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Preparing For The Unknown

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We are all faced with the unknown every minute of every day.  In a matter of a few short moments the path of our life can be radically, permanently, altered.  In a moment or two we can be involved in a devastating car accident; our Doctor can relate to us our latest test results that are as flagged as “malignant”; our preteen daughter can tell us of their unplanned pregnancy; or we can receive a phone call telling us of the death of a loved one.  The list goes on and on.

This type of event is actually quite common.  How many of us can honestly say that our life has never been shaken by an unforeseen occurrence?  For the few of us who have escaped this experience, we should count ourselves highly blessed of God.   For most of us, we know the gut wrenching feeling of having our lives thrown into turmoil suddenly and unexpectedly.

What are we to do when these events intrude into our lives?  How can we prepare for these times?  Is it possible to face these unforeseen events with peace and confidence?  Let’s take a few moments to search for the answer to these questions in the Word of God.

We will be looking at our Lord’s teachings on ways to prepare for the unknown by looking at the writings of four great men: Solomon, Isaiah, James and God Himself, Jesus Christ.

THE SCRIPTURES:

Proverbs 27:1          Isaiah 56:1,2,12       James 4:13-16                   Matthew 6:33-34

THE STUDY:

The Lesson We Can Learn From Solomon:

King Solomon, under the leadership of the Spirit of God, recognized the uncertain future of every man when he penned Proverbs 27:1…  Boast not thyself of to morrow; for thou knowest not what a day may bring forth.  

Solomon understood that we all have a tendency to forget the uncertainty of our lives; many times, we assume that we can control what takes place in our future.  One day passes and then the next with no tragedies or unexpected incidents so we begin to assume that our life will continue on in this way.  In Solomon’s wisdom he reminds us to never make such an assumption.

From Solomon we learn to never assume we can know or control what the future holds for us.  We are to always live life recognizing that the very nature of our physical life on earth is one of uncertainty.  Because of this, we must take care to be sure we are prepared for what may lie ahead.

The Lesson We Can Learn From Isaiah:

Another mistake many of us make is to assume that the future will always bring increased prosperity to us.  The false prophets of Isaiah’s day were prophesying a very clear message…  Tomorrow you will be more prosperous than today… therefore, it’s party time… live it up!  Isa 56:12…  Come ye, [say they], I will fetch wine, and we will fill ourselves with strong drink; and to morrow shall be as this day, [and] much more abundant.  

Isaiah’s message, on the other hand, was directly opposite to the message of the false prophets. He declared that Judah needed to come to the Lord exercising repentance and submission to His will for their lives. It would be through submission to Jehovah that they would be assured of the Lord’s presence with them.  We find Isaiah’s message to Judah earlier in this same chapter Isa 56:1-2… Thus saith the LORD, Keep ye judgment, and do justice: for my salvation [is] near to come, and my righteousness to be revealed.  Blessed [is] the man [that] doeth this, and the son of man [that] layeth hold on it; that keepeth the sabbath from polluting it, and keepeth his hand from doing any evil.

If we understand the person and work of our Lord we can easily understand the importance of His presence with us during these uncertain times that we face.  Our Lord Jesus Christ is:

  1. A Caring Friend that sticketh closer than a brother, we will never be alone. (Pro 18:24)
  2. The Sovereign Lord who can intervene in any event we may face (1 Tim 6:15-16)
  3. The Enabling Savior who promises to give us mercy and strength in times of need (Heb 4:16)
  4. The Understanding Deity who fully understands what we are going through (Heb 4:14-15, 1 Cor 4:5)
  5. Covenant Maker that promises if we are His, anything we face will be for our benefit (Rom 8:28)
  6. The Loving God that will love us with a love from which we cannot be separated  (Roms 8:35-39)
  7. The Comforter who give us peace and security in the midst of future events in life (John 14:16-18)

From Isaiah we learn of our need to recognize the uncertainty of our future and the absolute necessity to have unhindered communion with our Lord. 

(For those who have never had a personal relationship with Christ, by coming to Christ in repentance and belief, you can be receive forgiveness of your sins and enter into a living relationship of communion with Jesus.)

(For those who are saved, we are to be glorifying Christ with our lives and to repent of the sin that enters our lives… guaranteeing unhindered communion with Him.)

The Lesson We Can Learn From James:

James, the brother of Jesus, reminds us of the uncertainty of our future in James 4:13-16… Go to now, ye that say, To day or to morrow we will go into such a city, and continue there a year, and buy and sell, and get gain:  Whereas ye know not what [shall be] on the morrow. For what [is] your life? It is even a vapour, that appeareth for a little time, and then vanisheth away.For that ye [ought] to say, If the Lord will, we shall live, and do this, or that. 

