Future

* Your present situation is training for future service to God

Joseph rose quickly to the top, from prison walls to Pharaoh’s palace.  His training for this important position involved being first a slave and then a prisoner.  In each situation he learned the importance of serving God and others.  Whatever your situation, no matter how undesirable, consider it part of your training program for serving God.  (NLT)

Genesis 41:39-40 – Turning to Joseph, Pharaoh said, “Since God has revealed the meaning of the dreams to you, you are the wisest man in the land!  I hereby appoint you to direct this project.  You will manage my household and organize all my people.  Only I will have a rank higher than yours.”

* The future is shaped by how you lived your past

Jacob blessed each of his sons and then made a prediction about each one’s future.  The way the men had lived played an important part in Jacob’s blessing and prophecy.  Our past also affects our present and future.  By sunrise tomorrow, our actions of today will have become part of the past.  Yet they will already have begun to shape the future.  What actions can you choose or avoid that will positively shape your future?  (NLT)

Genesis 49:3-28 – “Reuben, you are my oldest son, the child of my vigorous youth.  You are first on the list in rank and honor.  But you are as unruly as the waves of the sea, and you will be first no longer.  For you slept with one of my wives; you dishonored me in my own bed.

“Simeon and Levi are two of a kind—men of violence.  O my soul, stay away from them.  May I never be a party to their wicked plans.  For in their anger they murdered men, and they crippled oxen just for sport.  Cursed be their anger, for it is fierce; cursed be their wrath, for it is cruel.  Therefore, I will scatter their descendants throughout the nation of Israel.

“Judah, your brothers will praise you.  You will defeat your enemies.  All your relatives will bow before you.  Judah is a young lion that has finished eating its prey.  Like a lion he crouches and lies down; like a lioness—who will dare to rouse him?  The scepter will not depart from Judah, nor the ruler’s staff from his descendants, until the coming of the one to whom it belongs, the one whom all nations will obey.  He ties his foal to a grapevine, the colt of his donkey to a choice vine.  He washes his clothes in wine because his harvest is so plentiful.  His eyes are darker than wine, and his teeth are whiter than milk.

“Zebulun will settle on the shores of the sea and will be a harbor for ships; his borders will extend to Sidon.

“Issachar is a strong beast of burden, resting among the sheepfolds.  When he sees how good the country side is, how pleasant the land, he will bend his shoulder to the task and submit to forced labor.

“Dan will govern his people like any other tribe in Israel.  He will be a snake beside the road, a poisonous viper along the path, that bites the horse’s heels so the rider is thrown off.  I trust in you for salvation, O Lord!

“Gad will be plundered by marauding bands, but he will turn and plunder them.

“Asher will produce rich foods, food fit for kings.

“Naphtali is a deer let loose, producing magnificent fawns.

“Joseph is a fruitful tree, a fruitful tree beside a fountain.  His branches reach over the wall.  He has been attacked by archers, who shot at him and harassed him.  But his bow remained strong, and his arms were strengthened by the Mighty One of Jacob, the Shepherd, the Rock of Israel.  May the God of your ancestors help you; may the Almighty bless you with the blessings of the heavens above, blessings of the earth beneath, and blessings of the breasts and womb.  May the blessings of your ancestors be greater than the blessings of the eternal mountains, reaching to the utmost bounds of the everlasting hills.  These blessings will fall on the head of Joseph, who is a prince among his brothers.

“Benjamin is a wolf that prowls.  He devours his enemies in the morning, and in the evening he divides the plunder.

These are the twelve tribes of Israel, and these are the blessings with which Jacob blessed his twelve sons.  Each received a blessing that was appropriate to him.

* Don’t let a bleak future make you give up on God

To escape punishment for killing the Egyptian, Moses ran away to Midian.  He became a stranger in a strange land, separated from his home and family.  It took many years after this incident for Moses to be ready to serve God.  But he trusted God instead of fearing the king (Hebrews 11:271).  We may feel abandoned for isolated because of something we have done.  But though we feel afraid and separated, we should not give up.  Moses didn’t.  He trusted God to deliver him, no matter how dark his past or bleak his future.  (NLT)

Exodus 2:15 – And sure enough, when Pharaoh heard about it, he gave orders to have Moses arrested and killed.  But Moses fled from Pharaoh and escaped to the land of Midian.

When Moses arrived in Midian, he sat down beside a well.

