By Jim Willis
Scripture Reading: 2 Timothy 1:7 – 12 (NKJV)
"For God has not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind" (2 Tim. 1:7).
If you took time to read the scripture reading you are probably reading from the last book the Apostle Paul ever wrote. He is facing the executioner's sword, and yet he encourages his young disciple, Timothy not to live in FEAR. I heard a preacher say that it had been counted at least 365 times that the phrases "Do not fear, Fear Not, don't be afraid or not to worry..." terms similar to that appears in the Bible. That means that there is one for every day of the year.
The heroes of history and poetry may be cruel, violent, self-seeking, ruthless, intemperate, and unjust, but they are never cowards frightened by what tomorrow may bring. They do not falter or give up. They do not despair in the face of almost seemingly hopeless odds. They have the strength and stamina to achieve whatever they set their minds to do. They would not be heroes if they were not people of courage and of confidence in tomorrow.
I have basically given up on watching the national news. There seems to be a war against the principles of right and wrong...It's enough to make you wonder if you want to even wake up in the morning. We must stand by the heroes of the Christian faith and assert our belief in God's sovereignty over tomorrow. The Christian has every reason and right to say, "I BELIEVE IN TOMORROW!"
There are some reasons I Believe In Tomorrow and the first reason is because of the failure of the past. Paul said in Philippians 3:13 "This one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before." My Grandmother was born in the late 1800's. She was having a conversation, and the person she was talking to said something about the longing for the "Good Old Day." Grandmother said, "I think these are to good old days." She had been through WWI, WWII, some recessions, the Great Depression, The Dust Bowls Days of the l930's, the deaths of two children. Now she had a comfortable home, a steady income, plenty to eat, and the love of her eight living children and grandchildren. This is why she could say, "I think these are the good old days."
Some people choose to retreat into the past to escape the duties and obligations of the present. When Israel was faced with hardships of the present, they began to think about the onions, leeks, garlic, and fish they had eaten as slaves in Egypt (Numbers. 11:5 – 6). They had forgotten the sting of the taskmasters' whips or the fact they had to throw their male babies in the Nile River. Even Joshua became discouraged when after defeating the army of Jericho the Hebrew army was defeated by a much smaller army. "And Joshua said, 'Ah, Sovereign LORD, why did you ever bring this people across the Jordan to deliver us into the hands of the Amorites to destroy us? If only we had been content to stay on the other side of the Jordan!'" (Joshua 7: 7).
We should never forget the past because it can help prepare us for the future. The past teaches us that problems have always been and always will be with humanity. Contrary to history, we often think that the problems of today have never before been matched in history. (Ecclesiastes 1:9 "What has been will be again, what has been done will be done again; there is nothing new under the sun") George Santayana, "Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it."
One might say, "What about agricultural problems and food shortages?" During one of the nation's worst droughts on June 18, 1887, the newspaper in Mason, Texas, reported the words found on a sign attached to an abandoned farmhouse near Blanco, Texas: "250 miles to the nearest post office, 100 miles to wood, 20 miles to water, 6 inches to Hell. God bless our home. Gone to live with wife's folks." To listen to the pundits and "Prophets of Doom and Gloom" Climate Change and Global Warming have all brought about hot summers, warmer winters, and flooding. Did you know that the Arkansas River's course was changed in 1927 due to a flood? I mentioned the Great Depression, but during the Great Depression the country also experienced so extremely hot summers. Don't get me wrong I believe we have done a poor job being caretakers of this planet. We don't like to recycle and we fail to do other things to protect our environment, but at the same time I believe God is the major controller of the weather and not necessarily gas engines.