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. Consequently, in the late 1940s, the process of the town becoming physically abandoned began.
Even before everybody left, when the plan to build the installation 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 man 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. That’s just impossible to beat 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. (N.K.J.V.)
Notice that the word used is “inheritance.” Question: How does a person collect an inheritance? Answer: Somebody else has to die. Well, who died in order that the Christian can collect a heavenly inheritance? The answer 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. (N.K.J.V.)
You see, Christian, Christ’s death and resurrection have paved the way for you to have been begotten to “a living hope.” Not only that, but you having this living hope in hand ought to make you wildly optimistic about the future. If you can get excited about an earthly vacation at a hotel or resort simply because you have a reservation there, that should be nothing compared to the excitement you feel about having an eternal inheritance reserved in heaven for the afterlife.
Now, does such optimism mean that you won’t have any difficult times here upon this earth? No, it doesn’t. 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. In other words, Christian, if you are looking to the future with dread, you just aren’t looking out there far enough.