Scripture Reading: Exodus 14:15; Jeremiah 31:17; 2 Corinthians 12:9
“Even on our worst days, we still serve a Great God, who is on our side, and whose grace is sufficient for us. That’s good news.” -Isaac Pittman
We may stumble but we don’t collapse. God has a promised land for us to take! The story of Joshua in the Bible dares us to believe our best days are ahead of us. A life in which the Bible says we are anxious for nothing, we are praying always; a life in which Paul says, we are giving thanks to God the Father through Him. (Philippians 4:6).
"Today, I have come to declare the counsel of the Lord to you and that is: there is hope in your future; of your life, prosperity, ministry and there is hope in the future of The Potter’s House in New Philadelphia."
"The LORD said to Moses, “Why do you cry to me? Tell the people of Israel to go forward." Exodus 14:15
We are called to go forward. This church is called to go forward…God’s word cannot fail, irrespective of the agenda of the enemy. The plan of the Lord will not fail; His Word holds true.
There is hope in your future. Your best days are not behind you; your best days are ahead of you. Regardless of the situation you may be going through, I want you to understand that your best days are ahead of you. You may think they are behind you. You may think you’ve reached your peak and now you’re in a downward spiral. But, that is not true. The Bible is full of pronouncements, declarations, and words of promise that your real hope lies ahead of you.
"...being confident of this very thing, that He who has begun a good work in you will complete it until the day of Jesus Christ;" Philippians 1:6
I believe we have been given a powerful spiritual mandate in this season that we are going through as a church… it is important to recognize that God is not taken by surprise. His Word produces results always and it is not subject to circumstances. He releases His word, despite ‘whats’ and the ‘whys’ we may be facing and it is because He knows the thoughts and plans that He has already made for us.
God specializes in declaring His counsel in the face of contrary situations; He delights in overriding the schemes of the enemy. Let us not forget that Genesis 1, the account of the creation of the earth… when in the face of chaos and darkness, God declared ‘Let there be light’ and as a result, there was light and the darkness had to give way.
You must recognize the importance of your words. Refuse to say what you think you are seeing and begin to speak, pray and believe for what you want to see. Make sure that your words line up with the Word of God rather than the situation; the Word of God will prevail.
"There is hope for your future, declares the LORD, and your children shall come back to their own country." Jeremiah 31:17
Sometimes as a Pastor and as a church we have been mandated to move forward, looking for revival… but, at the same time facing situations that made it difficult to see a way forward. In the same manner that God raised a prophet to declare His counsel to the Israelites, I have come to declare to you that there is hope in your future. It’s not over for you.
“For there is hope for a tree, if it be cut down, that it will sprout again, and that its shoots will not cease. Though its root grow old in the earth, and its stump die in the soil, yet at the scent of water it will bud and put out branches like a young plant." Job 14:7-9
Jeremiah was not speaking from a perspective of what he could see. Rather, with faith and fortitude, he saw beyond the pain and the bleak disappointment of the situation and the circumstances and was able to look into the future and see hope. In this context, the word ‘hope’ means not so much ‘expectation’ but ‘looking at something to hope for’. Jeremiah saw that there was something to hope for in the future of Israel, that God was in no way finished with this grand experiment. In the same way, your future is not empty; your future is loaded and bright.
We, as a church are in a similar position as the Israelites in exile. We have not reached the end of the journey. Our future as individuals, as a corporate body and the future of me, as your Pastor is full of hope. For this reason, we look at this moment and acknowledge that although this season has not been great, we can, by faith, give God thanks... that right now is not all that we have. We have a future. In fact, we have a glorious future. There is hope for revival, growth, power, miracles and restoration in this house. We must never come to the place where we are not anticipating the fulfillment of God’s promises in our lives.
Our best days are not our past successes. Our successes and achievements of the past are nothing in comparison to what lies ahead of us. I don’t say that lightly. Although we are finite in our perception, God is infinite…
With God, there is no such thing as a hopeless situation…As long as you hold on to God and hold on to His word, you will make it to your destination. To call a situation hopeless minimizes God’s power and is an insult to Him for which we must repent. God has repeatedly demonstrated His ability to turn hopeless situations around; in fact, that is His specialty.
Ezekiel 37 describes a valley of dry bones… God brings Ezekiel to the edge of the valley and asks him, “Can these bones live?” Ezekiel had clearly written off the situation and all that he could answer was ‘Lord, you know’. So God instructs him to ‘speak to the bones’ [prophesy/preach to them] and the bones responded and began to rattle, then come together to make a living being, having been completely resurrected by the power of God. Many times, our problems stem from us having given up on God and thus allowing the enemy to have his way. The account of the valley of dry bones is compelling evidence that God can bring about restoration regardless of the circumstances.
Nothing about your life is hopeless. Without hope, you cannot experience the breakthrough of God. If we try and work faith without hope, it will be fruitless as faith and hope are interlinked. Faith is the substance of things hoped for and the evidence of that which has not yet been seen. Faith is the raw material of what is hoped for and once released, which then travels to what is hoped for. If there is no hope there can be no fulfillment of what God has promised as hope is the platform on which faith operates.
I want to assure you that regardless of the situation that you may be facing, there is hope in your future. Wherever you are in life, in defeat, failure, limbo or chaos, this is not your final destination. Your best days are ahead of you.
You are not ordinary—God has plans for you. In fact, if you notice here in Jeremiah 29:11, God is not speaking of a singular plan, but multiple plans for you; this is how important you are to God. The Message translation says, ‘I know what I am doing; I have it all planned out’. ‘For I know’ is, if you think about it, a strange way to begin a sentence. It is suggestive of a statement made in response to questions being asked.
Remember, at this time, the Israelite nation had been taken into captivity and were in exile and therefore they must have been asking why God appeared to have abandoned them and allowed enemies to prevail. In this season, I am sure that you, like me, have asked the inevitable question, “why?”, “Why are we going through this?” To that question, God has the reassuring answer, ‘For I know the plans that I have for you.’ Everything that we are going through is part of God’s plan.
Be assured therefore, God’s plans are good plans, despite, how they may appear. Although He does not tell you the process, He has a vested interest in your expected end. You will make it… and arrive at God’s destination for your life.
Your best days are ahead of you!