Connecting Points

Thursday, March 03, 2011

Today’s Topic: Hind Sight

Today’s Text: Isaiah 38:17 Surely it was for my benefit that I suffered such anguish. In your love you kept me from the pit of destruction; you have put all my sins behind your back.

If only our foresight was as good as our hindsight. Maybe we would make better decisions. Maybe we wouldn’t worry so much. Maybe we wouldn’t whine so much.

We tend to be pessimistic in the midst of our problems. We project the greatest harm as the likeliest possibility. We can hardly wait for the future so we can look back with regret. It is in our fleshly nature to expect the worst.

In his book Too Soon To Quit, George Sweeting, former President of Moody Bible Institute in Chicago, told this story.

“After the stock market crashed in 1929, Dad could no longer find work in his bricklaying trade. In desperation, he took a job as night watchman for $28 a week. The Depression taught my family many life-building lessons:

  • We learned the importance of each family member as we struggled to meet the monthly mortgage payment. Mother took in washing and ironing. Brother Bill and I sold magazines door-to-door. The three boys helped deliver milk. We all made hat bands for a nearby factory, made and sold paper flowers.
  • The Depression days also taught us thrift and frugality. When we used tea bags, we did so again and again. The phone was used only for emergencies. One electric light was allowed on per room. Usually, we all studied and worked in a single room.
  • We also learned the value of money and the importance of avoiding credit. Mother used to say, “If your outgo is greater than your income, then your upkeep is headed for a downfall.”

The Great Depression strengthened our faith. A few years of poverty can do more for spiritual maturity than 10 years of prosperity. I look back with gratitude for the lessons we learned.

To hear some people talk today you would think that we are on the verge of another crash. Whether we are or not should not be our focus. Our faith in Almighty and Sovereign God is our focus. With proper foresight we will see God’s hand providing us with strength, perseverance, and hope that will allow us to praise Him in hindsight.

That was the prayer of praise from the lips and pen of Hezekiah after he was rescued from death. He saw God’s hand directing every step and action so that he was made stronger and more faithful than ever. Proper foresight will give us that kind of hindsight. Oh if we would only learn to praise Him in foresight because we truly trust His character and His promises.

Chuck Colson’s hindsight put it this way – When the frustration of my helplessness seemed greatest, I discovered God’s grace was more than sufficient. And after my imprisonment, I could look back and see how God used my powerlessness for his purpose. What he has chosen for my most significant witness was not my triumphs or victories, but my defeat.

When this crisis is over, there are two things I want to be true of my life:

  1. That I can look back in hindsight and say that I trusted God throughout it;
  2. That I will look back in hindsight and see how God used my faith and hope in Him alone to bring encouragement to others.

To quote the words of the worship band Casting Crowns, I will praise Him in the storm.

Pastor John