Philippians 1:6 "Being confident of this very thing, that he which hath begun a good work in you WILL perform it until the day of Jesus Christ"

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Thanks again to
Your Future According to God
Chip Ingram
Satan once put his tools up for sale in a garage sale.
All of them were there: hatred, envy, jealousy, deceit, pride-each with an individual price tag.
Off to the side was a harmless-looking tool, well worn, but priced very, very high. One of the shoppers asked him what that tool was and why it was so expensive.
?That's discouragement, he said. It's more useful to me than all the others put together. I can get at someone's heart more deeply with discouragement than with anything else. It's so worn out because I use it on almost everyone. And the best part is they rarely know I'm using it.?

The enemy still uses discouragement as a tool, and he uses it on each of us day in and day out. Because discouragement often comes from pessimism about how things will turn out, one of the best ways to overcome it is to get God's perspective of our future. In order to do that, we have to let go of two myths.

The first myth about the future is that our situation will always be this way. If your job has always been terrible, you'll eventually embrace the myth that it always will be. Same goes for a marriage, a home, parents, children, or whatever else you struggle with. Discouragement interprets the past and present as an unbreakable pattern, which leads to more discouragement. If we want to see life from God's perspective, we have to reject that myth.
The second myth about the future is that when we make a change for the better, we expect things to start improving almost immediately. Many people find themselves in an overwhelmingly difficult situation and begin praying, going to church, studying the Bible, and overhauling their lifestyle as a result. And when they've stuck with it for a week, a month, or even a year, and nothing seems to be getting any better, they feel like they've gotten a raw deal. Never mind that they've been sowing bad seed into a career or a family situation for twenty years. Most of us feel that if we've made the right changes, we ought to see the right consequences happen pretty soon. And while God mercifully works that way sometimes, He doesn't always. Sometimes the fruit of our obedience takes a long time to grow.
God's perspective on our future is this: Blessed is the man who perseveres under trial, because when he has stood the test, he will receive the crown of life that God has promised to those who love him? (James 1:12).
That's a great promise. It encourages us that things will change; whatever we feel stuck in now isn't permanent.
But this promise also reminds us that change requires perseverance. It doesn't usually happen overnight. God honors loving obedience and faith that can stick it out over time. And the reward for enduring is a crown of life.
God promises deep fulfillment and rich joy beyond your wildest dreams. When you come through your trials, you begin to experience it. That's why, if you've ever met a gentle, loving, wise person who radiates the love of Jesus, I can almost guarantee that he or she has suffered deeply. The way God produces that kind of person is through adversity. They don't give up, the life of Christ begins to manifest through them, and they have an inner joy and fulfillment from God that can't be touched by circumstances now and that is greatly magnified in heaven.
Are you looking at your future through the lens of whatever problems you face today?
Or do you see it through the certainty of God's promise?
Don't give up and don't give in. God says you will receive a reward when the test is finished. You'll get a fulfilling life on this earth in communion with Him, and you'll receive an eternal heavenly crown. And discouragement will be an old, worn-out tool never to be used on you again.
About the author: Chip Ingram is President of Walk Thru the Bible in Atlanta, GA, and Teaching Pastor of Living on the Edge, a national radio ministry.provides you with practical, insightful and easily understood Biblical teaching, training and tools. We help you to apply God's Word to your life and equip you to disciple others by providing local, national and international seminars, the Living on the Edge radio ministry, as well as small group curriculum, magazines, books and Bibles.
For additional resources or to learn more about Walk Thru the Bible, please visit


Laura said...

Your words about discouragement really spoke to me. I can't remember whose blog linked yours to theirs... does Brad and Jen with quads sound familar? I think it was them. Anyway I really appreciated reading this and many of the thoughts you share!


Gretchen said...

I totally needed those words of encouragement! You would think there would be no way I could be discouraged right now, with all the wonderful people telling us they are praying for us, and supporting us in our move, but today I just got SO discouraged looking for a job. I sat in the Cheesecake Factory for over TWO HOURS waiting for an interview, and found out I wasn't eligible due to lack of experience. Oh, well, I didn't REALLY want to work there anyway. I can't let the discouragement get to me. The Lord wouldn't have brought us here if He didn't have a job for me. Meanwhile, I suppose I should consider this a bit of a vacation! :)

Watched the video of the kids reciting again, and the one of the girls in the summer program. Love it! Please post more vids if you have them! :)

Sandy said...

Laura, I know Jen who is expecting the quads, so that is probably how you got to my site. Thanks for your comment. Gretchen, we will be praying for you. The girls and I are memorizing verses right now, all that memory inspired me to make the memorization a bigger part of our school work. I still want a copy of what they learned, is there an internet site that might have it??? I will definitely put more video on You tube, I am glad you liked it!

Anonymous said...

I can get you a copy of what the girls are learning in SS. We will continue to learn more! I can't wait! I'm excited that I get to memorize right along with them. I might need help with adding the motions. I'm sure the kids will have all kinds of suggestions! :-) Also, thanks for being used of God to influence my life and walk with HIM!

Janet B