18 The way of the righteous is like the first gleam of dawn, which shines ever brighter until the full light of day.
Proverbs 4:18 (NLT)
This verse tells us the future of the righteous people. Who are the righteous people? People who have accepted Jesus as their Lord and Savior. God has guaranteed us that the moment we believed in Jesus and accepted him as our Savior, we are declared righteous in his sight.
16 For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ, for it is the power of God to salvation for everyone who believes, for the Jew first and also for the Greek.
17 For in it the righteousness of God is revealed from faith to faith; as it is written, “The just shall live by faith.”
Romans 1:16-17 (NKJV)
In Romans 1:16-17, Paul is telling us that he is not ashamed of the gospel of Christ because this gospel saves anyone who believes and the righteousness of God comes from faith. Therefore if you are a born-again Christian, you have the righteousness of God comes from faith. In other words you are righteous by faith.
Please note that “righteousness of God” is different from “self-righteousness”.
The former comes from God, specifically it came from the Cross of Calvary where Jesus died to pay for the penalties of all our sins. We are righteous not because of our actions but because of what Jesus has done for us. Righteousness of God is a gift from God to us through his grace. The only thing we need to do is to receive them. It glorifies God.
In contrast, self-righteousness comes from self-effort. It is basically the type of righteousness that is being promoted by religions. Every religion has their own form of righteousness and all of them believe in self-righteousness. This means the religious members must do certain things and obey rules invented by the religious institution in order to attain their religion’s version of righteousness.
The difference in the idea of the righteousness happens to be the difference between the true Gospel of Christ and religions. While righteousness from God glorifies God, self-righteousness glorifies self.
Unfortunately, many Christian churches had strayed from the true Gospel of Christ and bowed their knees to religion. I was in one of them and suffered under their religious bondage. However, God had revealed his truth to me and set me free. What a joy it was to be set free!
In Romans 1:16-17, Paul defined the Gospel of Christ to salvation by faith. In other words the Gospel of Christ is equal to salvation by faith. You cannot claim to believe in words the Gospel of Christ and don’t believe in salvation by faith. Therefore, religious churches that did not believe in salvation by faith are not really preaching the Gospel of Christ.
Now that we know we are righteous in the eyes of God, it is time to look into the benefits. Proverbs 4:18 says our way is like the first gleam of dawn. Dawn is the time when the sun begins to appear in the sky. The sun light at dawn is not very bright not warm. However, as time passes it will get brighter and warmer until it become the scorching heat in the noon. God used this analogy to describe our life journey as his believers. Our future will only get brighter and brighter like the sunrays from dawn to noon.
You may not see any prospects in your future right now. You may be very sick. You may not have the education or the qualification to get a high paying job. You may have made serious mistakes and these mistakes are hindering you from having a good future. You may even find yourself hindered by factors you have no control over. The economy is bad. You cannot talk well. You are too young or old. You don’t look attractive enough. You were born in the wrong race and color of skin.
However, no matter what the hindrances are, God promised you a bright future. Your future will only get brighter and brighter, until people have to wear uv-protected sunglasses to see you. This is the promise of God for you. He is far greater than all your obstacles and he is willing to help you to overcome them. Are you willing to trust in him and co-operate with him? Your decision will result in whether you will have a god or bad future. As far as God is concern, he has decided that you are going to have a great future. Your choice is whether to accept or reject his view.
There can be storms taking place between dawn and noon. The sky may look dark and sun is no where in sight. Does that mean God has broken his promise? No, he has not. Even in the darkest storm, the sun is still shining above the dark clouds. If you are in a storm right now, don’t give up. Just because you cannot see the sun right now, it does not mean the sun no longer exists. It is still up there, shining brightly above the dark clouds. As long as you continue to trust in God and don’t give up your faith, you will live to see the sun shining again. The dark clouds will have to dissipate and you will see the sun again.
In conclusion, as a righteousness man or woman, your future will only get brighter not darker. This is the promise from God for you.