For I know the plans I have for you, declares the LORD, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope. Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will hear you. You will seek me and find me, when you seek me with all your heart.Jeremiah 29:11-13
I will admit this last week did not go as I had planned. Last Sunday, instead of boarding a cruise ship for seven days, I returned home to my family after I received the news of my aunt's passing. To say that this week has been difficult would be an understatement. But I am reminded that God has a plan for each of us. James 4:13-17 states:
Come now, you who say, "Today or tomorrow we will go into such and such a town and spend a year there and trade and make a profit"-yet you do not know what tomorrow will bring. What is your life? For you are a mist that appears for a little time and then vanishes. Instead you ought to say, "If the Lord wills, we will live and do this or that." As it is, you boast in your arrogance. All such boasting is evil. So whoever knows the right thing to do and fails to do it, for him it is sin.
For reasons that may (or may not) one day be revealed to me, it was not in the Lord's will for me to take that cruise. God has a purpose for everything he does, and we are not to always understand his purpose, but we must remain faithful that is that His purpose is "to give [us] a future and a hope." And as much as I wanted to go on that cruise, I knew that if I had forsaken my family in a time of need then I would have failed to do the right thing. My mother needed me, so I sacrificed my trip to be with her and comfort her in her time of need.
None of us knows what the future holds. Just as we cannot tell what the future holds; we cannot dwell on the past either. We have to look toward the future and see the great hope it holds for us. Maybe we have had great glories in our past or we have had great misfortunes, but they are things in the past and if we dwell on them, then we become lost in the past. We must look to the future, even though we do not know what it holds. The future has great hope contained within it, especially if we look to God and seek Him with all our heart. If we do this, then the glory of God will shine down on us, and our future cannot help but be bright.