Vol. 9 No. 10- June, 2012
THE FUTURE – A CONTEMPLATION
The past has been spent; the present is now being spent; and the future, the remainder of our lives, is composed of possibilities, some certainties and much that is unknown. We do not know the length of our days of life, the particular troubles and joys that lie before us, the fate of nations that now exist, whether wealth or poverty is in our future, what lies ahead for current local churches, the turn of events in the lives of people we know for good or bad, or even what each day may bring forth (Prov. 1:27).
The known that is in the future should not be unexpected, in the overall view. We know that troubles and joys are a part of our future. We cannot know their proportion. Time’s swift passage we recognize more and more as we grow older, and we should be mindful of the fact that its speed will not abate. We also can expect life’s cycle to continue: birth, growing up, likely marriage, adult duties, old age, death. Also, we should be awareof the ever-changing nature of physical things as we think about the future. From the opposite perspective, we know that truth stands unchanged and certain, and will always be an influence against ever-present evil. We know that finally Christ will come again, that the heavens and earth will pass away, the great Judgment Day will come, and eternal life or eternal condemnation will be the future of all mankind, depending upon our victory over Satan or our defeat by him (2 Thes. 1:6-10; Psa. 102:25,26; 2 Pet. 3:10,11; Matt. 24:35).
In a truly practical sense, we can influence the future, for good or bad, for ourselves and others. We can make a surety of some things by faithful devotion to God: a constant drawing nearer to God, our being among the chosen of God, and the winning of the crown of life (Jas. 4:8; 2 Pet. 1:5-11; Rev. 2:10).We can follow the steps of Jesus and thus leave footprints that lead others in the right direction (1 Cor. 11:1; Rom. 4:12; 1 Pet. 2:21,22; Heb. 13:7). We can ensure for ourselves greater spiritual growth and greater spiritual strength in the future by diligently applying ourselves in this present time to reading, to careful study, and to application of truth in our present lives (2 Tim. 2:15; 1 Tim. 4:12-16). We can develop greater patience and endurance for the future by our dealing properly with the trials of life each day (Jas. 1:2-4,12; 5:7-11).
Let us, then, dedicate ourselves and our energy in this living present to the duties that we as saints of God have set before us by Christ. Let us redeem the present time, because the days are evil (Eph. 5:16), working while it is day (Jno. 9:4; Phil. 2:12,13; 1 Thes. 5:1-11). Let us be of good courage because we have hope in God, and we trust in His faithfulness (1 Thes. 1:3; Acts 24:15; Heb. 13:5,6; 1 Pet. 1:13-25). If we live in faith and hope now, our future can be full of hope, regardless of the ebb and flow of the things of this world.