By Robert White

Dr. Robert White was raised in central Florida and completed his Bachelor’s degree at the University of Central Florida. After college, he completed the Master of Divinity and Doctor of Ministry degrees at Luther Rice Seminary in Atlanta, Georgia. For more than 40 years he has served as pastor of churches in Florida and in Massachusetts. In October 2016, Dr. White joined Care For Pastors as a Pastoral Counselor/Coach. Robert currently resides with his wife, Kaye, in Leesburg, Florida.

    Facing the Future

    Wednesday, January 03, 2018

    Life is moving on and a new year is here. You will never live in a time of perfection or a problem-free environment in this life. So, here are some thoughts on the New Year that can help us all to face the future with courage and faith.

    Always see your future as bigger than your past

    Many people face the future with apprehension.  “I’m just glad it will be Clark Gable who’s falling on his face and not Gary Cooper.” Gary Cooper’s comment after he declined the role of Rhett Butler in Gone with the Wind.

    What if we moved into 2018 with the confidence that God was fully in control and fully able to see us through anything He allows us to encounter?

    Proverbs 3:5-6 – “Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding.  In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths.”

    Others face the future with anticipation. “My interest is in the future because I am going to spend the rest of my life there.

    The past is useful because it is rich with experiences that are worth thinking about in new ways. The past can become raw material for creating an even bigger future. Use your past to create a bigger future and you will separate yourself from situations, relationships, and activities that can trap you there.

    Evaluate the past. Reflect on the past. Learn from the past. But don’t live in the past. And certainly, don’t allow the past to dictate the present or the future.

    How to move F-O-R-W-A-R-D into the future:

    Face the need for change.

    Philippians 3:12 – “Not that I have already obtained this or am already perfect, but I press on to make it my own, because Christ Jesus has made me his own.”

    • I’m not perfect and I do need to make some changes in my life. By the grace of God, I intend to make those changes this year.
    • No one makes any real progress until they admit the need to change.

    Order one (1) change today.

    Philippians 3:13 – “Brothers, I do not consider that I have made it my own. But one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead.”

    • Abe Lincoln said, “The best thing about the future is that it comes only one day at a time.”
    • Forget the past, take one thing and focus on that one thing you want to accomplish. If you focus on ten things, you will probably lose focus.
    • What is one step you can take towards your goal?

    Release your yesterdays.

    • A sign at Rancho Park Golf Course “On Friday, January 6, 1961, 1st day of the L.A. Open, Arnold Palmer, voted Golfer of the Year and Pro-Athlete of the Year, took a 12 on this hole.”
    • Imagine what would have happened if Arnold Palmer had focused on his failure instead of focusing on his future.

    Win new victories tomorrow by stretching yourself today.

    • “The future is when you’ll wish you had done what you aren’t doing.” – John Maxwell
    • Small steps taken consistently will yield great long-term results. Take that first step today.

    Aim high and don’t underestimate what God can do in your life.

    Jeremiah 29:11 – “For I know the plans I have for you, declares the LORD, plans for wholeness and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.”

    Philippians 3:14 – “I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.”

    Reevaluate your failures.

    • John Maxwell once said, “Failure is a tutor and not a judge.”
    • Don’t allow your failures to be wasted. Learn from them.

    Dedicate your life to the Lord Jesus Christ.

    Romans 12:1-2 – I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship. Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.

    “Though you cannot go back and make a brand new start, my friend, anyone can start from now, and make a brand new end.”

    Many thanks to the late Dr. James Clark for giving me the idea for this blog.

    Help us continue providing resources of care for pastors and their families.

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