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God has a future for you

January 31st, 2009 Posted in encouragement, Pastor's corner, sermons

When the apostle Paul was imprisoned for proclaiming the gospel, he was no doubt feeling a bit down and discouraged. Perhaps he was wondering if he would ever be released.

Then Jesus came to him with these words: “Be of good cheer, Paul; for as you have testified for Me in Jerusalem, so you must also bear witness at Rome” (Acts 23:11 NKJV).

Paul could take comfort in that there was a future for him because Jesus said, “You must also bear witness in Rome.”

They wouldn’t kill him. He was still to bear witness in Rome. He had a future.

One of my favorite Bible verses

One of my favorite verses about God’s future for each of us is in the book of Jeremiah:

“I know the thoughts that I think toward you says the Lord, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope” (Jeremiah 29:11 NKJV)

It is worth noting that these words were given to Israel when they were in captivity in Babylon. They had lost hope. They saw no future, and felt as if God had forgotten about them.

But the Lord was saying to them (and us too), “I have not forgotten you, and there is a future!”

Note that God does not say, “I know the thoughts that I have thought toward you.” Rather, He says, “I know the thoughts that I think toward you.”

God thinks about you all the time

Now it would be wonderful enough to know that God ever thought of me as an individual. But it is not something God has merely done in the past. It is something He is doing in the present and will continue to do in the future.

Know this: God is thinking about you right now! He is not thinking about you merely as a member of the human race. He is thinking about you as an individual.

Psalm 40:5 says, “Many, O Lord my God, are Your wonderful works which You have done; and Your thoughts toward us cannot be counted to You in order. If I would declare and speak of them, they are more than can be numbered” (NKJV).

God’s thoughts toward you are continual, nonstop, and innumerable

Think about that! God Almighty, the One who holds the heavens in the span of His hand, the One who spoke and creation came into being, is thinking about you right now.

Jeremiah 29:11 speaks of a future. Now the word used here for future could be translated “an expected end.” Another translation describes it as “a ground of hope” or “things hoped for.”

There will be an outcome in your life, regardless of what you are going through at present. There will be completion. God will tie up the loose ends.

You are still a work in progress. God is still finishing you, so don’t be impatient. Don’t feel it’s over, just because you are not where you want to be yet.

We see only the beginning. God sees “the expected end” and it is good!

God still had a future for Paul, just as He does for you.

This weekend at Harvest

This Sunday at Harvest, I will be giving a message from Acts 26, titled”The Almost Christian.”

I suggest to you that there are a lot of “Almost Christians” in our country today. They are not outright non-believers, but they are not real believers either. They are what we might call “Almost Christians,” which is really not a Christian at all.

I will give the biblical definition of what a Christian is, and some might be surprised by it.

Come join us or check it out online.

8 Responses to “God has a future for you”

  1. BeverleyBrangman says:

    I heard about this website today on Moody Radio. The words are so encouraging and spirit-filled I love Jeremiah 29:11, as it reminds me that though I may have no significance to others, God loves me just as I am, and is planning a great life for me. I only need to trust Him and obey.

  2. Anne says:

    It was very encouraging to read about God having a future for us.

    Also, Sunday’s sermon related to me as I’ve been dealing with an educated unbeliever. Thank you for that message.

  3. Miranda Family says:

    Loved your devotion today, Pastor Greg, especially the part where you say, “There will be an outcome in your life, regardless of what you are going through at present. There will be completion. God will tie up the loose ends.”

    Boy, talk about loose ends. You have no idea! There is hope in God’s truth.

    And yes, we all are a work in progress. Thank goodness for that!

    I really enjoy reading your inspirational messages, Pastor Greg, especially first thing in the morning with my cup of java.

    Have a blessed day ~ Becky

  4. Richie says:

    In these uncertain times, I’m so glad Jesus knows all my circumstances and He’s planning a way for me. Even if I have to live in a cardboard, all I need is the Holy Spirit and God’s Word. Greg, I want you know that you baptized me way back in 1977 at a Calvary retreat in Twin Peaks.

    In 1996, I was shot and almost killed. I called out to Jesus, asking Him to please spare my life, and He did! I thank God every day for this miracle. Then again in 2003, when I lived in Lake Arrowhead, I fell asleep at the wheel on Highway 18 and crashed through a guardrail, falling 60 feet to the bottom. It happened so fast, I didn’t even have time to pray, but my Jesus spared my life again. I don’t understand why the Lord took Christopher and not me, but I know that all things happen for the good to those who love the Lord. He’s now happy where he is and feels sorry for us!!!

  5. Jeff says:

    Thanks for your blog on this. I have been a Christian for a long time and I didn’t even realize how He has transformed me until I look back and go Whoa! Little by little, He has chipped away here and there. The more I surrender areas the more He works mostly quietly and unnoticed, mainly because I mostly see my shortcomings. But I as I look back and see what He has done, I am amazed and it gives me confidence that He will finish what He began. And let me tell you, I am looking forward to the continuing remodel.

    God Bless you and your ministry,

    Jeff

  6. Teri says:

    Great message this morning on “The Almost Christian.” Thank you, Pastor Greg, for always preaching truthfully from God’s Word! It was really a powerful message! God Bless you, Teri.

  7. Erika says:

    Thank you for writing this blog. It made my day.
    It’s nice to know God is thinking about me all the time. God is so good to me!
    Well, I will see you tomorrow at church.
    God bless you.

  8. Lori says:

    Dear Pastor Greg,

    I recently watched a a popular sci-fi film. In it, robots were seeking world domination, but one of the robots wasn’t going with that plan. Instead, this single robot was trying to save the world. When this robot solicited help from a human, it expressed how it dreamed that a savior was coming. The robot articulates how it believed that its creator made him for a purpose. And he surprises the skeptical human, identifying the human as the one who will help save humanity from evil.

    Just like that film, and just as in your Scripture reference from Jeremiah, I believe God gives every individual a part to play in bringing His kingdom to justice!

    Maybe we won’t help save the world, but if we can show love and compassion in our own little corner of it, we are fulfilling a purpose.
    “We see only the beginning,” you say.
    Those are great words to remember.
    Shalom, Lori

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