This doesn’t mean that we have power to change the future according to our will, but when our desires line up with God’s, we are receptive to what He is telling us about His plans.

“Above all, you must understand that no prophecy of Scripture came about by the prophet’s own interpretation of things. For prophecy never had its origin in the human will, but prophets, though human, spoke from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit.” - 1 Peter 1:20-21

The more we steep ourselves in His goodness and His promises, the easier it is to have a hope in the future. As the weeks drag into months and the plans we had continually fall apart, just remember the promises that the Lord has for us. Isn’t our understanding of His ultimate promise – an eternity with Him – worth a celebration? And it is a party in which anyone is invited to participate. He has invited us all to repent and celebrate our future hope.
 
“The Lord is not slow in keeping His promise, as some understand slowness. Instead He is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance.” - 2 Peter 3:9

“There is surely a future hope for you,  and your hope will not be cut off.” - Proverbs 23:18

Author | Mackenzie Wells

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