Flagstaff, Maine was chosen as the site for a huge hydroelectric installation. The installation would include a dam that would impound miles and miles of water and bury the town under water. So, in 1950, the town was physically abandoned.
Even before everybody left, when the plan was first approved and announced, the need to keep up the appearance of the town went by the wayside. No one bothered to paint his house anymore. Worn streets were left unrepaired. The school building and the church building were left to decline. One newspaper reporter who went there summed up the situation by saying, “Apparently, when there is no faith in the future, there is no power in the present.”
That’s a profound statement, isn’t it? And in the light of it I want to ask you this question: When you think about your future, do you do so with optimism or dread? Imagine yourself ten years from now. Do you see yourself as happier, more at peace, and more contented? Or do you see yourself in an even worse state than your current one? How you answer says a lot about you.
Every Christian should be an optimist because, if for no other reason, he or she is bound for heaven and eternal bliss. You can’t beat that for a future. 1 Peter 1:4 describes it as:
…an inheritance, incorruptible and undefiled and that does not fade away, reserved in heaven for you.
Be sure to notice that word “inheritance.” How does a person collect an inheritance? Somebody else has to die. Well, who died so that the Christian can collect a heavenly inheritance? The answered is found in the preceding verse, 1 Peter 1:3:
Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to His abundant mercy has begotten us again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead.
You see, Christian, you have been begotten to “a living hope,” and that hope and optimism about the future should be inseparable. Does this mean that you won’t have any difficult times here upon this earth? No. Does it mean that the last days of your earthly life will be the happiest days of it? Not necessarily. But what it does mean is that you can be sincerely optimistic about the future because you understand that this world isn’t the end. Even if things get bad for you down here, you have an unshakable reservation for a better place. The point is, if you are looking to the future with dread, you just aren’t looking out there far enough.