Looking Forward Grows Our Hope

Looking Forward Grows Our Hope

As we look ahead to a new year, we can be reminded of how much we have to look forward to. God’s kingdom is the true prize. It is waiting for us. Looking toward Him will help us seize each day. We are encouraged to not wait to take action in our lives or look backwards from which we came. God has big plans for each of us. We cannot afford to wait until tomorrow to look toward God for guidance in everything we do. It is through trusting in Him and not looking backwards that our lives will flourish and heaven can be found here on earth.

Jesus replied, “No one who puts a hand to the plow and looks back is fit for service in the kingdom of God.”

Luke 9:62 NIV

We can rest assured that our waiting for God’s plans to come to fruition in our lives does not diminish us. In fact, it can create more joy and expectancy. It is in the waiting that we are adequately prepared. Looking back on this year we may have been waiting for plans to come through. We can look forward to the coming year knowing that God has been preparing us for what is to come. Our hope can grow for what we cannot see, because we serve a God who makes the impossible possible. We must continue to wait and allow our hope to grow. Before we know it more than we anticipated in our human plans will be right in front of us.

For in this hope we were saved. But hope that is seen is no hope at all. Who hopes for what they already have? But if we hope for what we do not yet have, we wait for it patiently.

Romans 8:24-25 NIV

Considerations for your planner:

  • What have you been working toward this past year? Write down the ways you have grown in working toward that thing.
  • Do you feel like you have been waiting for something to come to fruition for some time? Write down the things you want to do to work toward your plans coming to fruition this coming year.

A Story of Moving Forward in Hope:

In 2018 we lost our 30 year old daughter in a car accident. In the days and months that followed we went through all her belongings, throwing out unneeded papers, donating clothes, books, school supplies and other things. I still have many more totes of her things to go through in the process of finding her writings to put into a book to publish. It also started me on the process to change what we have been collecting. Then this past August my mother died of COVID. That meant my siblings and I now needed to clean out the family home we built 49 years ago. The one in which my parents raised five children and welcomed their spouses and grandchildren too.

Since my dad passed away years before, it came time to sell the family home and collect the things we wanted to keep. In the process we needed to decide what each of us would be bringing to our own homes (and what would need to be taken out of our own homes to make room for things we wanted). There was also the need to say “I would like it but we don’t have a space for it so let’s donate it.” We donated many things to Goodwill, Salvation Army, and homeless shelters and also threw out things. Through all of this, lately the Lord has been teaching me about my own life.

It is easy to be distracted with all the clutter around me - the stacks of my daughter’s papers to go through, things that didn’t get put away, our own stacks of papers that need to be gone through since we got rid of filing cabinets to make room for family heirlooms, etc. It is easy to let these things become distractions from time with the Lord. It is hard to concentrate on things that are important when there is clutter around you. That clutter doesn’t have to be tangible things either, it can be emotional, mental or even spiritual things. Our Father wants us to let go of all these things and spend time with Him. There needs to be that quiet time in all our lives as well as a time to continue to get rid of the unimportant things around us that distract us from being all that God wants us to be. If we want to bring the important things into our lives we need to look at getting rid of what really isn’t as important.

- Sharon Schneider

Strengthen the Christian Planner Family by sharing your experiences. We'd love to hear a story about God's work in your life. Use the form linked below to submit your story.

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