PUTTING ON YOUR SHADES
"For I know the plans that I have for you," declares the LORD, "plans for welfare and not for calamity to give you a future and a hope."
In 1986, a little known musical group called Timbuk3 recorded a hit song titled"The Future's So Bright, I Gotta Wear Shades." It was a "one-hit wonder" that became a favorite of many, especially high school and college graduates. Although originally intended as sarcasm, the catchy lyrics actually gave listeners a sense of hope and great expectation for the future.
Be honest: do you have hope and great expectation for the future? Do you live with a sense that great things are on the horizon for you? Do you keep your shades close by? God wants that for you!
You see, God reveals Himself in the Bible as "the God of hope" (Rom. 15:13). He is the God of good news, new beginnings, and great expectations. He told his ancient people, exiled in Babylon, that their best days were yet to come. Although they had been through rough times because of their sin and rebellion, God still had BIG and wonderful plans for them. He wanted them to get excited about their future.
As you and I think about our life, our family, our career, and our future, I am convinced that we need to believe God and, by faith, put on our shades. God has promised a bright and glorious future for those who love Him and keep their eyes on Jesus.
Don't let yourself get gloomy, negative, and cynical. Remember, we are to walk by faith and not by sight (2 Cor. 5:7). A negative outlook on life reveals a faithless belief that Jeremiah 29:11 is nothing more than an empty promise from God. It reveals that we foolishly believe the future is black, bleak, and blah. Nothing could be further from the truth. When God gives a promise, you can take it to the bank! It is impossible for Him to lie (Heb. 6:18).
As believers and followers of Jesus Christ, we should be so EXCITED about today and the days ahead. God has promised good things, not calamity. He has promised a great future, not a grim one - "Things which eye has not seen and ear has not heard, and which have not entered the heart of man, all that God has prepared for those who love Him" (1 Cor. 2:9).
PUTTING FAITH IN ACTION
No matter what you are facing today - money problems, job problems, marital problems, school problems, health problems, heartache problems, failure problems - will you simply believe God that the best is truly yet to be? If you have sinned and blown it big time, repent and confess your sins to God and let Him bring forgiveness and restoration (1 John 1:9). If you have fallen into the doldrums of despair, let God know that you are going to start believing His promises, regardless of the present circumstances.
The choice is yours: a bright future or a bleak future? Walking by faith or walking by sight? Believing God or believing the devil? I trust you will make the right choice, and you will join me in putting on the shades!
Jeff Schreve is Senior Pastor of First Baptist Church in Texarkana, Texas. He and his wife Debbie have been married for over 20 years and are blessed with three wonderful girls. Jeff began From His Heart Ministries, a radio and television ministry, in January of 2005. This ministry is completely listener/viewer supported. It continues only through the faithful and generous gifts of people like you. Pastor Jeff takes no salary from this ministry. All gifts go to further the broadcast.