The Best Is Yet To Come

By Hannah Kessler, Partnership Coordinator

As 2016 has come to a close,  I think about what my neighbors here in West Virginia will remember this last year for. Without a doubt, we will always look back to the flood on June 23rd, 2016. It will be talked about for years, possibly decades, as one of the worst periods in West Virginia history. In a study released this year, West Virginia was found to be second in the country (behind Alaska) in unemployment rates, and first in the nation for opiod drug overdoses. This has been a tough year for a lot of the state. How do we continue to look at the past in a healthy way, while looking forward to our future here? In order to use our past wisely and understand it for what God has intended, we will be able to see fruit appear in even the most dry desert seasons.

The past is not for:

-Fueling a paralyzing regret, and disappointment of what was, or what could have been.

-Fueling anger and grudges.

The past is for:

-Having gratitude.

– Seeking repentance.

-Growing in faith.

Beginning with gratitude, I love the words of Psalm 107, “Let them thank the Lord for his steadfast love, for His wondrous works to the children of man.” In other words, history is an ever-growing reservoir of past grace where the thankfulness of our hearts can drink and drink with continual pleasure. Even in the toughest of times, we have to remind ourselves that God is still so gracious to each and every one of us. He is orchestrating in His own power, the plan He has for us.  We have an opportunity to be thankful. 

The past, if used well, can be a source of healthy repentance. In Ephesians 2:12 it specifically asks us to “Remember that you were at that time separated from Christ, alienated from the commonwealth of Israel, strangers to the covenants of promise. You had no hope and were without God in the world.” If we forget from what we were saved, our sense of repentance will be shallow and our enjoyment of grace will be thin.

Thirdly, and possibly my favorite point, is the idea of the past feeding our faith and trust in God. In Romans 8:32 Paul writes, “He who did not spare his own son (in the past), but gave himself up for all of us (in the past), how will he not also with him graciously give us all things (in the future).” The past serves the future by feeding faith, because of all the faithful works of God to make a future for us in the past.

As you look back on this year, 2016, can you now see God’s intricate hand in your life? How thankful should we continue to be for the promises of the past that we see not only in scripture, but also applied to our everyday lives? If we do not remember, but forget past grace, we will not fully trust God for future grace. Let us as followers of Christ remember the past, but let us also know deep within our being that the best is yet to come. We draw thankfulness from the past, we seek repentance, and feed our faith and wisdom from the past. But through looking at the past, we draw hope for the future.

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