February 24, 2023 — Smiling at the Future

As I sat down across from Stan, he greeted me with a very large smile and said, “Good morning, my Friend.”

“With that big smile,” I replied, “something good must have happened. What’s going on?”

“I was reading in the Book of Proverbs earlier this morning,” he said, “and I saw a statement that puts everything in perspective so I can, will, and do smile.”

“I like the sound of that,” I replied. “Too often it seems like there’s not a whole lot going on in the world that’s worth smiling about. What were you looking at in Proverbs?”

“It’s in the very last chapter,” Stan said. “The chapter that generally deals with the qualities of an excellent wife.”

“An excellent wife?”I questioned.  “What’s that have to do with you?”

“It’s in verse 25,” he replied. “It looks like a good application for everyone, especially for me.”

“Okay,” I said. “What’s that verse say?”

“That she smiles at the future.”

“Smiles at the future,” I repeated. “That is a great outlook!”

“It is, isn’t it?” Stan replied. “It makes me think about all I have to smile about for both kinds of future.”

“Both kinds of future?” I said. “What both kinds?”

“Near-term and long-term,” he replied. “Very long term. Like forever in eternity.”

“Being in God’s presence for all of eternity,” I commented. “That certainly is an essential thing to be able to smile about.”

“You’re right,” Stan replied. “And when I think about how I’m allowed to be in God’s eternal presence starting on this side of eternity, there’s all the more to smile about as I draw ever-closer to Him while He keeps me here.”

“Those are good things to know about so we can smile,” I agreed. “Maybe there’s something about not having those things that makes so many people frown rather than smile. You think that could be?”

“I do,” Stan replied. “Why don’t we try to change that? Let’s do what we can to help everyone have what they need so they are smiling at the future rather than frowning at it!”


Bible verses to consider:

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.

Do not be grieved, for the joy of the Lord is your strength. Nehemiah 8:10.

But the fruit of the Spirit is . . . joy . . . . Galatians 5:22.

Prayer: Thank you, Father, for giving Jesus so I can know that I will spend eternity in your presence. Thank you for those who brought me to that truth so I could accept and smile about it. Thank you, too, that I can draw closer to you in an ever-deepening relationship on this side of eternity for as long as you keep me here. So much to smile about! I confess that too often I focus on things that don’t produce a smile. Please forgive that foolishness. And please, Father, help me to follow every step of your lead so I focus only on what you have me to focus on and to smile about. Thank you that I can and do bring these prayers before you in the name of Jesus. Amen.

Think on this: Have you accepted God’s free and gracious provision of life eternally with Him so you have that to smile about? If no, why? Don’t you want to smile about that? If you are a Christian with the assurance of salvation and redemption that you smile about, how about on this side of eternity? How are you doing with focusing on what God has for you to smile about rather than on what the world, the flesh, and the devil have for you to frown about? If you sense the need for change, how is that going to happen? Is that what you want? Why or why not?

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