Friday, May 24, 2024

What's Around the Corner?

 “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future” 

-Jer. 29:11


As always, when I express my thoughts on life, I’m truthfully borrowing the thoughts and wisdom of those who have gone before. I might think it’s my idea, but I probably read or heard it from someone else. Mostly, thanks, Mom and Dad, for all the wisdom you handed me. It’s all God’s wisdom, so here it goes. 


The older I get, the sweeter life is, with one exception: I tend to be too concerned about the future. As teenagers, the future looms ahead of us with a lot of uncertainty, but the logbook isn’t filled yet and life isn’t as worrisome. But the future is always ahead of us and the future is always unknown. The evil one sees it as an opportunity to disrupt our contentment but the Holy One sees it as an opportunity to increase our faith and trust in Him.


What does the Bible mean when it says that we shouldn't think or worry about the future? Since my days of youth, I seem to remember the phrase "Take no thought for tomorrow" or something like that. I just felt guilty when I worried about the ball game or whether my hair was cut just right. Does that mean we shouldn't plan ahead or save money for our retirement?


No, this is not what it means it all. In fact, the Bible urges us to be super careful in planning our lives and to save for the future. It says, “A simple man believes anything, but a prudent man gives thought to his steps” (Proverbs 14:15). The difference is whether we do it on our own or include our awesome Lord in on the “planning.” If we leave Him out of the equation, we’re doing it on our own. 


Perhaps you are thinking of Jesus’ words in the Sermon on the Mount: “Take therefore no thought for the tomorrow” (Matthew 6:34). But that is an older translation, and over the years our English language has changed; the phrase “take no thought” no longer means what it once did. Most modern translations of the Bible put it like this: “Therefore do not worry about tomorrow” (NIV).


In other words, Jesus wasn’t telling us not to plan ahead. Instead, He was telling us not to worry about the things of this life and become preoccupied with them. We are to put Christ first instead of things and learn to trust God for our daily needs. We’re to take “every thought captive to the obedience of Christ” (2 Cor. 10:5). In other words, grab that thought and bring it to the Lord. 


Is this really possible? Absolutely! When we come to Christ, we become His children, and we are never outside of His care. Once we understand how much He loves us, our worries will begin to fade. The Bible says, “Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you” (1 Peter 5:7). Are you learning to turn your worries over to Christ?


Here on planet Earth we’ll never totally conquer this feat. Our flesh will always want to shove it’s way to the front of the line. That’s why “captive” is such a good way to describe what we need to do with our thoughts. The beast is going to try to charge it’s way to the front, but we’re waiting with a leash to bring it to obedience. How awesome that God, via the Holy Spirit, grants us the wisdom and the strength to be “thought conquerors” and to be “more than conquerors” in trusting and waiting on our awesome God. 


May we all rest in the Lord and trust Him with our future. He has a wonderful plan and He’ll work it out in His timing. Our challenge is to trust Him, live in His strength and wait for His plan. 


By Eric Joseph Staples ©

Note: I try to post to the blog every few weeks. If you would like to receive the blog posts by email, you can subscribe to "parenting 101 by email" on the blog. Please pass these on to friends that could use the encouragement. If you’re getting this email yet you already receive the posts from blogger, let me know and I’ll remove you from this mailing list. Thanks. Have a great day in the Lord -JS






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