There’s a future version of Adam Mabry that I’m working to become. He’s better, smarter, wiser, more loving, and host of other things that I’m not at the moment.
You probably do this, too. Heck, the Bible does. The Scriptures hold out the hope of resurrection and the perfect, glorified future that goes with it. But in a city full of do-ers, in a country full of do-ers, we can become quite discouraged that we haven’t yet gotten this one done. It’s discouraging to think that you’re not yet what you could — or should — be.
Enter anxiety, depression, sadness, and self-loathing. How do we beat this?
The Psalms give a clue, many of which are simply poetic reminders of what God did a long time ago — parted the red sea, made the world, established the kingdom of Israel. I can imagine being a faithful Israelite in, say, the 5th century B.C. could be depressing. On the one hand you had promises of a coming messiah, on the other a present situation that looked more like Hell than Heaven. But here’s their genius that is helping me:
Past Providences Fuel Present Praise.
Instead of freaking out about the gap between what is and what is to come, they rejoiced at the journey from what was to what is. Instead of wondering if God would be faithful tomorrow they remembered that God was faithful in every yesterday.
The anxious temptation to reject God because I don’t see what He will do is subverted by the memories I have of what He has done. His past providences are like gasoline on the fire of my present praises. My present praises shape my heart to trust God’s future graces … Graces that one day will be past providences.3