“Do not boast about tomorrow, for you do not know what a day may bring.” (Proverbs 27:1 ESV)
“Come now, you who say, ‘Today or tomorrow we will go into such and such a town and spend a year there and trade and make a profit’—yet you do not know what tomorrow will bring. What is your life? For you are a mist that appears for a little time and then vanishes. Instead you ought to say, ‘If the Lord wills, we will live and do this or that.’ As it is, you boast in your arrogance. All such boasting is evil. So whoever knows the right thing to do and fails to do it, for him it is sin. (James 4:13-17 ESV)
“Therefore do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.” (Matthew 6:34 ESV)
“You will not need to fight in this battle. Stand firm, hold your position, and see the salvation of the Lord on your behalf, O Judah and Jerusalem.’ Do not be afraid and do not be dismayed. Tomorrow go out against them, and the Lord will be with you.” (2 Chronicles 20:17 ESV)
“Let every person be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and those that exist have been instituted by God.” (Romans 13:1 ESV)
“Trust in the Lord, and do good;
dwell in the land and befriend faithfulness.
Delight yourself in the Lord,
and he will give you the desires of your heart.
Commit your way to the Lord;
trust in him, and he will act.
He will bring forth your righteousness as the light,
and your justice as the noonday.
Be still before the Lord and wait patiently for him;
fret not yourself over the one who prospers in his way,
over the man who carries out evil devices!
Refrain from anger, and forsake wrath!
Fret not yourself; it tends only to evil.” (Psalm 37:3-8 ESV)
But this I call to mind, and therefore I have hope:
The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases; his mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.
“The Lord is my portion,” says my soul,
“therefore I will hope in him.”
The Lord is good to those who wait for him, to the soul who seeks him.
(Lamentations 3:21-25 ESV)
Life is stressful. Don’t try to do it on your own.
“Commit your work to the Lord, and your plans will be established.” Proverbs 16:3
“Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding.” Proverbs 3:5
“Therefore do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.” Matthew 6:34
“Commit your way to the Lord; trust in him, and he will act.” Psalm 37:5
“Blessed is the man who makes the Lord his trust, who does not turn to the proud, to those who go astray after a lie!” Psalm 40:4
“We rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us.” Romans 5:3-5
“So we do not lose heart. Though our outer self is wasting away, our inner self is being renewed day by day. For this light momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison.” 2 Corinthians 4:16-17
“Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.” Philippians 4:8
We are afflicted in every way, but not crushed; perplexed, but not driven to despair; persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed; always carrying in the body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be manifested in our bodies.– 2 Corinthians 5:8-10 ESV
The Lord directs our steps, so why try to understand everything along the way?
There are some things in life that are not able to be understood. They are just plainly unknowable on this side of Heaven. This is one of the biggest things I’ve learned in the past few months.
But of course, we should not be ignorant or naive. I’m certainly not encouraging apathy or lazy reasoning. We should always attempt to understand what is happening around us and inside of us.
But there are some things that simply cannot be grasped by our limited human minds, and it will do us no good to strain ourselves over these things.
As 1 Corinthians 13:12 says:
Now we see things imperfectly, like puzzling reflections in a mirror, but then we will see everything with perfect clarity. All that I know now is partial and incomplete, but then I will know everything completely, just as God now knows me completely.
Tragedy strikes, plans go awry, we get hurt, things just don’t work out. Life sucks sometimes. But through it all, God has a divine plan and a purpose for those seemingly useless difficulties.
It’s ok to ask why, but if we don’t get an answer, we need to trust God as He guides our lives and carries out His perfect plans.
The way I look at it, I think sometimes God does give us more than we can handle. He does it in order to reform something in our lives and make us into who He wants us to be. But to do that, we must first be broken.
Once we are broken and have reached the end of ourselves, we are forced to fully give ourselves over to and trust Him if we want to move forward. Then through the healing process, He grows us and stretches us and rebuilds us much stronger and better off than before.
It could be compared to a potter fixing a deformed pot. The imperfection must be removed (or even broken off) before the repairs can begin. Or a surgeon fixing a broken arm. If the arm has started healing but is not realigned properly, the surgeon must re-break the arm and set it in place.
God never said He wouldn’t give us more than we can handle. But He did say that His grace is sufficient in our weakness, and that He will never leave nor forsake us. Thank God for that.
Do you ever wonder why we print that phrase on all of our money?
Because that’s just what we do in America. Every American loves apple pie, baseball, and God. Our movie stars and rappers thank God when they accept their awards … unless they’re having a bad day, then they just use His name as a curse word. We think attending church is a good thing. Unless the weather is just too gorgeous to spend the day indoors. “In God We Trust” sounds great! As long as we don’t actually have to put it into action.
No, I’m pretty sure that’s not what our leaders meant when they added that to our money.
Money can so easily become an idol. Something we worship. Something we put our trust in. We can live our lives completely for money. And what will it profit us?
“In God We Trust” is a warning. Do not trust in this material thing that will only leave you wanting more. Do not trust in this temporal thing that will one day pass away. Do not trust in this worldly thing that will lead you nowhere.
Instead, we place our trust in the one true, living God. The God who has the power to save. The God who has the power to free from slavery to sin.
We trust that He will provide for us. We trust that He will guide and direct us. We trust that He has a plan for our lives. A plan for good and not evil, to give us a future and a hope.
So the next time you look at a dollar bill or a quarter, use it as a reminder to trust God. He will never let you down.
So, my dear brothers and sisters, be strong and immovable. Always work enthusiastically for the Lord, for you know that nothing you do for the Lord is ever useless.—1 Corinthians 15:58 (NLT)
This verse has been rattling around in my head all night. Especially the last line “nothing you do for the Lord is ever useless.”
We play such a seemingly insignificant role in the grand scope of things.
We try our best for the Lord and still fail miserably (and often times, embarrassingly).
Sometimes it feels like the deck of life is stacked against us and all we’re destined for in this world is failure.
The thoughts pour into our minds, what do you think you’re doing? You think you can make a difference? You’re useless. Just give up now, it’ll be easier that way.
But God is glorified even through man’s failures. In fact, it is through our weakness that God is glorified most (2 Cor 12:9). Whether the purposes be to mold and shape our own lives, or bless someone somewhere somehow completely unbeknownst to us, we serve a purpose. And that purpose’s name is Jesus Christ.
The bottom line is, keep working “enthusiastically for the Lord.” Though you may only experience failure and disappointment in this life, work done for the Lord is never useless.
God blesses the people who patiently endure testing. Afterward they will receive the crown of life that God has promised to those who love Him.—James 1:15
But He knows the way that I take; when He has tested me, I shall come forth as gold.—Job 23:10
Be good and true; be patient; be undaunted. Leave your usefulness to God to estimate. He will see to it that you do not live in vain.– George Morrison