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It goes without saying that our world is disturbing. The daily news often fills us with concern for ourselves and our children. But if our response to these distressing events is fear, that may be an indication that we've placed too much trust in the ability of this world to solve its problems. The fact is, this world is not a dependable source of trust. In the long term, it will always disappoint us. So we must look for a more stable source of confidence and hope.
That source, of course, is God. He made the world, and He is fully aware of all its problems. Despite the difficulties, God is still on His throne governing as He always has. His management of the universe is undiminished, and it is in God's reign that our hopes must rest.
One of the most important concepts in the Scriptures is the idea of the "kingdom" of God. Though men have often rebelled against His rule, God is still the King. And in His Son, Jesus Christ, God has established a kingdom that is the fulfillment of what was spoken in Dan. 2:44: "The God of heaven will set up a kingdom that shall never be destroyed, nor shall the kingdom be left to another people. It shall break in pieces all these kingdoms and bring them to an end, and it shall stand forever." If we have obeyed the gospel and are living our lives in Jesus Christ, this is the kingdom we are a part of. The One who sits on the throne of this kingdom should be our primary concern, regardless of what is happening in the kingdoms of men, all of which will eventually pass away.
We sometimes sing the song by Maltbie D. Babcock called "This Is My Father's World." One of the verses of that song says, "Oh, let me ne'er forget that though the wrong seems oft so strong, God is the ruler yet." Putting our trust in God who is "the ruler yet" is not naive; it is based on the record of many, many events in the story of mankind where God has demonstrated that He keeps His promise. Not only is He trustworthy, but He is the only completely and perfectly trustworthy source of help that is available to us.
God being the Ruler of the world, we can be confident that His purposes will come to pass. We need have no doubt about that. And until God brings the history of this world to a conclusion and His victory celebration begins, we just need to keep working faithfully and fervently. "And let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up" (Gal. 6:9).
Monday: Daniel 2:31-45
Key Idea: Through the prophets, God promised to set up an indestructible kingdom.
Questions for Family Growth: In vv.31-35, what did the king see in his dream? In vv.36-43, what was the interpretation of the dream? What prophecy was made in v.44? What does it mean that this kingdom would "break in pieces" all the other kingdoms and bring them to an end?
Wisdom for the Day: Proverbs 29:20.
Tuesday: Revelation 19:11-16
Key Idea: God's kingdom has been established, and no foe is capable of overthrowing it.
Questions for Family Growth: Assuming that John's vision was a description of Jesus Christ in His role as King, what characteristics of Christ can we learn from this passage? What does it mean in v.15 that He will "strike down the nations" and "rule them with a rod of iron"?
Wisdom for the Day: Proverbs 29:21.
Wednesday: Proverbs 19:21
Key Idea: The plans of men may fail, but God's purposes will always be accomplished.
Questions for Family Growth: What does it mean that "many are the plans in the mind of a man"? What does it mean that "the purpose of the Lord that will stand"? What advice does James give us in Jas. 4:13-16? When we leave God out of our calculations, how is that "boasting"?
Wisdom for the Day: Proverbs 29:22.
Thursday: John 16:33
Key Idea: Since Jesus, our Lord, has overcome the world, we need not fear what the world can do.
Questions for Family Growth: What kinds of difficulties would Jesus' disciples be facing after He left them to go back to heaven? Why would it be comforting for them to know that He had overcome the world? Do we ever need to worry that the forces of evil might be stronger than God?
Wisdom for the Day: Proverbs 29:23.
Friday: 1 Peter 4:12-19
Key Idea: We can entrust our souls to God knowing that He will never fail to be what we need.
Questions for Family Growth: In v.13, in what are we to rejoice? What does it mean in v.16 to "suffer as a Christian" and in v.19 to "suffer according to God's will"? In practical terms what does it mean to "entrust [our] souls to a faithful Creator while doing good" (v.19)?
Wisdom for the Day: Proverbs 29:24.