Look back to give thanks well. Look within to examine and prepare our own heart. What else?
Look ahead to the future. It is there we see the promises of God fulfilled. It is there we place our ultimate hope as followers of Jesus. Look ahead:
1. To the return of Christ & The Marriage Supper of The Lamb - Revelation 19:7-10 gives us a great picture of a banquet invite for the follower of Jesus. This will be the final return and victory of Jesus...when the enemy of God is defeated. As you look to the future you see Jesus' bringing ultimate justice to this world. A Scripture for times of communion states: For every time you eat this bread and drink this cup, you are announcing the Lord’s death until he comes again. 1 Corinthians 11:26.
2. To an eternal life with God and without sin and sadness. Just a bit farther in Revelation we read of our eternal life with God (Revelation 21 & 22). It will be more awesome than we can express. Looking forward to that is at the heart of the hope of every follower of Jesus. Placing our hope towards that time should fill us with hope in even the dreariest of days. It will also allow us to commune with God with an expectant heart and attitude.
3. Our life in Jesus Until Then...our eternity doesn't start when we breathe our last breath. Our Eternity is happening now. Our lives on this earth are vital. If our hope is only on the time after this life then we will fail to experience the abundant life that Jesus promised us (John 10:10). God designed us with great purpose (Ephesians 2:10) and we should be excited and hopeful to see those purposes unfold as we follow Him. Looking ahead to what God can and will do through us is an especially exciting thing to do. Then, let that excitement bring you into closer communion with God.
Now, hear is the funny thing. We will each naturally do one of these better. For instance, I love looking and dreaming about what will come in the future. I am less prone to spend adequate time examining myself and even less prone to spend time looking back. We truly need to be disciplined to do each of these often...if not, we can get out of whack. All future and no examination and sin can creep in. All past and no future can allow a foothold for the devil to haunt us with past failures. All examination could cause us to become overly critical and hopeless.
You may be wired different than me and that is ok. Just ask God to fill your heart and mind with each of these as you commune with Him:
1. A Thankful Vision of where God has taken His people and where He has taken you.
2. An Honest Vision of where your heart is at right now and what areas need changed.
3. a Hopeful Vision of where God is taking you and His entire Kingdom.