It seems it is our human nature to look ahead at what the future might hold. Many people are looking ahead to 2021 in hopes that it will be a year of good things. When the doldrums of winter blow in, we begin looking ahead to the radiance of spring. In general, when things are not as we would like, we look ahead to better days. The thought of brighter possibilities is what keeps us going when all else seems dark and despairing.
The storyline of Scripture is one which is always looking ahead to the next chapter of God’s unfolding plan. When it seems as though evil has triumphed in the Garden of Eden, God says that the story is not over (Genesis 3:15). When it seems as though people will always be divided, God says the day is coming when all the families of the earth will be blessed (Genesis 12:3). When it seems as though God’s promises and people will die in Egypt, God says He will bring them into a land flowing with milk and honey (Exodus 3:17).
Page after page in the Bible, people look ahead with anticipation to what God might do next. The people look ahead to entering their promised land of abundance and rest. They look ahead to the enthronement of the King who will reign eternally. They look ahead to the restoration of God’s people. However, many people in the Bible do not get to participate in the things they anticipated.
Do we ever stop to consider the magnificence of the fact that we are living in the days for which other longed to see? In Christ, the promises of God become reality. We live on this side of the resurrection of Jesus, and as such, we get to participate in the promised kingdom. What a blessing, indeed!
But we also look ahead with anticipation. We look ahead to the day when there will be no tears, no death, no mourning, no crying, and no pain (Revelation 21:4). We look ahead to the day when we are citizens of a city which has no need of the sun or moon, for the glory of God is the light (Revelation 21:23). We look ahead to the day when Jesus comes, and all things are made new (Revelation 21:20). And although we cannot fully fathom the splendor of it, it will far surpass anything the coming year might offer.