The uncertainty of the time we seem to be living in can create a great deal of concern for us at times. We wonder what the future holds and sometimes worry about it as well. Wanting to pull back the curtain to see what lies ahead from the beginning of recorded history has long fascinated us. People sought out seers and prophets to that end. Many still look to astrologers and others who practice the occult to get answers for what may lay ahead. I wonder if we do so because of anxiety or because somehow if we find out we will steel ourselves for whatever it is and feel a bit more in control.
Whether we like to admit it or not, when things appear to be totally out of control, we can start to shake a bit. Perhaps that is based on the faulty premise that we might be able to change something to alter what is ahead if it is not to our liking. I suggest it is faulty because the very worst things that may happen to us often appear to happen randomly even though we can potentially impact small things like what we eat, how much we exercise, where we live, and how much we spend.
Does the Lord really want to keep us in suspense, so we have no way of preparing for the future? It might be tempting to think so and there are some things He has clearly said will not be revealed to us such as the date and time of His reappearing. But even then, He has given us clues and information we can read and reflect upon regarding that. Additionally, He has filled the Bible with a huge chunk written by prophets and too often we skip over those books or get bogged down in trying to sort out Daniel’s visions or John’s unusual images in Revelation. Sometimes we also try reading those books without any context or attempt to study what excellent commentators reveal or to lean into the Holy Spirit to guide and open our hearts to see.
Have you considered Isaiah? I know you likely know the passages we hear and associate with Christmas, but there is so much more in the book of the Bible that bears his name. My pastor taught through the entire book and he has noted how often Jesus quotes Isaiah in His words in the gospels. My pastor’s admonition? “Know Isaiah. It will settle your heart. So far, everything he has said has come true so far.”
Reading carefully shows us Isaiah’s words encompass at least four kings and we see how his prophetic messages have come to pass regarding these kings and their kingdoms. But there is more to learn because some of his words extend beyond his time into our present time and speak to what will yet be. Some of them align with things John writes in Revelation. His job as a prophet was to challenge the people and speak the words of God, to warn and call the people back to God.
Perhaps you wonder about what lies ahead in heaven or hell. No, we don’t have a video of either one, but the Bible speaks clearly about both destinations. It seems He wants us to know, and I don’t think He wants us to fear death as believers but rather to see it as a transition and change of address. He tells us about both places because He wants us to choose heaven and the way to get there.
Yes, bad times will come and always be with us in this life. Yes, we will not escape disappointments and wounds. BUT that does not mean He is absent! He also promises that His righteousness will prevail, and judgment will fall upon evil and those who have rejected Him. Would you like to see an example of His faithfulness to His chosen people?
Look at portions of Isaiah 14: 24-27 (ESV) to discover God’s faithfulness. I will not quote all the verses, but here are a few phrases to whet your appetite: “As I have planned, so shall it be, and as I have purposed, so shall it stand…. For the Lord of hosts has purposed, and who shall annul it?”
God is looking at how Assyria has besieged His people and through Isaiah tells them in essence, “Rest easy. I’ve got this.”
How do I know I can apply that to our current day? Because the writer of Hebrews says:
“Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.”Hebrews 13:8 (ESV)
So, when you are tempted to worry about the future, consider reading Isaiah 14: 24-27 and remember…God’s got this!!