* Why we can trust the future to God

The leaders of Israel would accept God’s message, and the leaders of Egypt would reject it.  God knew what both reactions would be before they happened.  This is more than good psychology—God knows the future.  Any believer can trust his or her future to God because God already knows what is going to happen.  (NLT)

Exodus 3:18-20 – “The leaders of the people of Israel will accept your message.  Then all of you must go straight to the king of Egypt and tell him, “The Lord, the God of the Hebrews, has met with us.  Let us go on a three-day journey into the wilderness to offer sacrifices to the Lord our God.’

“But I know that the king of Egypt will not let you go except under heavy pressure.  So I will reach out and strike at the heart of Egypt with all kinds of miracles. Then at last he will let you go. . .”

* Don’t look to occult for guidance about future

Everyone is interested in what the future holds, and we often look to others for guidance.  But God warned about looking to the occult for advice.  Mediums and psychics were outlawed because God was not the source of their information.  At best, occult practitioners are fakes whose predictions cannot be trusted.   At worst, they are in contact with evil spirits and are thus extremely dangerous.  We don’t need to look to the occult for information about the future.  God has given us the Bible so that we may obtain all the information we need—and the Bible’s teaching is trustworthy.  (NLT)

Leviticus 20:6 – “If any among the people are unfaithful by consulting and following mediums or psychics, I will turn against them and cut them off from the community. . .”

* Occult gives distorted view of the future

The Israelites were naturally curious about the occult practices of the Canaanite religions.  But Satan is behind the occult, and God flatly forbade Israel to have anything to do with it.  Today people are still fascinated by horoscopes, fortune-telling, witchcraft, and bizarre cults.  Often their interest comes from a desire to know and control the future.  But Satan is no less dangerous today than he was in Moses’ time.  In the Bible, God tells us all we need to know about what is going to happen.  The information Satan offers is likely to be distorted or completely false.  With the trustworthy guidance of the Holy Spirit through the Bible and the church, we don’t need to turn to occult sources for faulty information.  (NLT)

Deuteronomy 18:10-13 – For example, never sacrifice your son or daughter as a burnt offering.  And do not let your people practice fortune-telling or sorcery, or allow them to interpret omens, or engage in witchcraft, or cast spells, or function as mediums or psychics, or call for the spirits of the dead.  Anyone who does these things is an object of horror and disgust to the Lord.  It is because the other nations have done these things that the Lord our God will drive them out ahead of you.  You must be blameless before the Lord your God.

* Why God chooses not to reveal some of the future

There are some secrets God has chosen not to reveal to us, possibly for the following reasons: (1) Our finite minds cannot fully understand the infinite aspects of God’s nature and the universe (Ecclesiastes 3:112); (2) some things are unnecessary for us to know until we are more mature; (3) God is infinite and all-knowing, and we do not have the capacity to know everything he does.  This verse shows that although God has not told us everything there is to know about obeying him, he has told us enough.  Thus, disobedience comes from an act of the will, not a lack of knowledge.  Through God’s Word we know enough about him to be saved by faith and to serve him.  We must not use the limitation of our knowledge as an excuse to reject his claim on our life.  (NLT)

Deuteronomy 29:29 – “There are secret things that belong to the Lord our God, but the revealed things belong to us and our descendants forever, so that we may obey these words of the law.”

* Our children will shape the future

Too often children are seen as liabilities rather than assets.  But the Bible calls children “a gift from the Lord,” a reward.  We can learn valuable lessons from their inquisitive minds and trusting spirits.  Those who view children as a distraction or nuisance should instead see them as an opportunity to shape the future.  We dare not treat children as an inconvenience when God values them so highly.  (NLT)

Psalm 127:3-5 – Children are a gift from the Lord; they are a reward from him.  Children born to a young man are like sharp arrows in a warrior’s hands.  How happy is the man whose quiver is full of them!  He will not be put to shame when he confronts his accusers at the city gates.

* How prophecy relates to the future

When will this remnant of God’s people be returned to their land?  Old Testament prophecy is often applied both to the near future and the distant future.  Judah would soon be exiled to Babylon, and a remnant would return to Jerusalem in 538 B.C. at Cyrus’s decree.  In the ages to come, however, God’s people would be dispersed throughout the world.  These locations represent the four corners of the known world—Hamath in the north, Egypt in the south, Assyria and Babylonia in the east, the islands of the sea in the west.  Ultimately God’s people will be re-gathered when Christ comes to reign over the earth.  (NLT)

Isaiah 11:11 – In that day the Lord will bring back a remnant of his people for the second time, returning them to the land of Israel from Assyria, Lower Egypt, Upper Egypt, Ethiopia, Elam, Babylonia, Hamath, and all the distant coastlands.

