A new year has begun, and it is only natural that we want to look ahead and try to be ready. Yet the moment we attempt to do that, we become inundated with fears and doubts. The rising cost of groceries and fuel and all of the unknowns about health care are legitimate concerns that would rob us of any hope for a good year ahead. The question of how we pay for all the national debt that is being accrued daily is another worry. Threats by the regimes of rogue nations or terrorist groups leave everyone uneasy. A lack of stability in the job market, the declining value of the dollar, and the decreasing value of our homes create their own anxieties.How do we face our uncertain times? Should we assume the worst and hope for the best? Should we just ignore the problems as we purpose to live by faith? Does the Bible have any instruction for the believer living in times like these? “Nevertheless, the firm foundation of God stands, …” (2 Timothy 2:19a). Those seven words are among the most comforting and peace-giving words to be found in Scripture.
In context, two conjoined problems (empty chatter that leads to ungodliness and spreads like gangrene and false religious teaching) that create so much doubt are themselves destroyed by the firm foundation of God that stands. What is that firm foundation? It is His word!
Some of our biggest fears and worries come from entertaining the speculations of men. In retro-spect, we know that things are almost never as bad as they seemed. Much of the worry and dread that can be so paralyzing were created and expanded upon by talk. Looking back, that is easy to see; but when we begin looking to the future, it isn’t easy to remember that bit of wisdom. It is then that we need to remember that the firm foundation of God stands. His words are not empty, and His message is not worded for its shock value. God’s word has our salvation as its purpose. He “…desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth” (1 Tim. 2:4). While there are many uncertainties, two things are certain: the firm foundation of God stands and…
“…The Lord knows those who are His” (2 Timothy 2:19b). He has promised to take care of us. When it’s “all boiled down to gravy,” the things that cause us to be anxious are the same things that caused anxiety in the first century. Jesus gave us great assurance in the Sermon on the Mount (Mt. 6:25-34). If God, the Creator of sparrows and lilies, cares for and provides for them, He will do much more for you (Mt. 6:30). What we are not to do is worry and be anxious as though all things depend upon us. What we are to do is pray with confidence to our heavenly Father (Mt. 7:7-11). Beyond that we need to also remember…
“…Everyone who names the name of the Lord is to abstain from wickedness” (2 Tim. 2:19c). Sin is the greatest source of anxiety and worry. We cannot exert much influence over the rising of cost of living, the increases in our national debt, nor the radical thinking and evil plotting of despots and terrorists wherever they may be. But we can keep ourselves unstained by the world (James 1:27).
As we begin a new year, we can begin it with justifiable and reasonable confidence if we embrace the truths of 2 Timothy 2:19 each day.
Keep studying! DC Brown ©2013