“Dear friends, now we are children of God, and what we will be has not yet been made known. But we know that when He appears, we shall be like Him, for we shall see Him as He is. Everyone who has this hope purifies himself, just as He is pure. 1 John 3:2-3
The catchy song from the beloved musical “Annie captures the instinctive hope within the heart of most of humanity: “Tomorrow, tomorrow, I love ya, tomorrow, you’re only a day away. Today may be a bummer, rainy, dark, and dreary, but the sun will come out tomorrow, and things can only be better than today. The famous last lines of the classic movie, Gone with the Wind, elicits the hope of tomorrow which rings eternal in the human spirit; Scarlett O’Hara: “I’ll go home. And I’ll think of some way to get him back. After all…tomorrow is another day. It is as though such thinking offers a perpetual “free play card in your pocket, or a “Get out of Jail Free Monopoly card always hidden away; a card called “tomorrow. L.M. Montgomery the author of “Anne of Green Gables puts these words into the mouth of indefatigable Anne Shirley the eternal optimist and chief character of this much loved novel series, “Isn’t it nice to think that tomorrow is a new day with no mistakes in it yet?
It is a view of life which is hard to escape; most likely because it is so natural to the creature you have been made to be. Tomorrow is a reprieve of today. Yet while it is an overflowing hope which often gets us through the burdens of today, real life has a way of throwing cold water on the idea, though never quite quenching the last drop of hope from it. James McKay may be a spoil sport, but his words prove to be true to the experience of many: “Tomorrow you promise yourself will be different, yet tomorrow is too often a repetition of today. If today your life is a “prison why is there hope that tomorrow you will somehow be freed from it?
The Bible has a different perspective of tomorrow than the natural hope that it will somehow bring something better. Proverbs 27:1 warns: “Do not boast about tomorrow, for you do not know what a day may bring forth. And James adds to it: “Now listen, you who say, ‘Today or tomorrow we will go to this or that city, spend a year there, carry on business and make money.’ Why, you do not even know what will happen tomorrow. What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes. Instead, you ought to say, ‘If it is the Lord’s will, we will live and do this or that.’ As it is, you boast and brag. All such boasting is evil. Anyone, then, who knows the good he ought to do and doesn’t do it sins (James 4:13-14).
The only promised hope of “tomorrow lies in your spiritual transformation out of darkness (spiritual ignorance) into light (the spiritual blinders come off), out of prison into freedom (freedom to obey). In terms of tomorrow your life is still a mist even after transformation, and tomorrow has no assurance in it of what you define as “better things, other than a powerful life’s Companion who promises “good to you (Romans 8:28) and an eternal home. Your definition of “good does not equate with His because you cannot see the end from the beginning. Tomorrow may still bring cancer, death, misfortune, pain, or, it may bring answered prayer, temporary physical healing or restoration, even joy in the Lord in the midst of felt pain. Other than the assurance of a Divine Companion and the hope of eternity, your tomorrow is a mystery not to be treated lightly for what it may produce. Your prayer life today needs to acknowledge such. Perhaps this godly perspective will elicit from you more thoughtful and earnest prayer in being prepared for whatever the morrow brings. Never succumb to the pernicious habit it will merely be a repetition of today. The process of sanctification in your life ought to be an upward trajectory which refuses the status quo. Or are you good with remaining where you are today?
There is only one worthy goal today which impacts your tomorrow. It is in today’s text: your work of pursuing personal righteousness, the same righteousness or purity which Jesus bestowed on you as a gift when you committed your life to Him. It is your goal today to be about putting on more of His likeness, so what you see in the mirror tomorrow reflects more of Him. Any pursuit today of this preeminent goal and what it accomplishes in you can never be taken away tomorrow, no matter what tomorrow brings. You need to change the “Annie lyrics in thought and in deed: The SON will come out tomorrow in me!
“If you have any encouragement from being united with Christ, if any comfort from his love, if any fellowship with the spirit, if any tenderness and compassion, then make my joy complete by being like-minded, having the same love, being one in spirit and purpose…your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus.
(The Apostle Paul, Philippians 2:1-2)