James is explaining that our future is not in our hands.  He tells us that our lives are temporal and that we cannot know with certainty that our life will extend another day.

He goes further to emphasize that our Lord is the One that controls the future events in our lives.  And since our very life is controlled by the Lord, His will for our future will come to pass.  Our future is in His hands, it is under His control.  His desires will take place in our life and all of our plans for the future are to be made in submission to His will.

From James we learn to recognize our Lord is in control of our future and our need to recognize that control and fittingly, make our plans in alignment with His revealed will for our lives.

The Lesson We Can Learn From Christ:

In Matthew 6:33-34, our Lord addresses the same issue of preparation for the unknown future.  In His teachings, we find a fitting summary of the Bible principles that we have already studied…  

But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.  Take therefore no thought for the morrow: for the morrow shall take thought for the things of itself. Sufficient unto the day [is] the evil thereof.

When we desire for the Lord to rule our lives and we are seeking to understand and fulfill His will we can be assured that He will supply our needs.  He will make certain His will is done in our lives and that which He supplies to us will be for our good. (Rom 8:28).

From Christ we learn that there is no need for worry or concern.  The Lord will always take care of the future needs of His people, always working for their benefit and His glory.

PRACTICAL  APPLICATION:

How to prepare for an unknown future is clearly described to us within the pages of God’s Holy Word.

These principles of preparedness can be summarized as follows:

  1. We must come to an understanding that what our future holds is beyond our knowledge and our control.  However, this same future is under the control of the Sovereign of the Universe, the Lord Jesus Christ.
  2. Because the future is not known by us, nor is it in our control, we must make certain that we have a relationship with Christ, the One who controls every aspect of our future. It is through repentance of sin and faith in Christ and His work, that we can receive forgiveness, justification and enter into communion with Him.
  3. Once we possess communion with Christ, our desires will be pointed toward submission to His will in every aspect of our lives.  This includes a desire for His will to be done in our lives as the future unfolds to us.
  4. As our future unfolds before us, we can face whatever may take place with no anxiety but with peace and a feeling of security.  We can know that our Lord is with us, will care for us, and will bring about what is for our good and His glory.

Ps 46:1-3 God [is] our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.Therefore will not we fear, though the earth be removed, and though the mountains be carried into the midst of the sea;[Though] the waters thereof roar [and] be troubled, [though] the mountains shake with the swelling thereof. Selah.

If you have any questions about salvation, I have a tab available on my blog that gives in depth information on what salvation is and what you must do to be saved.  Please click on this link for more information about salvation.

If you continue to have questions or concerns about your salvation, find a Bible-believing church in your area.  The Pastor would be glad to share Christ and the way of salvation with you.   If you feel more comfortable communicating through email, you are always welcome to email me at settledinheaven@gmail.com.

May the Lord bless you as you seek His truth.

 Please visit…

Settled In Heaven Ministries Home On The Web: http://www.settledinheaven.org

Settled In Heaven Ministries Text Blog: https://settledinheaven.wordpress.com

Settled In Heaven Ministries Video Blog: http://youtube.com/settledinheaven

Email Us At: settledinheaven@gmail.com

May the Lord bless your study of His Word.  Like God’s Word… may your soul’s salvation and your life’s faithfulness be “Settled in Heaven.”


19 Comments

  1. Cat Forsley says:

    My favourite post of yours so far ……
    the message that resonates with me the most …….
    Thank You …..
    God Bless
    Cat

    • Rob Barkman says:

      Cat,

      Glad the posting was a blessing to you. Believe me, it is my privilege to to be able to present God’s Word. Much like your music is for you, teaching the Word is my purpose in life. May the Lord continue to bless you, my friend. Rob

      • Cat Forsley says:

        Hi Rob 🙂
        I really liked how you posted the video with the teachings –
        great for the senses – all in one –
        – Isn’t that beautiful that this is Your purpose ! I think so ……When God calls into our hearts – it’s a pretty strong calling !
        So glad to know you here on wordpress and on Youtube …..,.
        Really a Gift everyday – 🙂
        Thank You 🙂
        Cat

        • Rob Barkman says:

