Although, in a sense, the future can always be said to be uncertain, yet at present this is the case as never before. Although there have often been periods in history when the times looked dark and the future very uncertain; the present in a very particular way can be said to be so. The previous uncertainties were usually more localized and they also did not touch every phase and department of the life of the people as they do today.
Economically we face a vicious inflationary spiral due to the piling up of a huge debt and consequent increasing demands for wage increases by labor and price-raises by manufacturers and farmers.
Politically we see a sordid picture of increasing corruption and graft; the selling of influence and protection for money and Him domination of office-holders by labor unions and other minority blocs.
Internationally we live under the constant dread of communism arid its attendant threat of war with Red Russia and her satellites.
Scientifically we live under the “shadow of the atomic cloud. The world of science itself fears the very weapon of destruction it has forged. They fear that the atom bomb and the hydrogen bomb which they have developed will one day destroy them.”
After having surveyed these categories, we still, have not touched on those of the church and the home.
The Church in general has deteriorated into a society for community uplift and welfare, and the pulpit has become a forum for expounding moral and political values. Whereas doctrines are no longer preached and much less understood, and whereas the general idea and thrust of all churches is virtually the same, a veritable rash of church merger and union in the inevitable result.
The home, which formerly was a bulwark of security and protection; where children were nurtured and taught the first principles of devotion and obedience, has become, by and large, remiss in its duties. The parents neglect the proper training of their children by word and example. The children are, as a result, disrespectful and disobedient both at home and in society. The result is that a generation arises who respect nor obey either God or man.
“What a pessimist!” you perhaps say.
Let us assure the reader that this is, however, not the purpose. The picture we have painted is quite true to fact as all of you know from reading and experience.
It is especially for our young people, who stand at the threshold of this troublous and dark life that we write. Our purpose is not to profit out the future darkly and leave it at that, but to show, by God’s grace, that in dark times God is our light and in troublous times He is our defense. How do and should we react to those facts?
We sincerely sympathize with our young men, who, when they finish their schooling face induction into the service for a period of years. They normally would choose a career or vocation for their livelihood at this period in life. Now nothing but uncertainty faces them. If a few years elapse between the time they leave school and their induction, a new problem often arises. They have perhaps met a girl with whom it is their desire to marry and set up a home. The problem then is—is it wise to marry now that induction faces them, or is it better to wait until discharged?
Our girls, although not directly affected by military service and war, are nevertheless similarly faced with their own problems. At an age when normally they are seeking and finding their future husbands, they find that the boys of their age are serving their country and often facing the threats of death by the enemy.
All these problems have a tendency to cause us to say “What’s the use?” “It’s impossible to make any plans or decisions about anything—the future is too uncertain”. This is a great danger. It is the taking of the road of least resistance. This negative attitude is never justifiable. It is not by chance that conditions in the world are as they are. Nor is it by chance that you are, at your age, faced with uncertainties in regard to your future. God requires of us that with all our heart and mind and soul and strength we serve Him. We experience that we are wholly unable in the very least way to meet this holy demand.
Obedience to God’s positive commands does not make allowances because of the uncertainties of our future or of world conditions. God demands obedience now —today—under exactly these conditions —that we live a positive life of faith. Faith is the gift of God. By faith we have the victory through Jesus Christ, our Lord. If we live out of this faith, we believe that God is sovereign that in and through all these things His kingdom is coming; that we, His people are set as a testimony to His grace in the midst of a world which lieth in wickedness. We can’t postpone this until a more stable world-order develops or until our life becomes a little less uncertain, but daily, under the most adverse circumstances, we must walk in faith as before His face. This faith strengthens us to face the future with confidence, being assured that our God does all these things and does them well. Then we wait patiently for the Lord to make His will known with regard to us, —not running ahead in our own impatience.
In regard to our boys and girls, this, in our opinion, would include that they wait with their marriage until they can establish a normal, Christian home, and in regard to our boys that they do not take the initiative by enlisting, but wait until God in His providence directs that they be drafted.
In this way they can be fully assured that they are in God’s way and may expect His blessing.
The things we have touched upon are only a few of the more prominent things in the lives of our young people that can be treated in this connection. It may be profitable for our comfort, edification and instruction to treat some of the other phases in a later issue.
Stand fast in the truth and the Grace of our Lord Jesus Christ. Wait patiently upon Him. Search His Word, Who does all things well.