Relying on God in an Uncertain World!

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Relying on God in an Uncertain World!

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It is abundantly evident that we live in an uncertain world. Three thousand years ago Solomon confirmed that “man is greatly troubled by ignorance of the future; who can tell him what it will bring?” (Ecclesiastes 8:6-7 Ecclesiastes 8:6-7 6 Because to every purpose there is time and judgment, therefore the misery of man is great on him. 7 For he knows not that which shall be: for who can tell him when it shall be?
American King James Version×
, Revised English Bible). He said “the living know that they will die” and “time and chance happen to them all” (Ecclesiastes 9:5 Ecclesiastes 9:5For the living know that they shall die: but the dead know not any thing, neither have they any more a reward; for the memory of them is forgotten.
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, 11).

This ancient king’s words are as true today as when he wrote them. As mortal human beings, our one certainty is death. The apostle James also reminds us that we “do not know what will happen tomorrow” (James 4:14 James 4:14Whereas you know not what shall be on the morrow. For what is your life? It is even a vapor, that appears for a little time, and then vanishes away.
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). Though the context clearly shows that he refers to man’s mundane, day-to-day activities, his sobering declaration underlines the natural state of our material world.

How is God willing to relate to us in this uncertain world of suffering and death?

“Lord, You have been our dwelling place for all generations … Even from everlasting to everlasting, You are God” (Psalms 90:1-2 Psalms 90:1-2 1 Lord, you have been our dwelling place in all generations. 2 Before the mountains were brought forth, or ever you had formed the earth and the world, even from everlasting to everlasting, you are God.
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).

God is always there! As Peter wrote, “do not forget this one thing, that with the Lord one day is as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day” (2 Peter 3:8 2 Peter 3:8But, beloved, be not ignorant of this one thing, that one day is with the Lord as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day.
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). God “inhabits eternity”—and is not bound by physical laws of time and space (compare Isaiah 57:15 Isaiah 57:15For thus said the high and lofty One that inhabits eternity, whose name is Holy; I dwell in the high and holy place, with him also that is of a contrite and humble spirit, to revive the spirit of the humble, and to revive the heart of the contrite ones.
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; Psalms 90:4 Psalms 90:4For a thousand years in your sight are but as yesterday when it is past, and as a watch in the night.
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).

Yet is God fully aware of our life expectancy, our temporary existence in this world?

“We finish our years like a sigh. The days of our lives are seventy years; and if by reason of strength they are eighty years, yet their boast is only labor and sorrow” (Psalms 90:9-10 Psalms 90:9-10 9 For all our days are passed away in your wrath: we spend our years as a tale that is told. 10 The days of our years are three score years and ten; and if by reason of strength they be fourscore years, yet is their strength labor and sorrow; for it is soon cut off, and we fly away.
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).

Though the Bible freely acknowledges the insecurity and uncertainty of man’s earthly existence, how do the Scriptures contrast the character of God?

“Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and comes down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow of turning” (James 1:17 James 1:17Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and comes down from the Father of lights, with whom is no ficklenss, neither shadow of turning.
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).

God is the most stable Being in this whole universe! His overall plan and purpose remain constant and unchanging. God is our refuge, our one place of security, our hope in the face of the uncertainties that plague us (compare Malachi 3:6 Malachi 3:6For I am the LORD, I change not; therefore you sons of Jacob are not consumed.
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; Hebrews 13:8 Hebrews 13:8Jesus Christ the same yesterday, and to day, and for ever.
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). He is our Rock! (Psalms 18:2 Psalms 18:2The LORD is my rock, and my fortress, and my deliverer; my God, my strength, in whom I will trust; my buckler, and the horn of my salvation, and my high tower.
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).

On whom, then, should we rely?

“Have you not known? Have you not heard? The everlasting God, the Lord, the Creator of the ends of the earth, neither faints nor is weary … He gives power to the weak, and to those who have no might He increases strength” (Isaiah 40:28-29 Isaiah 40:28-29 28 Have you not known? have you not heard, that the everlasting God, the LORD, the Creator of the ends of the earth, faints not, neither is weary? there is no searching of his understanding. 29 He gives power to the faint; and to them that have no might he increases strength.
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).

What does God promise to do when we are troubled by doubt and uncertainty?

“For I, the Lord your God, will hold your right hand, saying to you, ‘Fear not, I will help you’ ” (Isaiah 41:13 Isaiah 41:13For I the LORD your God will hold your right hand, saying to you, Fear not; I will help you.
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).

Even death cannot defeat those who trust in God. It was Jesus who said that “whoever lives and believes in Me shall never die” (John 11:26 John 11:26And whoever lives and believes in me shall never die. Believe you this?
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). He obviously meant eternal death, because we will all face the end of this life (Hebrews 9:27 Hebrews 9:27And as it is appointed to men once to die, but after this the judgment:
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).

Yet Christ promised there would be a resurrection to eternal life for those who truly trust in God and His Word. “Most assuredly, I say to you, he who hears My word and believes in Him who sent Me has everlasting life, and shall not come into judgment, but has passed from death into life” (John 5:24 John 5:24Truly, truly, I say to you, He that hears my word, and believes on him that sent me, has everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation; but is passed from death to life.
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).

Those who are truly converted—through repentance and the receiving of the Holy Spirit—and remain faithful to the end have the sure promise of a resurrection to eternal life in God’s kingdom. Our free booklet What Happens After Death? explains in much greater detail.