Summary: The fact that we live in time means that we tend to worry about the future. In this talk, we will examine some of God’s His attributes that can help us face an uncertain future. When we get to know God, we find greater hope for facing life’s challenges.
The pessimist mainly complains about the wind. The optimist simply expects it to change. The realist wisely adjusts the sails.
This is a talk for the optimist who just expects things to get better, but rarely is willing to take action. So, the future never really gets brighter. And it’s a talk for the pessimist – for the people who tend to look at the dark side – to tend to expect the worst – who tend to live life in a way that insures a pretty bleak future. It’s a talk to help us become realists – people who are willing to adjust our thinking about life and, especially, about God.
When we are thinking that our future looks bleak, those thoughts can exhaust our energy for living. We spend our lives fearing future misery and thirsting for future happiness.
Knowing God better will help us more than we think. Knowing God takes away the fear of future and gives us hope. When we know God, we have hope… and faith!
Faith when your future looks bleak
Text: Isaiah 44:3-8, p. 518
Series: Knowing God
There seems to be lots of confusion about what God is really like - about who He really is. Some “fire and brimstone” types focus mainly on His justice. Others focus mainly on His love. Still others say that the God or gods of Buddhism, Hinduism, and Islam are basically the same as the God of the Bible.
But we ought to let God speak for Himself! In the pages of Isaiah, a prophet in the Bible, God introduces Himself to us with words like these: “I am the Lord and there is no other.”
This series will help us come to know God better, build our relationship with Him, and draw us closer to Him in love. As we come to know Him, we will learn how to trust Him in a greater way. Thinking biblically about God will help us develop more peace and personal security, more contentment and self-control, and more love and joy.
Our book of the month (available at the book store in the foyer) was written by J. I. Packer. He wrote, “Disregard the study of God, and you sentence yourself to stumble and blunder through life blindfold as it were with no sense of direction and no understanding of what surrounds you. This way you can waste your life and lose your soul.” We don’t want that! So, for the next thee weeks, we’re going to come together and learn directly from God about who He says He really is.
6 Thus says the LORD, the King of Israel and his Redeemer, the LORD of hosts: ‘I am the first and I am the last, and there is no God besides Me.
7 Who is like Me? Let him proclaim and declare it; yes, let him recount it to Me in order, from the time that I established the ancient nation. And let them declare to them the things that are coming and the events that are going to take place.
8 … And you are My witnesses. Is there any God besides Me, or is there any other Rock? I know of none.
Isaiah 44:6-7, 8b
In this passage, we saw a phrase: “You are My witnesses.” The promises of this passage are for witnesses, for people who will talk it up about God and His nature and His character and His attributes. Biblically speaking, the difference between a person who sees and has a bright future and the person who sees and has a bleak future is what we believe about God. The person filled with hope knows God. That’s why it helps to do self-talk. It helps us cope when we “talk it up” about the nature and character of God.
So, the promises of this passage are for witnesses, for people who will talk about God to themselves and others. The word “witness” comes from a root word that means “return,” “repeat,” “do again.” So, a witness is someone who emphatically repeats a testimony. A witness is someone who talks about what they have experienced to be true.
What is it that we are to be witnesses about? What is it about God that we are to talk about – to remind ourselves of? I see five truths about God in this passage.
When my future looks bleak, I will talk about…
1. … the supremacy of God. v. 6a
Martin Luther once said, “Your thoughts about God are too human.” In Psalm 50:21, God says, “You thought I was just like you…” We tend to look at God through the wrong end of a telescope. We reduce Him to pigmy proportions. He’s the sun, yet we think of Him as though He were a little candle. But look at who’s talking…