“Be very careful, then, how you live – not as unwise but as wise, making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil.” (Ephesians 5:15-16)
Good or bad, God wants us to make the most of every opportunity given to us. This involves remembering, embracing, and looking forward.
Remember the good; relish the memories of laughter, closeness, and connection. Especially important is realizing that it all comes from God.
“Everything good comes from God. Every perfect gift is from him. These good gifts come down from the Father who made all the lights in the sky. But God never changes like the shadows from those lights. He is always the same. God decided to give us life through the true message he sent to us. He wanted us to be the most important of all that he created.” (James 1:17-19)
Throughout the Old Testament, God’s people are encouraged to not forget his faithfulness. Though they did forget repeatedly, God remained faithful. That is something we can remember for our own lives, too; no matter our mistakes, God is still faithful.
“If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” (1 John 1:9)
Remembering God’s faithfulness and all he’s given us helps us to then embrace every opportunity as it happens.
Being present is a trendy idea, but its basic premise holds true for making the most of every opportunity God gives us. Embrace the moments of life while they’re happening.
“But continually encourage one another every day, as long as it is called “Today” [and there is an opportunity], so that none of you will be hardened [into settled rebellion] by the deceitfulness of sin [its cleverness, delusive glamour, and sophistication].” (Hebrews 3:13, AMP)
Embracing the moment – being present – encourages us and those around us. For me, this involves not letting what has happened or what might happen to loosen my grip on the present moment. It’s refusing to become so weighed down by all there is to do (or that I think I should do) that I don’t have the strength or can’t focus on what’s happening where I am in the moment.
In other words, embracing the moment not only brings joy but keeps us from getting out of God’s will. When Christians encourage each other by being present, we are better able to remember and find confidence in God’s faithfulness.
Confidence in God’s faithfulness allows us to look forward without fear. It allows us to increasingly make the most of every opportunity because we can let humility and love direct us. We can let go of pride and release the burden of too many or unrealistic expectations.
“Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love. Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace.” (Ephesians 4:2-3)
As we are careful in how we live our lives, as we purpose to live with wisdom, we can know that the opportunities headed our way – good or bad – can have value. We can remember that God is still faithful, and we can embrace the goodness and the courage he gives us in every moment.