          Cat, Glad you liked the videos as well. I started them about a year ago trying to reach out to a different crowd. Yep, it is a tremendous blessing ot know our purpose in life and strive to fulfill it everyday. Glad to have come to know you as well, Cat. You blog is so postive and uplifting it is a joy to read it. Take care and may the Lord continue to bless you. Rob

          • Cat Forsley says:

            I see you definitely doing that Rob – with courage and grace – reaching out to the Youtube crowd ……. it’s a totally different way – I listen in 🙂 i really do 🙂 Because My ears need to hear it 🙂 as does my heart …….
            i am not sure of my true “Calling ” Yet ……..
            It will come – with patience and grace …….
            thank You !!!!
            Many blessings to You and your family !
            Cat

          • Rob Barkman says:

            Cat,

            You are so right… God has given everyone of His children a calling, follwoing our salvation He includes everyone in His plans for ministry of some type and as we see to submit to that call He will graciously show it to us in His time. Glad the Youtube postings are a blessing to you. Currently, my longer lessons from wordpress I record and put on youtube as well. For the smaller daily devotionals I haven’t begun to put them on youtube as of yet. My schedule just won’t allow me to do that yet… maybe in the future though. May the Lord bless you as you seek His will for your life and desire to fulfill His calling. Enjoy your weekend, my friend.

          • Cat Forsley says:

            I think You are doing beautifulllll work Rob – reaching out with heart wide open …..
            it’s a courageous calling – i am sure …..
            i am finding that as i settle in to just the word
            TRUST more and more – The inner peace i feel is really a comfort and a huge feeling of solace ……..
            Thank You for all You do !
            Much Love To You and your family !
            and yes Thanksgiving weekend here in Canada – so lots and lots to be grateful for –
            🙂 smiles 🙂
            Cat

          • Rob Barkman says:

            Hi Cat,

            It is a blessing to hear that the Lord is using His Word to give you peace and strength. Throughout the years, the Word of God has never failed to give me comfort in times of trials, stress and need. It is such a blessing to have His Word and know that He is using it to work in our hearts.

            May the Lord bless you and your family this thanksgiving weekend. My prayer is that you can spend quality peaceful and encouraging time together.

            May the Lord bless you Cat.

            Rob

          • Cat Forsley says:

            AND YOU ROB 🙂
            MANY bLESSINGS 🙂

  2. terry1954 says:

    this was great, and u made some excellent points, but can you imagine if we lived our lives for the what if’s……………………….i am glad i have enough to do to occupy my mind and not worry about the what if’s. i am glad i stand with in the presence of God, so that I don’t have to worry, aren’t you?

    • Rob Barkman says:

      I understand what you are saying. It is certainly wise to take things one day at a time and handle things as they come. But, for myslef, it helps to wisely prepare for the bad times before they hit. By consistently reminding myself of the points in the posting… they become second nature to me. That way, when the trial hits these points immediately come to mind and are second nature with me. it helps me to not loose my cool and keep everything in the context of the lord and His greatness. May the Lord bless you. Keep on keeping on.

      • terry1954 says:

        i do some preparations, what i can, in order not to be stressed out when bad times come, but other than that i do go pretty much day to day. thank u for your warm words. they are very helpful

  3. Ray's Mom says:

    Thank you for your words of wisdom.

  4. That’s one lesson I learned some time ago…to always say ” I’m going to do such and such”…..God willing”….. because I know that the future is in His hands…whatever that may be…Diane

  5. I praise God for my past. Even though it held much I wpould not have wanted, I praise Him for every bit, because He used it for my good.

    I praise God for my present. “Now” is the only time I have in this life, and I thank my amazing God for His guidance and undertaking every step of the way.

    My future? I do not even KNOW what lies in the next hour. I know what I have planned, and I have plans listed on my calendar for future days, weeks, months – but any or all could be interrupted.

    But this I do know: my God is in control. He desires the very best for me and no matter what happens, He will undertake. My eternal future is as solid as God Himself.

    We serve an amazing God!

    • Rob Barkman says:

      Your comments reminded me of
      Jas 4:13-15 (KJV)
      13) Go to now, ye that say, To day or to morrow we will go into such a city, and continue there a year, and buy and sell, and get gain:
      14) Whereas ye know not what [shall be] on the morrow. For what [is] your life? It is even a vapour, that appeareth for a little time, and then vanisheth away.
      15) For that ye [ought] to say, If the Lord will, we shall live, and do this, or that.

      All of us need to always keep im mind…. OUR plans are of no value if they do not align themselves with God’s Sovereign plans for our lives.

      He is the One in control and watching over us… what a blessing! Lord bless you my friend.

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