When I was in college, I helped with childcare during Wednesday night church. One of those nights, a little boy asked me how old I was. I told him I was 21. He looked shocked, shook his head and said, “No way, you’re not 21!” I laughed at his response and assured him that I was indeed older than I looked. This little 8 or 9-year old boy then paused with a very thoughtful look on his face. Finally, he said, “That means when you’re 82, you’ll only look like you’re 72!” His insight surprised me more than my age had surprised him. I just chuckled and said, “That’s something to look forward to I guess.”
The irony is that I think we do need something to look forward to, even something as silly as that. When life is only difficulty, pain, and suffering, it’s hard to keep getting out of bed each day.
I’ve been through more than one season in my life when I wondered if I’d ever have anything to look forward to again. Maybe you can relate. Thankfully Jesus has once again refreshed my perspective to encourage me in my current trials. He has reminded me of a few very important things that I can always look forward to…
I can look forward to Jesus keeping all His promises to me. No matter how awful my circumstances, Jesus will never leave me; I can look forward to His presence with me every moment. I can watch with anticipation to see how He will work all things in my life for good, even the awful things. Suffering can’t stop Jesus from being true to His Word. That’s something I can look forward to.
I can look forward to experiencing Jesus’ grace every day. God’s grace is not only sufficient, it is super-abounding! It never runs out. It never stops. It never fails. And in weakness, hardship, heartache, etc. His grace pours over me, whether I recognize it or not. It’s something I can not only look forward to, but look for and rejoice in every day.
I can look forward to seeing Jesus do miracles. Maybe they’ll be “small” miracles, like helping me get out of bed when I think I can’t. Or maybe they’ll be “big” miracles like seeing a friend I’ve prayed for finally believe in Jesus. Since God is always working, I can look forward to seeing Him at work in miraculous ways, both in my life and others.
These are only a few of the things that we can look forward to, regardless of circumstances. The beautiful reality is that everything that is true about God, is something we can look forward to in the future – because He doesn’t change. He will still be with us, still be loving us, still be pouring grace over us, still answering our prayers, still delighting in us, still singing over us…every day from now until we see Him face to face.
And I wouldn’t be surprised if He threw in a few delightful surprises for us along the way as well. Even in the hardest trial, He still has ways to give us sweet gifts.
I hope these thoughts have encouraged you today and given you something precious to look forward to.
“And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to His purpose. For those God foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brothers and sisters. And those he predestined, he also called; those he called, he also justified; those he justified, he also glorified.” -Romans 8:28-30