A Brief Meditation for the Month

January 2019

When we read the words in the book of Proverbs, “Boast not thyself of tomorrow; for thou knowest not what a day may bring forth,” (Proverbs 27:1) they remind us of just how ignorant we are of the future. If we do not know what will happen tomorrow, then how much greater is our ignorance of what will take place in the year before us, in the will of God. Throughout the year which we have entered, children will be born, while many members of our society will be removed by death. Some will experience sudden unexpected death, while others will slowly deteriorate as they succumb to the ravages of disease. War and famine, drought and floods, will continue to displace families throughout the world. Refugees will continue to flee from the devastation of war and from persecution under brutal regimes. Many of our fellow-beings, confronted with adverse circumstances, will enter this new year with a sense of foreboding; a feeling of misery, hopelessness, and despair. Some will simply conclude that life is not worth living and take their own lives, supposedly to end it all.

When God brought man into existence, He did not create him and place him into such adverse conditions. God is a good God. He is just, and holy, and righteous. The Bible tells us to “Trust in him at all times,” Psalm 62:8. When human beings turn away from God upon whom they are dependent for life itself, to rely upon their own intellectual and material resources, they inevitably create trouble for themselves. Those however, who trust God, believing what the apostle Paul wrote with great certainty; “we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose,” Romans 8:28, enjoy peace in their souls. Paul, himself had wide experience of adversity, poverty, bodily ailments, and discouragements, yet he knew God had an overruling purpose and would make all his varied providences fit together and work out to his spiritual advantage. Yes, it is often very difficult for us to figure out how all our diverse, and often adverse providences, and experiences can possibly produce any good result. Joseph, in the Old Testament, must often have wondered what was happening to him throughout his earlier life, yet he could say to his brothers who had acted so heartlessly towards him, “But as for you, ye thought evil against me: but God meant it unto good, to bring to pass, as it is this day…” Genesis 50:20. All Joseph’s previous trials and adversities came, in God’s appointed time, to make sense. It is as C. H. Spurgeon said on one occasion, we can only read the book of providence backwards.

When we are enabled to trust God, with His knowledge and wisdom to do what is best for us, then we can move forward into this new year with confidence. Like the Hebrews departing from Egypt and confronted with an impossible situation; the sea in front of them, and Pharaoh with his army behind them, God alone knows the right action to take. He gave instructions to Moses: “speak unto the children of Israel, that they go forward,” Exodus 14:15. When God says go forward, and it seems impossible, we may be sure that God is going to open the way. The feet must go forward by faith. Matthew reminds us in his Gospel of the consequences of unbelief. He records of Jesus, “And he did not many mighty works there because of their unbelief.” Matthew 13:58. Dear child of God, in the coming days, look by faith to Him alone, who “is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think,” Ephesians 3:20.

G. G. Hutton.