THE FUTURE IS NOW                                                                                                                    Andy Hollifield 1-2-18

The word “past” is defined as time gone by; the history of a person, nation, etc…; what has existed or happened at some earlier time.  The most important thing to realize about the past is that it cannot be changed.  We can’t change it, we can only learn from it.  “Future” however is an altogether different situation.  “Future” is defined as time to be or come hereafter or something that will exist or happen in time to come.  The late comedian George Burns once said,, “Look to the future, because that is where you will spend the rest of your lives.”  That makes perfect sense doesn’t it?  I would even add this; “there aint no future in living in the past.”  I’m probably not the first one to say it like that but I am now the most recent one that you have heard it from.

I’ve even found some scripture pertaining to the future.  Do you realize that the word “past” is only in the bible 51 times?  The word “yesterday” is only used 9 times.  Scriptures pertaining to the future are a lot more prevalent.  “To morrow” is used 56 times and “the morrow” is used 46 times.  Those 2 words combined show that the future is talked about almost twice as much as the past.  The word “present” itself is used 106 times.  The words “to day” is used 69 times while the words “this day” is used 310 times.  That is a total of 485 times that the present is talked about.  That means the “present” is talked about better than 4.75 times as much as the future and better than 8 times as much as the past.  This may not mean much to you but to me it clearly shows that our emphasis should be not on our past or our future but on the present.  That doesn’t even take into account the 1356 times the word “now” is used.  Probably one of the most familiar scriptures to back this up is found in 2 Corinthians 6:2  ( For he saith, I have heard thee in a time accepted, and in the day of salvation have I succoured thee: behold, now is the accepted time; behold, now is the day of salvation.)  I looked up the word “succour” and it means to help or bring aid.  That is most definitely what Jesus did when he gave his life for all men.  Back on April 10th of 2017 in my post entitled “Regard Not Your Stuff” I made this comment, “Jesus isn’t worried about your past, but he gave his life for your future.”  That kind of sums up where he stands on the issue doesn’t it.  There is another old saying that I really like that is attributed to The Family Circus cartoon author Bill Keane.  It says “Yesterday is history, tomorrow is a mystery, but today is a gift of God, which is why we call it the present.”  Proverbs 27:1 cautions us “Boast not thyself of to morrow; for thou knowest not what a day may bring forth.”

Yesterday was January 1st.  A new day and the beginning of a year that many have anxiously awaited and others have dreaded to see come.  Whether you were anxious or dreading, it is now here.  You only have one option of not facing it and that is to give up this life.  It is in our God-given nature to try to cling to life in every way possible so I guess we will all buckle down and face another year.  My personal mindset is that every day that my feet hit the floor and I get out of bed under my own power is a win and something to be thankful for.  That proves it could always be worse.

The words “fear not” appear 63 times in the bible.  The first time (Genesis 15:1) is after Abram refused to take anything from the king of Sodom after he rescued him and four other kings that had been taken captive when Sodom, Gomorrah, and the other three cities had been besieged by enemies.  Abram’s nephew Lot was among those taken captive from Sodom where he was living at the time.  In Chapter 15:1, the Lord told Abram in a vision “Fear not; Abram: I am thy shield, and thy exceeding great reward.”  In the next verse, Abram expresses his worry about his future and his heir.  That is when God made the promise to Abraham promising him that he would have seed that would more than the stars he could count.  “Fear not” is used only twice in the New Testament with both times being in Matthew.  In Matthew 1:20, an angel of the Lord appeared unto Joseph in a dream saying, “Fear not to take unto thee Mary thy wife: for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Ghost” and the rest is history.  The other time is in Matthew 10:28 when Jesus is teaching his disciples and tells them to “Fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.”  Most all of the other times are God or his men speaking comfort to God’s people.  Many of those times “fear not” is followed by encouraging words such as “be not discouraged, dismayed, or terrified.  Other times “fear not” is followed by “I am God, I have heard, fear not to go, and I am with thee to deliver thee.”  There are also other statements such as “be not afraid (26) and not be afraid (13).”  If you notice, all of those words and statements are pertaining to how you shouldn’t feel in the future and why.

To sum it all up; with God as our shield, refuge, rock, mighty tower, Savior, friend, keeper, defender, provider, sustainer, buckler, defence, shepherd, companion, healer, the lifter up of mine head, the health of my countenance, and any of the other dozens or hundreds of titles you can attribute to him, we have nothing to be afraid of.  There is nothing that he can’t do; except lie or fail, for us.  Romans 8:32 says “He that spared not his own Son, but delivered him up for us all, how shall he not with him also freely give us all things?  Jesus told his disciples in Matthew 6:32 when they were concerned about food and raiment and such, “your heavenly Father knoweth that ye have need of these things.”  Sounds to me like God has got the future pretty well covered don’t he?  This is the same God that stepped out of nowhere into nothing, spoke a world into existence from nothing, hung the sun, moon, and stars on nothing with just his word.  He also made his Spirit move upon the face of the waters.  The same God that spoke light into existence where there had been none even before he made the sun, moon, and stars.  He also created everything we see and everything we don’t see.  He even created his most prized possession out of the very dust, not dirt but dust, of the earth with his own hand, and made him to look like him, and breathed his own breath into him, and spoke a garden into existence for him to live in.  If that wasn’t enough; he then put his man he created to sleep and done the first ever surgery removing a rib from the side of the man and made him a suitable helpmate for reproduction of his new species.  He done all of this, most of it with just his word, and we think we have something to worry about in the future?  Not hardly! We are living today in yesterday’s future and he got us through it didn’t he.  Tomorrow never comes because when it gets here it becomes today.  But just to ease your mind, God has already seen tomorrow and walked through it and ordered our steps, and when it gets here and becomes today, he will walk through it with us.  The future is now and God is a very present help in time of trouble.  The psalmist said in 139:7 “…whither shall I flee from thy presence?”  In Psalms 33:6 he also said “Behold, the eye of the Lord is upon them that fear him, upon them that hope in his mercy.”  He is with us, watching us, helping us, and giving us everything we need.  We’ve got nothing to worry about now or in the future.  Have a blessed day in the Lord!!!

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