Summary: Christ is the chief cornerstone, the firm foundation of our faith in an age of shifting sand.
Certainty in Uncertain Times, Mathew 7:24-29
During an earthquake that occurred many years ago, the inhabitants of a small village were generally very much alarmed, and at the same time surprised, at the calmness and apparent joy of an old lady, whom they all knew. At length one of them, addressing the old lady, said, “Mother, aren’t you afraid?”
“No,” she replied, “I rejoice to know that I have a God that can shake the world.”
As we look around us we see serious economic concerns, political unrest in much of the world, drug abuse and domestic violence run unbridled even in our own streets. The world around us shakes and our hearts cry out for sure footing, for a sure foundation; for certainty in uncertain times.
This morning we’ll examine, from the Scriptures, five things which are uncertain in this life, and the one thing, the precious one, that is certain.
In times of uncertainty, we are not left without hope. As believers in Christ, we are not like so many sailors drifting at sea in the storm. We are not alone in the storms of this life. We have a sure footing and a sure foundation.
Men’s Promises: “Do not put your trust in princes, in mortal men, who cannot save.” (Psalms 146:3 NIV) We are living in an age of broken promises. It is a disheartening commentary on the state of families in this country that the divorce rate, depending on what survey you read, is as high as 50% in America. In the Church, where one might suspect the rates would be at least a little lower, the divorce rate is just as high. Men and women are making promises to one another, to their children, and then breaking them en mass.
The pressures that this society places on families are tremendous and is it any wonder that we see promises broken and families broken in the process? But this really should come as no surprise to Bible believing Christians because the Bible tells us not to place our trust in other people who cannot save us.
While the world looks men to save them, we know that it is only God who saves. No prince, no king, no local, regional, national, or global is able to save us. That power is reserved for God; it is in His promises alone that we must place our trust.
Riches: “Cast but a glance at riches, and they are gone, for they will surely sprout wings and fly off to the sky like an eagle.” (Proverbs 23:5 NIV) Time and again the Bible warns us in regard to placing our trust in earthly riches. The biblical message is not that money is innately evil, nor is it that we should not plan or save.
The message is that our ultimate trust and focus is to be on the provider not on the provision. Earthly riches are fleeting and unstable. Happiness is not found in wealth. God is our source of peace, contentment, security, and stability.
The Persians tell a story about an unhappy king. In an attempt to find the answer to his dissatisfaction, he consulted his astrologers who told him he could find happiness by wearing the coat of a perfectly happy man. Immediately the king set out on his quest. He knocked at the doors of the very rich, for it seemed logical to find happiness there, but in vain.
He visited the institutions of higher learning, thinking the erudite must be happy in their wisdom. That, too, proved a dead end. Finally he stumbled across a common laborer singing at his work who confessed he was perfectly happy. “Sell me your coat,” cried the king. “I’ll give you a bag of gold for it.” But the laborer only laughed and said, “I’d gladly give it to you, Sir, but I have no coat.”
This is only a legend of course, but it illustrates a profound truth. Achieving riches is not synonymous with achieving happiness. That doesn’t mean the rich have to become poor in order to be happy. The ranks of the happy include the poor and the rich, as well as those in between.
King Solomon had the right idea when he prayed, “Give me neither poverty nor riches; feed me with food convenient for me: lest I be full, and deny thee, and say, Who is the Lord? or lest I be poor, and steal, and take the name of my God in vain” (Prov. 30:8, 9). Paul said it even more succinctly when he wrote to Timothy, "Godliness with contentment is great gain” (1 Tim. 6:6).
The Future: “Do not boast about tomorrow, for you do not know what a day may bring forth.” (Proverbs 27:1 NIV) The future is uncertain. With all that is happening around the world there are many Christians and Bible Teachers who are wondering if the end of this age is soon to come.