A bright future with the cross

A bright future with the cross. How can we look to the future positively when we read so much negative news? Many are interested in what the future holds for them. All flesh is condemned and this court contributes to the fact that much of what is written is negative. The analysis of the future does not inspire hope.

As we read the Scriptures, we see that the future is ambiguous. On the one hand, it is gloomy, even worse than what is described. It concerns wicked people who do not want to get rid of their evil. On the other hand, the future is extremely bright and hopeful. Yes, indescribably brighter and better. And this applies to godly people who confess their sins and turn away from them and walk in the light.

God’s thoughts – people’s thoughts

“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” Jer. 29:11. Only through faith and obedience can we penetrate God’s purposes. There is an important difference between the thoughts of God and the thoughts of men. People think, even write books, make plans and develop strategies that very rarely produce good results. God’s thoughts are related to deeds, they come true, even if the whole world is against it. That is why it is so safe to be in God’s mind, in His will and in His plans for our lives. No one can penetrate God’s intentions with his human mind. All things are given by the Holy Ghost, which God giveth to them that obey him. “The Lord recognizes the wisdom of the wise, that it is vain.” (1 Cor. 3:20) He destroys the wisdom of the wise and rejects the wisdom of the wise. It is written in connection with the word about the cross. (1 Cor 1: 18-19).

And therein lies the secret itself. Only through the cross can we come into contact with God and through the cross He can carry out His plans for us, the plans He had made before the foundation of the world. Then God will begin to share His thoughts with us. The Spirit of revelation descends upon us on the cross and we look upon the things which our eyes have not seen or heard, which God has prepared for those who love Him. (1 Cor. 2: 9) Then it is impossible to despair and to see the future as bleak!

The entire history of the people of Israel shows how few who give themselves completely and entirely to God, love Him and serve Him alone. Some turned to God when they were in great need. When the hard times were over and the enemies were defeated, their hearts turned from God to idols. This is a decisive factor in what the future holds for us. God’s purposes are clear: “To show in the ages to come the exceeding riches of His grace in His mercy toward us through Christ Jesus” (Ephesians 2: 7). To fulfill these glorious purposes of God, our thoughts must be clear: our hearts must be wholly to God and pure before His eyes. It must be clean from all idols!

The word cross brings light

This purity, the determination, and the assurance that Christ expects of us are very clearly stated in Luke 9: 57-62. As they were walking along the road, a man said to him, “I will follow you wherever you go.” Jesus replied, “Foxes have dens and birds have nests, but the Son of Man has no place to lay his head.” He said to another man, “Follow me.” But he replied, “Lord, first let me go and bury my father.” Jesus said to him, “Let the dead bury their own dead, but you go and proclaim the kingdom of God.” Still another said, “I will follow you, Lord; but first let me go back and say goodbye to my family.”  Jesus replied, “No one who puts a hand to the plow and looks back is fit for service in the kingdom of God.”

Here we see the eye of a needle and a cross greeting us at the conclusion of the covenant of the disciples. All of these “buts,” along with various excuses for family and friends, pollute our hearts, so God’s clear thoughts, rooted in faith, hope, and love, do not reach the chamber of our heart. That is why life becomes so difficult and the goal ceases to be clear and the trumpet’s voice ceases to give a clear voice. (1 Corinthians 14: 8)

Why can’t a person rejoice in the promise that everything is for our good? Because of disbelief! Is this unbelief stuck in your heart because you did not fulfill the terms of that promise? The promise was given to those who love only God! Let’s get back to our discipleship. The word of the cross dwells in the heart of the disciple. It’s bright there. It is not always enlightened by feelings, but by faith in the living God, in the risen Jesus, who could cry out in the most hopeless night, “Lazarus, come out!” (John 11: 1-46)

We keep our hearts pure with these clear thoughts so that our whole lives will be in harmony with the Scriptures. Just think of the future Jesus saw when He said:  “Everything that is mine is yours and yours is mine.” John 17:10. These were clear thoughts and clear speech.

Why can we raise our heads?

Let’s go into this new day with a purified heart, not the old leaven but having the word of the cross in our hearts. And God saw the hearts of the children of Israel, and said, When I have brought them into the land flowing with milk and honey, the land I promised on oath to their ancestors, and when they eat their fill and thrive, they will turn to other gods and worship them, rejecting me and breaking my covenant.  And when many disasters and calamities come on them, this song will testify against them, because it will not be forgotten by their descendants. I know what they are disposed to do, even before I bring them into the land I promised them on oath.“. Deuteronomy 31: 20-21. And this despite all the kindness they met!

What thoughts fill us? Paul says of Timothy, “But thou hast followed me in my doctrine, in my life, in my purpose, in my faith, in my patience, in my love, and in my endurance.” 3:10. They had the same mind. There the cross works and the living water flows out. The glorious and blessed thoughts he brings with him are translated into deeds and help to build up the Body of Christ.

Paul says, “I am crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me.” Gal. 2: 19-20. We cannot live a higher life. With this testimony on our lips, we can face all the hardships of life and the forces of evil. Even the devil himself and his whole army flee from us, and we, out of faith in the power of the cross, can emerge victorious from temptation. Then God’s thoughts and plans will be fulfilled in us, and satan’s plans will be ashamed. In this spirit of victory and the strength of faith within a pure heart, we can enter into a new day. We will soon meet with our Master and our fathers who laid the foundation for us! The spirit of expectation keeps us awake. Jesus’ last words, addressed to His followers who bear their cross, sound comforting: “And behold, I am with you for ever, even unto the end of the age.” Matt. 28:20. Then we will boldly carry the word of the cross to life and to the world in the time to come.

This article was first published in Hidden Treasures in December 1999.
© Copyright Stiftelsen Skjulte Skatters Forlag

Source: Светлое будущее со крестом. (aktivnoyekhristianstvo.ru)