“Now there is in store for me the crown of righteousness which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will award to me on that day – and not only to me, but also to all who have longed for his appearing.” 2 Timothy 4:8
It’s been said that, “What you believe about tomorrow determines how you will live today.” This is especially true for today’s ministry leader. So, what do you believe about tomorrow, about your future and that of those you lead? Especially when the game has changed and it seems your strategic plan has just flown out the window, what posture do you take and attitude do you air as people look to you for the answer to, “Now what?”
Paul and Silas were in prison. Needless to say this was going to put a dent in their ministry momentum. What did they do? What was their reaction? “About midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns…” (Acts 16:25). What happened next was nothing short of miraculous as the ground shook, chains were loosed and doors flew open. The next day they officially won their freedom and the jailer and his entire household came to Christ. Talk about seizing the moment! What was the catalyst for all this miracle-working power? I believe it was… belief.
By now Paul had a thoroughly eternal perspective. He knew that anything he faced was temporary at best. He was confident that very soon any sacrifice made in the course of ministry was going to be rewarded beyond comprehension. He might as well start celebrating a little right now. Fast-forward to today’s leader.
What do you believe about your future? What voices are you listening to? Are you joining the chorus of proverbial prisoners singing the blues and praying prayers of desperation as they await impending doom? Or, do you sing a different tune with refrains of expectation, joy, praise, thanksgiving, and hope. Do you pray prayers of faith with boldness, humbled before the Savior who calms the storms and parts the seas? Do those seeking to keep you down and hold you captive delight in your sad songs or are they already beginning to wonder if you know something they don’t as your spirit sings and soars with confidence?
Here’s the leader lesson: Believe in God’s preferred future for you and the ministry you lead. What is that future? It is one of power, purpose, peace and prosperity in fulfillment of the prevailing promises of God’s Word. This is the future you have chosen to believe in and proclaim, not in denial of the sometimes harsh realities of life, but in and through them. Jesus said, “I have told you these things , so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” John 16:33. Believe it! (See also Jeremiah 29:11-13; Hebrews 11)