* The Future should cause us to change our present behavior

When God reveals the future, his purpose goes beyond satisfying our curiosity.  He wants us to change our present behavior because of what we know about the future.  Forever begins now; and a glimpse of God’s plan for his followers should motivate us to serve him, no matter what the rest of the world may do.  (NLT)

Micah 4:12 – But they do not know the Lord’s thoughts or understand his plan.  These nations don’t know that he is gathering them together to be beaten and trampled like bundles of grain on a threshing floor.

* God will keep his promises about the future

Hundreds of years earlier, the prophet Isaiah had predicted that John the Baptist and Jesus would come.  How did he know?  God promised Isaiah that a Redeemer would come to Israel and that a messenger calling in the wilderness would prepare the way for him.  Isaiah’s words comforted many people as they looked forward to the Messiah, and knowing that God keeps his promises can comfort you, too. As you read the book of Mark, realize that it is more than just a story; it is part of God’s Word.  In it God is revealing to you his plans for human history.  (NLT)

Mark 1:2-3 – In the book of the prophet Isaiah, God said, “Look, I am sending my messenger before you, and he will prepare your way.  He is a voice shouting in the wilderness: ‘Prepare a pathway for the Lord’s coming!  Make a straight road for him!’”

* The future depends upon how we live now

What life will be like after the resurrection is far beyond our ability to understand or imagine (Isaiah 64:43; 1 Corinthians 2:9).  We need not be afraid of eternal life because of the unknowns, however.  Instead of wondering what God’s coming Kingdom will be like, we should concentrate on our relationship with Christ right now because in the new Kingdom, we will be with him.  If we learn to love and trust Christ now, we will not be afraid of what he has in store for us then.  (NLT)

Mark 12:24 – Jesus replied, “Your problem is that you don’t know the Scriptures, and you don’t know the power of God. . .”

* What we need to know about the future

Jesus, talking about the end times, telescoped near future and far future events, as did the Old Testament prophets.  Many of these persecutions have already occurred; more are yet to come.  But God is in control of even the length of persecutions.  He will not forget his people.  This is all we need to know about the future to motivate us to live rightly now.  (NLT)

Matthew 24:21-22 – [Jesus said] “For that will be a time of greater horror than anything the world has ever seen or will ever see again.  In fact, unless that time of calamity is shortened, the entire human race will be destroyed.  But it will be shortened for the sake of God’s chosen ones.”

* Sometimes people wish they knew the future so they could prepare for it.  God has chosen not to give us this knowledge.  He alone knows what will happen, but he tells us all we need to know to prepare for the future.  When we live by his standards, he will not leave us; he will come to us, he will be in us, and he will show himself to us.  God knows what will happen, and because he will be with us through it all, we need not fear.  We don’t have to know the future to have faith in God; we have to have faith in God to be secure about the future.  (NLT)

John 14:19-21 – [Jesus said] “In just a little while the world will not see me again, but you will.  For I will live again, and you will, too.  When I am raised to life again, you will know that I am in my Father, and you are in me, and I am in you.  Those who obey my commandments are the ones who love me.  And because they love me, my Father will love them, and I will love them.  And I will reveal myself to each one of them.”

* How to prepare for Jesus’ return

Months of planning go into a wedding, the birth of a baby, a career change, a speaking engagement, the purchase of a home.  Do you place the same importance on preparing for Christ’s return, the most important event in your life?  Its results will last for eternity.  You dare not postpone your preparations because you do not know when his return will occur.  The way to prepare is to study God’s Word and live by its instructions each day.  Only then will you be ready.  (NLT)

Mark 13:33-34 – [Jesus said] “And since you don’t know when they will happen, stay alert and keep watch.

“The coming of the Son of Man can be compared with that of a man who left home to go on a trip.  He gave each of his employees instructions about the work they were to do, and he told the gatekeeper to watch for his return.”

