“I will turn their mourning into joy; I will comfort them, and give them gladness for sorrow…Keep your voice from weeping, and your eyes from tears, for…There is hope for your future, declares the Lord…”
Jeremiah 31: 13, 16, 17 (ESV)
When we feel gladness and genuine joy, the future always looks brighter and we are filled with hope. Our hope for the future rests not in deferred joy but in the happiness we experience today. This relationship is one of the reasons why we are instructed by God not to become overly anxious for, or grieve over the future. In fact, we are instructed not to worry ourselves at all with any looming difficulties, problems, or challenges the future may possibly hold. Why? It is because God will always grant us grace to handle any challenge when today actually arrives, for He is a God of the present, not the past or the future. We are, instead, to live for Jesus today and radiate the joy he generously and graciously allows us.
In reality, the future never arrives. So mourning or anxiety about it is essentially senseless. We only have today in which to deeply inhale and enjoy the love, grace, and mercy he breaths into our lives. For our hope for the future is always experienced today. And we only have “today” in which to share with others the joy and gladness we have. The true source of our joy and happiness is in Christ Jesus, and he speaks to us from the hope revealed in his Word and through the Holy Spirit today, not yesterday or tomorrow, because he is alive in our hearts and minds from moment to moment. His Word may often speak of our hope in the future but the joy and gladness we experience always occurs today. Worrying and fretting about the future speaks death on today. Worry is living outside of Christ Jesus, not within. Anxiety and worry can quickly crush the joy we are to have in him today.
We are to live for Christ, which means we are to live fully today. We shall not let concerns for the future destroy our joy and gladness in the Lord today. So as we live vibrantly in the fullness of God’s presence right now, the hope for all our future today’s looks brighter.
Dear Lord Jesus, grant us favor that our mourning may be turned to gladness, and our sorrow transformed into joy as we live for you today. And may our hope for the future be sustained and strengthened by the joy and gladness we embrace today. Amen.
A F Fischer