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.
Proverbs 27:1 Isaiah 56:1,2,12 James 4:13-16 Matthew 6:33-34
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:
- A Caring Friend that sticketh closer than a brother, we will never be alone. (Pro 18:24)
- The Sovereign Lord who can intervene in any event we may face (1 Tim 6:15-16)
- The Enabling Savior who promises to give us mercy and strength in times of need (Heb 4:16)
- The Understanding Deity who fully understands what we are going through (Heb 4:14-15, 1 Cor 4:5)
- Covenant Maker that promises if we are His, anything we face will be for our benefit (Rom 8:28)
- The Loving God that will love us with a love from which we cannot be separated (Roms 8:35-39)
- 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.
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:
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
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May the Lord bless you as you seek His truth.
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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.”