As we consider the various events in our life, or think about what course of action we should take, it would be wise if we kept this one simple word in mind—“afterward”(Hebrews 12:11). To only live for the moment, the here and now, as many do, is a big mistake. Things today do not seem as they will be seen tomorrow. You need to remember that. If we judge what we see without any consideration for what shall be we will end in a fog of confusion and perhaps a slough of despair.
The providence of God is a mystery to our finite mind. We often wonder why God causes this or allows that. And, because of our ignorance we sometimes judge God to be unkind, unfair, or unable. We misunderstand His ways. Even when we open the Bible searching for answers we do not always see what shall be. We see the shadow, but the substance doesn’t come until “afterward”. We feel the pain, but do not see the profit, until “afterward”. We sense a tragedy, but “afterward” we see it was a treasure.
This however is no reason to neglect the Scriptures. That would prove disastrous. Even though the Bible doesn’t answer every question it addresses every issue in some way. The Word of God tells us that God is too loving to be unkind, too good to do bad, and too wise to make a mistake. The Bible assures us that He is perfect in all His ways and that He does all things well. It also gives us precious promises that cheer our hearts when it seems that we have no reason for joy. We are told that the grievous shall become glorious, “afterward”. Seeing that is true we should trust God throughout this sin darkened night of life on earth—knowing that joy cometh in the morning. “Afterward”, the morning will come and the darkness shall vanish. The storm clouds shall pass and peace shall prevail—“afterward”.
Now we live in a fallen world, in feeble bodies of flesh, in perilous times, amid many enemies, with limited understanding. We don’t like it, but it is what it is and we shouldn’t expect it to be different—at least for now. But,”afterward” things will be different, better, perfect. Meanwhile, we “have need of patience, that, after ye have done the will of God, ye might receive the promise”(Hebrews 10:38). Now we hope, “afterward” we will have. Now we are in the school of Christ, ever learning, “afterward” graduation day comes. Now we are earth-bound in bodies of flesh, “afterward” with glorified bodies we shall enter that place prepared by Christ and receive “the things which God hath prepared for them that love Him”(1 Cor. 2:9).
Stop your complaining! You are a child of the King and joint-heir with Jesus. It is tough now, but “afterward” you will receive the fulness of your inheritance. Things now are not as they shall be. “Afterward” we will realize the truth, receive the promise, and reap what we’ve sown. The songwriter had it right when he wrote “Until Then”—“I’ll go on singing. Until then I’ll carry-on”! Inspired by the hope of God’s promise and with our eyes on the prize, let us endure our hardships with joy, knowing they “worketh for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory”–“afterward”!