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  • Writer's pictureJong Duterte

The Future is Secure

(I preached this sermon in March 2020 during the start of the COVID-19 lockdowns.)

You’ve probably spent a lot of time these past few months glued to your television, phone, or computer, waiting for the next COVID-19 update. How many recent cases are there? Has it gotten worse or have we flattened the curve?

I’m sure you’ve also seen political leaders and medical experts trying to deal with the situation and give us answers. Many press conferences in, it’s clear that with every nugget of information they provide, more questions arise simply because there’s still a lot we’ve yet to know and discover about this virus.

A Lot of Uncertainty Remains

The thing is, this pandemic has erased whatever certainty or illusion of certainty we had before. There was a time when we could plan our schedules ahead, go anywhere we wanted for vacation, and even go to the supermarket, knowing for sure that there’s toilet paper or hand sanitizers.

We still don’t know when this will end, how bad it’s going to be weeks or months from now, or if things will ever go back to normal. Whatever schedules, travel plans, routines we had, has all changed. The only certainty is that there is no certainty.

But at some point, we tune that out for a moment and start listening to what the Lord says about the situation. After all, the only word that ultimately matters is God’s. And God's Word says that the future is secure.

Our Future Is Certain

Towards the end of Psalm 37, David addresses the future of those who believe in God.

Look at those who are honest and good, for a wonderful future awaits those who love peace. (Psalm 37:37, NIV)

God has seen our future, and it is wonderful! Now, the Amplified Version of the verse goes like this: “Mark the blameless man and behold the upright, for there is a happy end for the man of peace.” (Psalm 37:37, AMP)

Is there going to be a happy end after all of this? Yes! The Bible says there is a group of people upon which there is always going to be a happy ending. So, no matter what tomorrow holds, the believer can hang onto the certainty that despite troubles, the future won’t be tragic. Instead, it’s going to be good and glorious!

God Will See Us Through

The bottom line of the Psalm is that there is a wonderful future that waits for those who believe. But what gave David that assurance?

He says in Psalm 37:39-40 that “The Lord rescues the godly; He is their fortress in times of trouble. The Lord helps them, rescuing them from the wicked. He saves them, and they find shelter in Him.” In this passage, what he probably meant by ‘times of trouble’ was injustice. Because back then, the wicked or those who do wrong seem to win and getting ahead. Those who believe in God, however, became victims of injustice and oppression. For us today, these “times of trouble” may refer to a time of need, distress, anxiety, and danger.

In the very same verse, it also says that the Lord rescues, helps, saves, and shelters. So, the reason he was confident that the future is going to be okay wasn’t because he had a special skill or was a king, but because he had God in his life. He knew that God would help see him through in the present to secure his future. His confidence before can also be our confidence today: He will see us through in the present to secure our future.

But the Word isn’t saying it’s going to be easy. It's not saying that no believer will get sick. In fact, some places where the coronavirus spread were churches and places of worship. What it says is God holds our future and that he will meet us there. And when God is in our future, we can confidently know that it will be bright and secure.

Making This Future A Reality

How do we cooperate with God in such a way that this intended future for us becomes a reality? We must do our part, right here and now. Let’s look back at the third verse of the psalm to learn how:

Trust in the Lord and do good. Then you will live safely in the land and prosper. Take delight in the Lord, and he will give you your heart’s desires. Commit everything you do to the Lord. Trust him, and he will help you. (Psalm 37:3–5 NLT)

Notice that all the statements have something to do with God. They all end with in the Lord or to the Lord. So, when we feel as if we’re living in a world of trouble, surrounded by things that overwhelm us, the best thing to do is to look up; to bring our focus towards Him. Because, ultimately, it’s not the hand sanitizers, masks or protocols that will save us. Ultimately, it will be God.

Trust in the Lord

During times like these, our security takes a hit. Our comfortable lives become shaken, revealing our foundations. During times of prosperity, our security can easily shift from the Lord to our jobs, our relationships, or even our possessions. And when hard times come, these become inadequate and often cannot keep us secure.

Trusting in the Lord means setting aside these things and finding our security in Him alone. Trust is knowing that God is at work, although our sight and feelings say otherwise.

Trust changes our perspective and allows us to see the hand of God. One person may see a rainbow and see a reminder of God’s promise, another may look at the same rainbow and see only droplets of water being reflected by sunlight. One sees faith, the other sees with their eyes. See how powerful faith can be?

Take delight in the Lord

It’s amazing how life becomes simpler in times of crisis. Before, it took so much to make us happy. Everything had to be perfect. And when something goes wrong, our joy also goes out the window. We even complain about every minor mishap.

But now that this pandemic has taken away our sources of amusement, we are forced to examine whether our joy really rests in the Lord or in the world. So, consider that job, relationship, or possession you value most and ask yourself: Even without this, will I be happy?When God is your only source of joy, you can. To delight in the Lord means to make God our only source of joy.

Trust has to do with our spirit, delight has to do with our emotion, and committing our way has to do with our action. We shift our whole being towards God.

Commit your way to the Lord

The sense here is to focus on what God wants us to do rather than focusing on what others are doing or the situation we’re in, and determining a course of action that honours God, sticking to it no matter what.

When we fix our eyes on Him, times of trouble cease to make us stumble because we have something that the world can’t take away hope in what the Lord is doing. With this, it’s easier for us to obey Him and essentially entrust everything in His hands.

He’s Making A Way For Us

In all this, we know that He will never fail us. Psalm 37:18-19 reads,

Day by day the LORD takes care of the innocent, and they will receive an inheritance that lasts forever. They will not be disgraced in hard times; even in famine they will have more than enough. (Psalm 37:18–19, NLT)

The Lord will take care of our present and bring us to our intended future. He will be what you need Him to be — your rescuer, healer, shelter, and helper. Even David can attest to this! In verse 25, he wrote, “Once I was young, and now I am old. Yet I have never seen the godly abandoned or their children begging for bread.” (Psalm 37:25, NLT) David looked back at his life and realized where God had taken Him. Through every turn, he knew that God provided.

This situation we’re in is new to us. But our experience of God is not. We’ve seen and experienced what He can do, and there’s a significant chance that we’ve had a prayer answered before, needs met, and strength provided. That we are here today is already a testimony of God’s faithfulness in caring for our needs.

So, know that the God who provided for you in the past is the same God who will see you through in the future. What's our assurance? He has done it before. And He will surely do it again.

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