How to Hope Without Losing Sight of Today
Are you anticipating something right now? Maybe a vacation? Maybe a new job? Maybe a baby? Maybe an answer to prayer? Heaven? When we're anticipating something isn't it because we don't yet have it or it hasn't happened yet? We like to have something to look forward to. It's necessary. We need to hope. Without hope, we're a mess for sure. Expectations. We have them all day. We have them in our relationships. With our jobs. We have certain expectations of the future. These things are all very normal.
How do we make sure we're not so focused on what hasn't happened that we can't see the now and how do we not lose sight of that sweet anticipation by ignoring it altogether? Balance. A word I'm not super fond of. But it's true. When there's a sweet harmony to being in the present sprinkled with just the right amount of anticipation, oh how lovely the dance.
This goes so well with the subject of waiting on God. Which is where we've been immersed in our young adult connection group. It's been good. How do we keep our eyes on our greatest anticipation of all (being with Jesus) while making the most of our time here (being with people)?
Two things that I feel can sum up where our attentions should be. All. The. Time. In fact, they are intertwined. The first one is also about the second one. Let me explain.
Without it, how can we possibly have a relationship with Jesus? The most important relationship of all. We can't possibly keep a balance between both kinds of anticipation without prayer. In fact, without it we lose sight of the greatest of our anticipations. Without it, we have no hope.
Go to Him continuously.
Look to the LORD and his strength; seek his face always. 1 Chronicles 16:11
Understand that hope.
I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which he has called you, the riches of his glorious inheritance in his holy people. Ephesians 1:18
Don't stop praying.
And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the Lord’s people. Ephesians 6:18
Pray about everything.
Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. Philippians 4:6
Be dedicated to prayer.
Devote yourselves to prayer, being watchful and thankful. Colossians 4:2
Make prayer a habit.
pray continually 1 Thessalonians 5:17
I already shared how both of these points are intertwined. And how prayer is the most important act of our most important relationship. And I'm not necessarily talking about the obvious of our other relationships. Spouses. Children. Dads. Moms. Yet I am. We must take care of our relationships. I'm also talking about building relationships with those that God puts in our path.
Love each other as I have loved you. Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends. John 15:12-13
Let people see Jesus in you.
In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven. Matthew 5:16
Be understanding of people.
Walk in wisdom toward outsiders, making the best use of the time. Let your speech always be gracious, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how you ought to answer each person. Colossians 4:5-6
Be an example to people.
Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. Matthew 28:19-20
Honor God in front of people.
So, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God. 1 Corinthians 10:31
One who is righteous is a guide to his neighbor. Proverbs 12:26
Jesus is the ultimate example. Study how he prayed. How He taught us to pray. Study how related to people. How He stayed in the now, yet anticipated being with the Father when the time was right.