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There are times when we need to find out all we can about the possible outcomes of our decisions. Looking ahead prudently is one of the main aspects of wisdom (Prov. 22:3). Despite our best efforts, however, we can't know very much about what is going to happen. Even when we gather all the information we can, things often turn out to be very different than we thought they would. James put it very simply: "You do not know what tomorrow will bring" (Jas. 4:14).
Yet there is a sense in which our ignorance of the future makes life more exciting. Certainly this is true for the Christian. If we have obeyed the gospel and are living as faithful followers of the Lord, our trust is that He will guide us and help us, whatever may happen. We do not control the future, but He does -- and it is exciting to see what He will bring to pass.
Life in Christ in this world is a great adventure. Indeed, it is the greatest of all adventures. To embark on the life of a disciple is to enter a realm where any number of thrilling things may happen. We do not know what might happen next, but we know that it is going to be something through which God will be glorified. It is our privilege to be a part of God's plans for the triumph of His eternal purposes. What could be more exciting?
In many ways, our lives in this world are like a journey. We are "here" today, and in the future we will be "there." We are on our way from one "place" to another. But we can't see very far down the road. God only asks that we take the steps that are immediately in front of us, always faithfully doing what our conscience tells us is right. We don't need to know what lies around the next bend. We just need to take the steps that are in front of us. Our future steps will reveal themselves in God's good time, and it will be a thrill to see what those turn out to be.
On earthly journeys, we like to have a map or an itinerary. But on our spiritual journey, no such map is given to us. We only know that God is waiting for us at the end. He has not told us everything we will see or do along the way. That remains to be seen. But like Abraham, we journey in faith, knowing the destination will be worth it. It's exhilarating, to say the least.
Monday: Hebrews 11:8-10
Key Idea: Abraham did not know where he was going when, in faith, he left his home.
Questions for Family Growth: What do we learn about faith from this example in Abraham's life? Before we act, must we always know what lies ahead for us in this life? According to v.10, what was more important to Abraham than any particular set of circumstances in this life?
Wisdom for the Day: Proverbs 30:18,19.
Tuesday: Mark 1:16-20
Key Idea: The disciples of Jesus followed Him not knowing what their work would require.
Questions for Family Growth: When Jesus said "Follow me," did these men get any explanation of what their discipleship was going to require? How was their discipleship different from ours today? What is an "adventure," and how does following the Lord fit that definition?
Wisdom for the Day: Proverbs 30:20.
Wednesday: Acts 20:22-24
Key Idea: Not knowing what awaited him in Jerusalem, Paul's only desire was to glorify God.
Questions for Family Growth: For what purpose was Paul going to Jerusalem? If it was likely that the Jews would arrest him, and even put him to death, why did that not make any difference to Paul? According to v.24, what objective was greater than any other desire of Paul?
Wisdom for the Day: Proverbs 30:21-23.
Thursday: James 4:13-16
Key Idea: We may make plans for the future, but only God knows what will actually happen.
Questions for Family Growth: In your own words, what is the warning that James gives us in this passage? What are some ways in which our lives are like a "mist" or "vapor"? In v.15, what thought ought to be involved in all of our plans and projections about the future?
Wisdom for the Day: Proverbs 30:24-28.
Friday: 1 Peter 4:19
Key Idea: Not knowing the future, we entrust our souls to a God who is always faithful to us.
Questions for Family Growth: What was the situation of Peter's readers as he wrote to them? In view of their uncertainties, what was to be their attitude? How does knowing of God's faithfulness help us to be faithful to Him? What does it mean to "entrust" our souls to God?
Wisdom for the Day: Proverbs 30:29-31.