What are you looking forward to in life? A celebration? A promotion? A reunion? Rest?
I am looking forward to all of the above. I have set my gaze forward, and I await the day when I will be promoted from this earthly life to my heavenly one, my labors finished, celebrating my reunion with the Savior of my soul for all eternity.
Before His crucifixion, Jesus told His disciples that He would see them again and their hearts would rejoice.1 He also told them He was going to prepare a place for those who would believe in Him and that someday He would return to take them there to be with Him.2 But what would they do while they awaited His return? What will we do? I am looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of my faith.3
With the eyes of faith, I have seen Him for the first time, and when He returns, I will see Him again, face to face, and my heart will rejoice. Until that day, my eyes need to continue looking forward to the eternal, undistracted from the cares of this world and the sin which so easily besets me. He has given me an eternal purpose, and for this reason, I press on toward the goal.
Will you join me in looking forward?
“Since before time began, a call went out to you. Even in the midst of a crowd, God has been seeking your heart as an individual. An invitation was developed with you in mind. From the time that the foundation of the world was laid, Jesus prepared to die for you and for each soul that would ever live. His sacrifice was arranged before you were ever a thought—before a single soul had ever lived. He did this so that you might have eternal life. Have you responded to His invitation?
“This call has gone out directly to you. It does not involve living vicariously through someone else; it involves you living directly. The rewards of answering this invitation are beyond anything you could ever imagine. God is offering you a most amazing prize: the gift of eternal life. This gift was given in the person of Jesus Christ, the Son of God. “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life” (John 3:16 NKJV).”4
If we come forward to receive this gift, we can look forward to eternal life.5
Faith in His salvation will be our salvation. Jesus conquered the power of sin and death to save our souls, and if we accept His gift of eternal life, the things of this temporal life grow dim. Eyes that look beyond the now to the eternal purposes of God find life, and hope, and peace.6
“Eyes that look forward see life is not just about waking up, eating three meals a day, going to work for a shift, and filling the evenings with family and recreation. These eyes don’t focus on the mundane or the chaotic. They don’t look inside themselves for answers. They don’t focus on the pain, the past, the addiction, the fear, the comparison, the discontent, the regret. They look forward. They look to God. He created us for a purpose. He gave His Son to save us. He has a plan for our lives and a desire to commune with us. He will do amazing things in us and through us, if we look to Him. He will watch over and care for His own. His eyes and heart will be with them. And beyond the now, those who have placed their faith in Jesus will see more than what their hearts know; they will see Him, face to face. We have this to look forward to.”7
1 See John 16:22.
2 See John 14:1–6.
3 See Hebrews 12:1–2.
4 Francee Strain, No Ordinary Invitation: Called to Live a Life of Eternal Purpose, (Bloomington, IN: WestBow Press, 2017), 4. Scripture quoted from the New King James Version of the Holy Bible, ©1982 by Thomas Nelson.
5 Paragraphs one through eight are taken from my blog article “Looking Forward,” August 1, 2021, https://wordpress.com/posts/franceestrain.com?s=looking+forward.
6 Adapted from Francee Strain, “Eyes Forward,” June 13, 2021, https://wordpress.com/posts/franceestrain.com?s=eyes+forward.
7 Francee Strain, “Eyes Forward,” June 13, 2021, https://wordpress.com/posts/franceestrain.com?s=eyes+forward.
©Text and photo Francee Strain, January 21, 2023.