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Looking Ahead

With many graduating, maybe you are one of these looking into an unknown future, or maybe you are up in age a little, what are you looking toward, forward to, or hoping the unknown future may hold? These are all good questions; only One knows the future (Isa. 46:9-11), how you will make it! Any ideas, any strategies, any thoughts? I would like to share some ideas based on 12 years of school, 41 years of employment, and 60 years of life. Believe it or not, time goes awful fast!

If I could share one verse to always have with you, it is Isa. 41:10, "Do not fear for I am with you, Do not anxiously look about you, for I am your God, I will strengthen you, surely I will help you, Surely I will uphold you with My righteous right hand." What a great, all-encompassing, full of truth promise from our boundlessly good God! This will always carry you through.

And if I could share one verse with those of you that are just going forth after schooling, or still working through those employment years, or even you that are close to the finish line of life on earth, it would be 1 Thess. 4:11-12, "Make it your ambition to lead a quiet life and attend to your own business and work with your hands, just as we commanded you, so that you will behave properly toward outsiders and not be in any need."

Be quiet rather than hurried. Do not let the world and the things of the world crowd you out of taking time to rest in and trust in the Lord (1 John 2:15-17). Do tend to your own business instead of criticizing what other people are doing, or are not doing, or should be doing, but keep focusing on what God wants you to do (John 21:21-22). Go out and earn your own living; don't always be looking for a hand-out; don't expect to be given things you have not earned. Work with your hands and be diligent. Don't just do a job, excel at it, go whole hog, go all out, give it all you got (Prov.12:27)! Outsiders (non-believers) will take notice. Fly beneath the radar of life, people will be drawn to you, not by your making a lot of noise, but by the quietness of your character.

There will be times of great jubilation, recognition, success, and the like, for God is infinitely good. Oh, enjoy these times, they are so good and so memorable; I have had my share, some wonderful memories. But (Job 5:7) "For man is born for trouble, as sparks fly upward". There will be times of sadness, tears, set-backs, things you wanted to do that you didn't, things you didn't do that you should have; I have had my share. But the Lord is faithful, (1 Cor.1:9), merciful (2 Cor.1:3), and good (Psalm 119:68). He will see you thru to the end. When the tough situations arise, and they will, do not let go and let God, but trust God and get going!

It is quite a journey, quite an adventure, quite a fight of faith, the state of grace is a commencing of the war on sin, not the end of it. And one more promise from God's word, (1 Cor.10:13) "No temptation has overtaken you but such as is common to man, and God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation provide a way of escape also, so that you will be able to endure it."

English Puritan Isaac Ambrose said, "O let this be thy wisdom, to think much of Christ, so as to provoke thee to imitation; then shalt thou learn to contemn the world, to do good to all, to injure no man, to suffer wrong patiently, yea, to pray for those that despitefully use thee, and persecute thee; then shalt thou learn to 'bear about in thy body the dying of our Lord Jesus Christ, that the life of Jesus may be made manifest in thy body."

Elder Randy Slak