I wonder if you are person that does not like to know the score of a game that you are recording to watch later. There is a sense where the emotional thrill of the game is lost if you know how it ends before you start. Now, this may be good for sports events, or movies but I wonder if human nature prefers to know real life outcomes in advance? God has revealed a general overview of His plan for humanity. He has told us what is going to happen and when and how it all ends!
This week we are launching a new series for the New Year titled, “Knowing the Unknown.” We will be looking at what the Bible has to reveal about itself and begin to probe a portion of what God has revealed to us about the present and especially the future. Living in uncertain times, like today, can be a huge contributor to stress. The Bible reminds us of a couple truths that give us confidence. Let’s touch on just a few.
First, as we move into a New Year I am reminded that the Lord is always with His followers. He calls us to hold onto Him because He is in control of what is unknown to us. The writer of Hebrews reminds us, “Keep your life free from love of money, and be content with what you have, for he has said, “I will never leave you nor forsake you.”” (Hebrews 13:5) This is a very interesting verse. It reminds us of the dangers of acquiring stuff. I have heard it said, it is not a matter of what you own but what owns you. If we are driven by the obtaining of stuff, it begins to control our life. This frequently leads to stress and we have to guard our stuff. He also reminds us that when we fall into this rut, we are robbed of true contentment. You may have heard the saying, “A rut is a grave with the ends kicked out!” The last part of the verse is the phrase that is more well known. It is a reminder that no matter where we may find ourselves, no matter what we are facing, we are not alone. The cares of this world pull us away from the Lord but we are reminded that real confidence is a fruit of a growing relationship with Jesus.
Second, I am reminded that God invites us to come to Him for guidance. He reminds us that he can reveal what we need to know. The emphasis in that last sentence is on need. He does not tell us everything but He is faithful to reveal what you need to know. The Lord’s brother wrote about the troubles that fall into our lives. It is in this context that he reminds us, “If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given him.” (James 1:5) One of the greatest challenges when facing life’s difficulties is knowing what to do. The all knowing Creator reminds us to ask for help. We do this through prayer. The Lord reminded his people in the Old Testament as they were facing very difficult times to pray. “Call to me and I will answer you, and will tell you great and hidden things that you have not known.” Jeremiah 33:3 ESV This brings us a side thought and it is this. We know that God hears our prayers, every one of them. Just be prepared that the loving Father’s response may be, “Yes, No or Grow!”
It is my hope that you would become “Jesus Strong” in the 12 months of 2022 and that you would come to “Know” what the Lord has revealed to us in His Word.
-Pastor Joe Parkinson