I really enjoy watching college football games on television.
I have great respect for the men in striped shirts that keep up with the action and referee the players’ adherence to the rules of the sport. Not long ago, one man ran onto the field and stopped the action until the stadium clock could be reset to the right time. He was the time keeper. He is essential to the length of the game no matter what the stadium clock says.
I was reminded that life has a timekeeper as well. David’s declaration in Psalm 31 says, “My times are in your hand…” (a reference to God’s all-knowing character.) Believers trust the reality that God is in charge of what touches our lives. We are cautioned in the New Testament not to boast of tomorrow and the things we have planned because we do not know what may come in our future. There is therefore a great emphasis on the present and using it wisely to accomplish all we can.
It’s like reading one of your favorite books and being in the section where the plot seems sinister. The fact that you’ve read the book before allows you to pass the anxiety of that chapter you’re reading and move on to the end of the book where the “happily ever after” arrives.
That’s the way I read the Scripture. God’s timetable leads to blessings in our future. That does not necessarily mean the immediate future, but the amazing story of the Revelation assures us that God will be the final victor.
There is, however, a caveat to this future. If you don’t trust the God who holds the future, even when you don’t know what the future holds, you may suffer anxiety and fear. It is in the recognition of the power of God’s love that we can overcome the temptation to fear the future. The amazing fact is that the “perfect” love — the mature way God loves — defeats fear. Fear and faith are incompatible.
A number of years ago, a couple I had seen in marriage counseling became ready to terminate and would no longer be coming to the office. On our last visit they brought me a gift. It was a beautiful little wall plaque which read: “Fear knocked at the door. Faith answered. No one was there!” That truth is simply expressed but can create a power undeniable in our everyday living.
The lesson for today is this: faith is the antidote to fear. The Psalmist said: “Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil.” (Psalm 23:4)
There are no valleys too deep for faith!