As we stand at the threshold of a new year, our thoughts turn to the future. So, we too, cast a glance ahead and consider that future. But it is not merely of the future in general that we speak, but of your place in that future, hence, your future.
The Sage of Scripture, Solomon, suggests the wisdom of making provision for the future in his parable of the ant: “Go to the ant, thou sluggard: consider her ways and be wise: which having no guide, overseer or ruler, provideth her meat in summer and gathereth her food in the harvest”. Not only does he teach us that in parables, but speaks of it directly, in another place, when he declares: “He that gathereth in summer is a wise son”. The implications are that he who does not provide for the days to come is a sluggard and that he who takes no thought for the future is a fool. That wisdom of Solomon is ages old, but just as fresh and true today as it ever was. It is a timeless wisdom.
Undoubtedly, most of us who read this are still preparing for our future. And even if we have entered our life’s vocation, we are concerned about its future. What future is there in the work for which we are preparing? Does it have a future? What are the possibilities for advancement and success in the position we now have? These are the questions we face every day and especially in the summer of our life—our youth. Are you concerned about your future?
Perhaps, with the advice of teachers and parents, we have carefully plotted our course to lead to a brilliant future. After considering the various possibilities, we see great opportunity to distinguish ourselves in the field of medicine, chemistry, physics, economics—or even the ministry. We may have taken aptitude tests to determine our I. Q. and thus attempted to find some future place and where we will fit into that future. And this all is certainly a wise course. God has given us gifts and brains to use; to use in compliance with His command to subdue the earth and have dominion over it.
But, while you contemplate your future and chart your course into that unknown, have you ever considered that there is only one sphere that has a FUTURE? That is, there is only one possibility that you shall have a future at all. The only thing that has future is faith! There is not even a possibility that it may or may not; faith very definitely has a future. One may become a most famous surgeon, a noted and brilliant scientist, an eloquent preacher, but if he has no faith he has no future. On the other hand, one’s life work may be most insignificant, yet if he has faith he has THE FUTURE! Furthermore, the Scriptures teach us, that those who have that future also have a present. And again, quite strikingly, they are usually those whose accomplishments in this world seem so feeble and small. “For ye see your calling, brethren, how that not many wise men after the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble, are called: but God hath chosen the foolish things of the world to confound the wise: and God hath chosen the weak things of the world to confound the things which are mighty: and the base things of the world and the things which are despised, hath God chosen, yea, and things which are not, to bring to nought things that are: that no flesh should glory in his presence”.
Your particular future in this world may be difficult to predict and circumscribe. Nevertheless, we can forecast rather accurately a general picture. You will be rich or poor or somewhere in between. You will be a common, ordinary citizen, mediocre or at best famous. You will experience joy and happiness as well as grief and sorrow—mostly the latter. But, whatever your future may be, you may be sure you have none here, for you must die. In your future lies your grave, wherein you must someday lie, returning to the dust. Not a very pleasant prospect, but that’s your future. You may also be sure, as everyone is, that one day this world shall be destroyed and all futures with it. All shall be rolled up as a scroll and burned with unquenchable fire. You see, you have no future here, for the whole is passing away and we with it.
If, however, you are a child of God and have the gift of grace that is called faith, you have a future—THE FUTURE! You have that which cannot possibly be described or comprehended—it’s too glorious! You may speak concerning it and testify of the certainty of it all but, you cannot even understand it: for the substance of that future is as of things hoped for and its conviction of things not seen. That future cannot be predicted, described, pictured nor even imagined. No one here can tell you what it will be like for no one here has experienced it. Even the Word of God hesitates to reveal its nature and frankly states concerning it: “Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him”. But that doesn’t mean that we cannot know it and be sure of it—“God hath revealed it unto us by His Spirit”.
Is that your future? Plot your course with the directive of the Word of Truth and you run the race with the saints of God whose future is eternal life. Along that road the grave has lost its victory and death’s sting is swallowed up of Life. Through Jesus Christ our Lord, we are more than conquerors for faith unites us to Him in time and unto all eternity—and nothing can separate us. He holds us there!
If that is your future it is also your present. It conditions all your present plans, study, work or profession. Permeating these, it fills you with blessed consciousness of peace with God—no matter what. Your present way is blessed and in that way God leads you gently home. Faith has a present! More important—faith has THE FUTURE! Your future?