Wednesday, December 03, 2008

looking forward

I think oftentimes we get mired into looking at our past with all its problems and hearing berating voices from it. This impacts our living in the present for ill. I know that can be the case in my own life. Of course good experiences and voices from the past can be helpful. And God's work in Christ for us in the past, has both present and future meaning for all who are in Christ.

We need to think in terms of God's goal, or the end of the Story, what God is bringing about in Christ. We need to see this with reference to all things, including those causing us trouble as well as toward our enemies. We're to see ourselves in this same light as well, which is encouraging. If we simply look at ourselves where we are or seem to be, it would get quite discouraging much of the time. But to see God's work in us, and God moving us a certain direction in Jesus is so important. We need to learn to look ahead, to be looking forward, with reference to God's good work in Jesus. To be seeing that as not only something future, but as being present and at work with us now.

This should help us in the present and is surely an important component of learning to walk by faith, and not by sight.

What would you like to add to this?

4 comments:

NaNcY said...

very helpful words

Ted M. Gossard said...

Nancy,
For me, too. I needed that. I can't remember where I picked that up, perhaps from reading up on some theology from one of Stanley Grenz's books, "Theology for the Community of God."

Thanks.

Andrew said...

I heard someone once say, "All of Christianity [or was it 'all of the gospel'?] is eschatological." Theology-speak aside, I think that's a good thing to keep in mind. Much concrete redemption does in fact lie in the past--and in the present--but we are "saved in hope" (reference?). Piper's book Future Grace really helped cement for me the importance of believing in and cherishing and hoping in what is to come--the greatness of the kingdom to come. I think this is what helps me maintain faithful living the most.

Ted M. Gossard said...

Andrew,
Thanks for sharing, helpful, and I most certainly agree.

Yes, the future breaking in now in Jesus, and the point that we're to live with the End of the Story in view, and all of this is living and dynamic in God by the Spirit in Jesus in community and in mission in this world- in the way of Jesus and the Way who is Jesus. (wow, I'm confusing myself!- ha, not hard.)

Yes, eschatology is so important and so critical- but not in the way I thought of it years ago, or at least not in the way that was developed. That made me want to avoid it, but now I realize it's what we're moving toward in Jesus, even in this life, wonder of wonders- a living hope (is that Peter?, I was thinking Paul in Romans 8, but I think it's Peter)! (predestined towards glorification in Romans 8:29-30)

That book by Piper sounds very good.

Thanks for sharing again.