And I am sure of this, that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ.
Having been in the heart of a storm of negative thoughts lately, I was really blessed today by a John MacArthur sermon on the Joy of Anticipation.
So Paul says, “Look, I have the joy of anticipation. You may have problems in the church, you may have anxieties in the church, you may have difficulties in the church, there may be failures in the church but this very thing will not be altered that the God who saves is the God who glorifies.”
….If you focus on what’s wrong with the church now, you can get depressed. “Oh our church isn’t what it ought to be…oh, we’re not doing…oh…” But if you focus on what the church is going to become, you can get excited. Now you can take your choice. You can moan and groan and mumble around about what isn’t the way it ought to be, or you can just look at what is going to happen. You know what’s first exciting about that? Nobody is going to get lost. It’s not like when I was playing football and you went into the locker room after the game, the coach said, “Hey, you are the reason we lost the game…you fumbled the ball on the three-yard line, the ball popped up, guy ran for a touchdown, hold on to the ball, it’s your fault.” That’s never going to happen to me in heaven. The Lord is never going to say, “Do you realize that because of your unfaithfulness, 250 people didn’t get here? Do you realize a lot of those folks in Grace Church started out good and you lost them?” Hey, that would put you in the funny farm if you thought you had that responsibility. And you can get really distressed about the church, you can get really worked up. “Oh, it’s not what it ought to be.” We know that. You’re not what you ought to be…so a whole lot of you that aren’t what you ought to be make a church that isn’t what it ought to be. Then you’ve got to add to that leaders that aren’t what they ought to be and you wonder why it’s like it is. This is it, folks.
…But you can decide you’re just going to focus on what it isn’t or you can rejoice in what it’s going to be. I choose to do that latter. You want to know what’s wonderful? You’re all going to get there if you love Christ.
I thank God that He is the author and perfecter of our faith (Heb 12:2). By His grace I repent of this negative agenda based on spiritual discernment. And I will be extra wary of the danger of only preaching a message of criticism and condemnation.
God is sovereign and will not lose those whom He predestined to be saved (Romans 8, John 6:37),
therefore I will not allow His joy of anticipation to be taken away from me due to distress about false teachings, heresies, lack of fruit, etc as His purposes are not hampered by these things.