We took a break from the movie we were watching last night so that I could do the dishes and get my wife’s evening meds prepared for her. I put the movie on pause and then flipped on something else for Piper to watch while I was in the kitchen. One of the reasons I choose this particular apartment was for the open layout of the living area. When I stand in the kitchen I can see the adjoining dining area, the living room and out onto the patio.
As I brought an armful of dishes to the kitchen, a commercial on the TV reminded me of a particular experience when my wife and I were dating. After I related the event to her I suddenly realized and voiced aloud with a tad of despondency, that because of the situation with my wife’s health, “I can’t see our future right now, but I do know our past.” I imagine that is why almost everything I see reminds me of some fun activity that Piper and I have enjoyed in our past forty five years together.
But immediately following my comment I heard a familiar voice inside of me say: “But I do… and so do you… because it’s in my Word!” At that point I felt like slapping myself up side the head at the truth of those words and of His Words that we have been confessing steadily for over three years now concerning Jesus’ provision for Piper’s healing. (See 1 Peter 2:24 for an example!) We may not see it in manifestation right now, but if His Word says it is true than that is good enough for us! It’s really that simple! Wouldn’t (or shouldn’t) you agree?
Having all that in mind this morning, I understood Ephesians 2:10 with a whole new respect and excitement. Here Paul exclaims “For we are God’s masterpiece, created in the Messiah Jesus to perform good actions that God had prepared long ago to be our way of life.” (God’s Word ©) That promise clearly tells me that Papa God knows our future… and that it is good! We also understand from scriptures like John 10:10 and Acts 10:38 that the enemy of our souls will do everything in his power to try and upset his plans for us, but thank God for promises like Romans 8:37 where we learn that “in all these things we are more than conquerors through him (Christ) who loved us.” (KJV)
I Thessalonians 1:3 gives us something to test and see how we are doing in our journey to His planned future for us. Paul gave his thumbs up on how the people in that church were doing when he observed “In the presence of our God and Father, we never forget that your faith is active, your love is working hard and your confidence (better translated ‘expectations’) in our Lord Jesus Christ is enduring.” If those three Christian/Godly traits are active in your life than I believe that you are well on your way toward a good and satisfying future!
Like I said earlier, I’ve also discovered that many times those actions have to be faith based actions because we can’t always see how it’s all going to work out with our physical eyes or natural understanding. But that makes perfect sense as we understand that contrary to the world’s way, Papa God is a faith God who is pleased and moved by our actions of faith!
Another interesting tidbit that puts this together with what I’ve been sharing for the last week is when you look at the literal meaning of the word “enduring” in I Thessalonians 1:3. The King James Version translates the statement as “patience of hope” which in the Greek is defined as “CHEERFUL endurance or constancy or continuation.”
Over the last six years my wife and I have learned that this one definition is a tried and true shortcut in determining if someone is in active faith, is working overtime in Godly love and is patiently expectant of God’s best for themselves and/or hooked up with us in our stand of faith for Piper’s total and complete recovery. It becomes pretty obvious when cheerfulness is replaced with depression, fear, and a definite sense of hopelessness! It becomes rapidly apparent when you can see fear turn out the lights of Godly cheerfulness in their eyes and countenance!
So what will it be for you? Are you CHEERFULLY EXPECTANT of God’s best… which is found in His Word… working for you? Does the expectation of His future for you drive you to be active in your faith and working overtime in His love? I think that Paul would say that it should! Have a CHEERFUL day today. Stay in tune to His Word and keep asking yourself… “What or Who’s FUTURE am I CHEERFULLY expecting to get back to today?”