“Good morning, Stan,” I greeted him as I sat down. “What’s up?”
“Before you got here,” Stan replied, “I was talking with Ricky about how we are living in some pretty scary times. Lots of uncertainty with all that’s going on.”
“You’ve got that right,” I said. “Some days I don’t even want to look at the news for fear that something worse has happened.”
“Yeah,” Stan replied, “it’s easy to get dragged down. But earlier this morning I saw a single verse in the Book of Proverbs that gives a really encouraging outlook.”
“Good,” I replied. “I can use an encouraging outlook. What did you see?”
“The last chapter in the Book of Proverbs,” Stan responded, “is mainly focused on the qualities of an ‘excellent wife’, but I like to read verse 25 as applying to everyone, especially to me.”
“What’s it say?” I asked.
“That she smiles at the future,” Stan replied.
“Smiles at the future,” I repeated. “That is a good outlook. How can I do that?”
“I think there are two main ways,” Stan said. “In the first instance, there is the long-term future. Eternity is about as long term as anything can get, and the idea of spending eternity with God causes me to smile.”
“From the assurance of salvation?” I asked.
“Exactly,” Stan replied. “Since I know where I’m going when I get on the train, how can I not smile?!”
“Okay,” I said, “that’s one; what’s the second reason to smile at the future?”
“Eternal life on this side of eternity,” Stan replied. “Jesus said eternal life is about being able to know Him and His Father.”
Continuing, he added, “When I think about the Father and the Son, and the wonder of being able to spend my future here in the pursuit of knowing them and the Holy Spirit, along with everything they have for me, how can I not smile?”
“If you focus on God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit for as long as you have a future on this side of eternity,” I replied, “you will have reason to smile. Is that what you’re saying?”
“You’ve got it, my friend,” Stan said. “Satan wants the focus to be on him, as well as on the world and the flesh. If I do that, there’s not a whole lot to smile about.”
“But,” he continued, “as I focus on God and all He has for me, knowing beyond a shadow of doubt that His will is going to be done, and His purposes are going to be accomplished, I can and I do smile at the future!”
“That,” I replied, “is a whole lot better than dreading it!”
She smiles at the future. Proverbs 31:25.
This is the day which the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it. Psalm 118:24.
And this is eternal life, that they may know Thee, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom Thou hast sent. John 17:3.
Prayer: Thank you, Father, for all you have for me to smile about. I smile when I think of spending eternity in your presence; and I smile when I’m able to pursue knowing you and your Son more deeply on this side of eternity. There is much in the world that can cause me not to smile. Please help me to focus only on you and your will and purposes, and not on the world, the flesh, and the devil that can drag me down into not smiling. Thank you I can and do bring these prayers before you in the name of Jesus. Amen.
Think on this: If we allow our focus to be on the world, there is much that can cause us not to smile. Do you agree with that? Why or why not? Do you find yourself smiling at or dreading the future? Do you have the assurance of salvation that causes you to smile? If not, why? Does your growing relationship with God cause you to smile? Why or why not? Would you like to be able to smile at the future? If so, do you know how that can happen?