Having just returned home from a tragic funeral for a beautiful 20 year old girl who apparently took her own life, I touch this subject with a serious & heavy heart. “Looking forward” can be a matter of survival, especially in tough times. Other words for L.F. are hope, desire, trust, confidence, reassurance, optimism, advance, headway, improvement, growth, etc, etc. One Orison Marden said this “There is no medicine like hope, no incentive so great, and no tonic so powerful as expectation of something tomorrow." Then a thinker named Nestell Bovee added this, “When all else is lost, the future still remains."
Besides the sad & terrible loss of the young girl above, I have personally tended to dwell on negative issues too often. And we all have failures, disappointments, bad memories of all sorts in our past. I know that dwelling on that “stuff” is a downer which can lead to years of heartache. We need to “look forward,” not backwards. Lying awake at night “reminiscing” usually doesn’t solve ANY problems, only kills sleep. And there are psychotic powers of the mind which like such hopeless “fodder” to focus on which can lead to depression, despondency, despair & even SUICIDE. The preacher today 13 Feb. ‘14 said, “the hole we dig may cave in on us.” And if there is a spiritual adversary, he would want all people to fall into bad thinking habits & FOCUS on past “negatives.” (after all, his purpose is to “steal, kill, & destroy” John 10:10a)
God offers a simple method of “looking forward.” “Whatever is true, honorable, just, pure, whatever is lovely, gracious, if there is any excellence, anything worthy of praise, think about these things.” Philippians 4:8 If we must look back, it’s more useful to recall the good memories, AND the power of God in our lives – answered prayer, personal miracles He has given, etc. “Count your many blessings . . .” And I realize we may not have the power to make the resolution to think on things positive – a “new lease” of thought. But Christ’s salvation & Holy Spirit really does empower the individual to that “new lease.” And absorbing scripture is excellent because many Biblical stories & principles are VERY positive in nature & outcome. Jesus Christ finished that John 10:10a reference above this way - . . ."I am come that they (you) may have life & have it more abundantly."
-- Psalm 37:4 "Take delight in the Lord, and he will give you the desires of your heart."
-- Jeremiah 29:11-12 “I know the plans I have for you, says the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope. Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will hear you.”
-- Romans 8:28 “We know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.”
-- Romans 15:13 “Now the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that ye may abound in hope, through the power of the Holy Ghost.”
To conclude let me say first to myself, “look forward,” it will make today better. It will also ditch a lot of worrying, which can never fix the past. God wants us to cultivate joy & peace & the victory. “Looking Forward” is a better mindset by far. Choose Jesus and His Salvation, they are alive. See also “Mindset of Victory” link 103.
On the subject of Depression, despondency, & Suicide, I recommend “A journey Through PTSD”, by Dr. John J. South. His book is recently published by Life Guides Press, Mesa, AZ. ISBN: 978-0-9965066-0-1 Dr. South has a few decades experience as a police officer & Army Chaplain counseling in Suicide Intervention, Crisis, Grief, and the combat induced PTSD. I served with him as chaplain assistant from ’93-95 in the US Army Reserve, & give him & his book four stars for excellence.
Many other Titles: www.gospelnotes.net -- link 1 is index * * F. J. Stone * *