Let me ask you this. Which of the following words would you rather have describe your view of the future: uncertainty, fear and anxiety or assurance, trust and peace.
See, we all want assurance, trust and peace, but the truth is uncertainty, fear and anxiety often becomes our reality, and the more you think about your future, the more overwhelming it can be. Why is that? Could it be that we listen to our own voice instead of remembering how God has met our needs.
Psalms.42:5-6 says, “Why am I discouraged? Why is my heart so sad? I will put my hope in God. I will praise Him again, my Saviour and my God. Now, I’m deeply discouraged, but I will remember you.”
Take just a moment right now and think about some times in your life when you sense that God has taken care of you.
What situations has He helped you get through? Has He met your financial needs before? Has He given you strength when you felt weak? Has He comforted you when you felt alone? Has He given you direction and opened doors for you in the past?
The truth is God does those things because that’s the very nature of God. And if He’s done that for you in the past, guess what? He’s going to do it for you in your future as well.
Let me ask you a question: If you are getting stuck in your future, whose voice do you need to listen to? Are you going to listen to the voice of uncertainty, fear and anxiety? Or are you going to remember God’s faithfulness.
The Bible says in Deuteronomy7.9, “Understand, therefore, that the Lord your God is indeed God. He is the faithful God who keeps His covenant for a thousand generations.” The word “covenant” can be translated promises. So essentially, this verse is saying that God keeps His promises for a thousand generations. And then it goes on to say: “He lavishes His unfailing love on those who love Him and obey His commands.”
Think about that, God keeps His promises for a thousand generations. Now what are those promises that God’s made to us? Well, the Bible is full of them, but here are a few. He’s promised to always be with us. He’s promised to meet our needs. He’s promised to guide us. He’s promised us life to the fullest, and He’s promised us a home in heaven if we will make Him the leader of our lives. That leads to our next key in getting unstuck in my future.
2. I need to refocus my mind on the hope of Heaven
Sometimes we feel stuck about our future because we have a flawed perspective. In other words, we get so caught up on what’s going to happen next week, or next month, or even next year, that we forget there is a much bigger story going on in the world and in the universe.
The Apostle Paul recognised this flawed perspective way back in the early church. He wrote this to them in Colossians 3.2: “Think about the things of Heaven, not the things of earth.”
You see, it’s a question of perspective. When you focus on earthly things you’re not going to see very far. But as soon as you look at your life from a heavenly perspective you can see for miles in all directions. Well, the same is true for your life. Are you going to choose to look at your life with a short term, circumstances based perspective? Or are you going to take the opportunity, whenever this starts happening, to look at your life with an eternal perspective?
Now if you are a follower of Jesus Christ, then you have the promise of an eternity spent in the presence of God. No matter what this life throws at you, no matter how stuck you may be today, you can be certain that you know the end of the story.
Now you may be saying,“I’m not sure about Heaven. As a matter of fact, I don’t know what’s going to happen to me when I die.”
Well, I have some good news for you today. Jesus Christ died and rose again to pay a price that you couldn’t pay. He paid for your sin and mine with His death on the cross, and on the third day He defeated death itself and rose again. And He offers you and I the chance for a new life through Him.
By accepting Jesus’ payment on the cross and committing to follow Him as the leader of your life, you can know without doubt that you will spend an eternity with Him. You can take away the uncertainty about your future.
You can do that right now by praying a prayer like this: “Dear God, I realise that I have fallen short of your standards. I need your help. I believe Jesus died for my sins and He rose again on the third day. Today, I receive His payment for my sin and as best I know how, I commit to follow Jesus Christ for the rest of my life. I invite you to guide me and I thank you for the promise of eternity with you. Amen.”
Now, if you prayed that prayer for the very first time today, will you let me know? I would love to follow up with you and encourage you, and give you some next steps to take in your new relationship with Jesus. You know, in life, there are times of extreme pain, of grief, of uncertainty, there are times when it seems like the only thing that is going to keep you going is to take a moment to refocus and to remember the hope we have in Jesus of an eternity in Heaven. This is not easy.
But you have to ask for God’s help when you feel stuck. The Apostle Paul wrote in Philippians 4.8, “Fix your thoughts on what is true and honorable and right and pure and lovely and admirable. Think about the things that are excellent and worthy of praise.”
So to get unstuck in my future, I have to recognise that I’m stuck. I have to remember God’s faithfulness. I have to refocus on the hope of Heaven, and then…
3. I have to respond obediently to God’s direction
Obedience is the key that unlocks God’s best in your future. I Peter 3.12 says, “The eyes of the Lord watch over those who do right and His ears are open to their prayers. But the Lord turns His face against those who do evil.”
So what does it mean to respond obediently? Well, in all honesty, the answer depends on what’s going on in your life right now. Earlier I mentioned that there are two reasons why we get stuck. There are sin and circumstances.
If you are stuck today because of a sin issue, then, you need to repent. That word “repent” essentially means to turn away from your sin and turn back to God. Maybe today, you are stuck because of your circumstances. Life is difficult and you are just going through a tough season, I have a word for you—stay the course! Don’t give up. Keep pressing forward. Keep trusting God.
Jesus says this about going through difficult times: “Seek the Kingdom of God above all else, and live righteously and He will give you everything you need.”
What a powerful promise. Respond obediently to God first, and the promise is, “I’m going to take care of everything else”. That’s what God says.
But here’s the thing: delayed obedience is disobedience. Most of you already know what God wants you to do to get unstuck. I don’t know what you are waiting for. Maybe God’s been telling you to do something. I want to encourage you, do it, whatever it is.
Take that step and move forward. Do it now because delayed obedience is disobedience. And by being obedient to God in the areas He’s been speaking to you about, including your future, you place yourself in a position to move forward, to get unstuck. Now, let’s look at the final step to getting unstuck in my future.
4. Replace my thoughts with God’s thoughts
If you’ve been paying close attention, most of the action steps have actually had more to do with our thoughts than our actions. And that’s intentional, it’s because your thoughts become your actions.
Romans 12:1-2 in the Bible says: “And so dear brother and sisters, I plead with you to give your bodies to God because of all He has done for you. Let them be a living and holy sacrifice, the kind He will find acceptable. This is truly the way to worship Him. Don’t copy the behaviour and customs of this world, but let God transform you into new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect.”
In essence, the Scripture teaches us to begin by giving complete control to God, and letting God transform the way you think You see, when I see the future through my eyes, I see my past mistakes, I see the here and now, and I see reasons to give up. But when I see the future through God’s eyes, I see my progress and my potential, I see the hope of Heaven and I see all the reasons to keep pressing on.
In other words, you could say, the size of my God determines the size of my future. As you allow God to transform your thinking, as you begin to realise how powerful this God is that wants a relationship with you, you will begin to realise that He has a lot more in store for you than you ever dreamed of.
The Book of Jeremiah 29:11 says: “For I know the plans I have for you says the Lord. They are plans for good and not for disaster. To give you a future and a hope.” That’s a promise I can hold onto right there.
I want you to know that God wants to see you unstuck. He wants to see you moving forward, closer and closer to your full potential. And the key to moving forward is to give God complete control.
So my question for you today is, if you are ready to move and get unstuck, are you ready to give God complete control?
Will you give Him control of your finances, your job, your friendships, your family and especially your future?
Let me encourage you, let today be the day when you give God control of your entire life.
Enjoy a safe weekend.
- Pastor Tevai Matapo