Summary: To face the future set up a plan, stay in the Word and step out in faith.
FACING THE FUTURE
Years ago there was a TV program I was reminded of the other day called "Early Edition." I only saw it once or twice but if I remember the basic storyline centered around a young man who was given tomorrow’s newspaper today. In other words, he was able to know what was going to happen a day before it actually happened. Now let me ask you. If you were able to know what was going to happen before it happened, how would you use that knowledge? Would you use it to get rich? If you knew the stock market or tomorrows lottery ticket numbers would you use that information just to make money? Would you use it to help those in need? If you knew that someone was going to be in trouble or would die would you rush to help them? What would you do if you knew what was would happen tomorrow?
Human beings have an unquenchable thirst to know about the future. We will do anything to find out what’s going to happen next. People will pay good money for palm reading, fortune telling, tea leaves, fortune cookies, crystal balls, astrology. None of this stuff works. Predicting the future is big business. Books like Megatrends and Megatrends 2000 are best sellers. Many magazines seek to forecast the future – economically and culturally.
Eccl 8:7 Since no man knows the future, who can tell him what is to come?
Years ago Naomi and I were travelling on the 401 and I lost control of the car on the icy highway. It was a terrible feeling – we were completely out of control. Sometimes it seems the future is like that – you feel like you are out of control and unable to deal with what will happen next. Nobody knows what the future holds except God. What does He say about the future? To Face the Future there are 3 things that you should NOT do:
a. DON’T PRESUME ABOUT TOMORROW!
Prov. 27:1 Do not boast about tomorrow, for you don’t know what a day may bring forth.
You can’t brag about what you’re going to do next year, you don’t even know if you’re going to have tomorrow. Remember the man Jesus talked about in Luke 12:18 who said to himself "You have plenty of good things laid up for many years. Take life easy; eat, drink and be merry". Each of us are only a heartbeat away from eternity.
b. DON’T PANIC ABOUT TOMORROW!
Matthew 6:34 Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself
Live one day at a time. Worry is an attempt to control the future and it doesn’t work. Worrying is stewing without doing. It is living tomorrow before it comes. The future doesn’t come to us all at once but in bite sized, 24 hour segments called days. We are to live one day at a time. You can plan for the future, but you can’t live there. You can only live today. Yard by yard, life is hard, but inch by inch life’s a cinch.
c. DON’T PROCRASTINATE ABOUT TOMORROW!
Eccl. 11:4 Whoever watches the wind will not plant; whoever looks at the clouds will not reap!
What has God told you to do this year that you haven’t done yet? The year is almost over! Do it now! Don’t wait! Perfectionism is often the root of most procrastination. You set such a high standard that you never get started.
Procrastination is my sin, it only brings me sorrow
I know I ought to change my life, In fact I will -- tomorrow
These three are the wrong way to face the future. What does God say is the right way to face the future? In Joshua 1 God is about too lead Israel into a very uncertain future. Joshua knows that the moment he leads them across the Jordan river he’s going to face many enemy nations, all of them bigger than him. They will be in a continuous battle for the next several years. Facing this very uncertain future, God’s pep talk to Joshua is clear:
Josh 1:1 After the death of Moses the servant of the LORD, the LORD said to Joshua son of Nun, Moses’ aide: 2 "Moses my servant is dead. Now then, you and all these people, get ready to cross the Jordan River into the land I am about to give to them--to the Israelites. 3 I will give you every place where you set your foot, as I promised Moses. 4 Your territory will extend from the desert to Lebanon, and from the great river, the Euphrates--all the Hittite country--to the Great Sea on the west. 5 No one will be able to stand up against you all the days of your life. As I was with Moses, so I will be with you; I will never leave you nor forsake you. 6 "Be strong and courageous, because you will lead these people to inherit the land I swore to their forefathers to give them. 7 Be strong and very courageous. Be careful to obey all the law my servant Moses gave you; do not turn from it to the right or to the left, that you may be successful wherever you go. 8 Do not let this Book of the Law depart from your mouth; meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do everything written in it. Then you will be prosperous and successful. 9 Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be terrified; do not be discouraged, for the LORD your God will be with you wherever you go." 10 So Joshua ordered the officers of the people: 11 "Go through the camp and tell the people, `Get your supplies ready. Three days from now you will cross the Jordan here to go in and take possession of the land the LORD your God is giving you for your own.’"