* How not to fear the future

This was a prediction of Peter’s death by crucifixion.  Tradition indicates that Peter was crucified for his faith—upside down because he did not feel worthy of dying as his Lord did.  Despite what Peter’s future held, Jesus told him to follow him.  We may be uncertain and fearful about our future.  But if we know God is in control, we can confidently follow Christ.  (NLT)

John 21:18-19 – “The truth is, when you were young, you were able to do as you liked and go wherever you wanted to.  But when you are old, you will stretch out your hands, and others will direct you and take you where you don’t want to go.”  Jesus said this to let him know what kind of death he would die to glorify God.  Then Jesus told him, “Follow me.”

* What we know about the future helps us live now

We cannot imagine all that God has in store for us, both in this life and for eternity.  He will create a new heaven and a new earth (Isaiah 65:174; Revelation 21:15), and we will live with him forever.  Until then, his Holy Spirit comforts and guides us.  Knowing the wonderful and eternal future that awaits us gives us hope and courage to press on in this life, to endure hardship, and to avoid giving in to temptation.  This world is not all there is.  The best is yet to come.  (NLT)

1 Corinthians 2:9 – That is what the Scriptures mean when they say, “No eye has seen, no ear has heard, and no mind has imagined what God has prepared for those who love him.”

* Don’t forfeit your future with God

This is probably an early Christian hymn.  God is faithful to his children, and although we may suffer great hardships here, God promises that someday we will live eternally with him.   What will this involve?  It means believers will live in Christ’s Kingdom, and that we will share in the administration of that Kingdom.  This truth comforted Paul as he went through suffering and death.  Are you facing hardships?  Don’t turn away from God—he promises you a wonderful future with him.  (NLT)

2 Timothy 2:11-13 – This is a true saying: If we die with him, we will also live with him.  If we endure hardship, we will reign with him.  If we deny him, he will deny us.  If we are unfaithful, he remains faithful, for he cannot deny himself.

1 Hebrews 11:27 – It was by faith that Moses left the land of Egypt.  He was not afraid of the king.  Moses kept right on going because he kept his eyes on the one who is invisible.

2 God has “planted eternity in the human heart.”  This means that we can never be completely satisfied with earthly pleasures and pursuits.  Because we are created in God’s image, (1) we have a spiritual thirst, (2) we have eternal value, and 3) nothing but the eternal God can truly satisfy us.  He has built in us a restless yearning for the kind of perfect world that can only be found in his perfect rule.  He has given us a glimpse of the perfection of his creation.  But it is only a glimpse; we cannot see into the future or comprehend everything.   So we must trust him now and do his work on earth.  (NLT)

Ecclesiastes 3:11 – God has made everything beautiful for its own time.  He has planted eternity in the human heart, but even so, people cannot see the whole scope of God’s work from beginning to end.

3 Isaiah 64:4 – For since the world began, no ear has heard, and no eye has seen a God like you, who works for those who wait for him!

4 The new heavens and the new earth are eternal, and in them safety, peace, and plenty will be available to all.  (NLT)

Isaiah 65:17 – “Look!  I am creating new heavens and a new earth—so wonderful that no one will even think about the old ones anymore.”

5 We don’t know how the new earth will look or where it will be, but God and his followers—those whose names are written in the Book of Life—will be united to live there forever.  Will you be there?

Revelation 21:1 –Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the old heaven and the old earth had disappeared.  And the sea was also gone.

May you find comfort, encouragement, guidance, hope, inspiration, love, and peace – https://helpfulinspirationalblog.wordpress.com/. May you also find answers to your question(s) through the Scriptures that address every situation you face, and help with your problems: https://helpfulinspirationalblog.wordpress.com/topics-a-g/ ; https://helpfulinspirationalblog.wordpress.com/topics-h-n/ ; https://helpfulinspirationalblog.wordpress.com/topics-o-u/; https://helpfulinspirationalblog.wordpress.com/topics-v-z/

May you find comfort, encouragement, guidance, hope, inspiration, love, and peace – https://helpfulinspirationalblog.wordpress.com/. May you also find answers to your question(s) through the Scriptures that address every situation you face, and help with your problems: https://helpfulinspirationalblog.wordpress.com/topics-a-g/ ; https://helpfulinspirationalblog.wordpress.com/topics-h-n/ ; https://helpfulinspirationalblog.wordpress.com/topics-o-u/; https://helpfulinspirationalblog.wordpress.com/topics-v-z/

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