Factors For a Favorable Future
No one knows for sure what will happen from one day to the next except the Lord. The Scripture tells us that God knows the end from the beginning, what is still to come (Isa. 46:10). Further, God says that His purposes will stand. Therefore, our responsibility is to determine what God knows and His intentions. Then we will have the factors for a hopeful future!
In calling Moses from the burning bush, God said, “I am the God of your father, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob” (Exodus 3:6, NIV). He said the same thing when He sent Moses to deliver the children of Israel from the Egyptians bondage. The Israelites cried out to God for help. He heard their cry and remembered His covenant with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob (Ex. 2:24). Not only did God have a covenanted relationship with these three men, but He chose them as representatives of three types of people in the world for which He sent His Son. Let us dig deeper to ascertain what is so special about the three men related to us.
Abraham was a man of faith and a family man. His journey began by choosing between his current state of security future uncertainty. God is the only one who knows the future entirely and graciously desires that we become participators and not just spectators. He gave Abraham some precious promises as incentives to help with his decision-making, including a son at his old age. Abraham believed in and relied on God’s promises., choosing to walk out of his comfort zone by faith. Still, God gives us choices matched with assurances of a better future. Abraham carefully considered the pros and cons, avoiding conflict with God and man. He established the right relationship with God, pleasing God and receiving the promises.
Here are some questions for your consideration:
- How do you think your choices today could affect your tomorrow?
- Are you willing to risk what you have to obtain something better?
- Are you a listener or a doer of God’s Word?
- What would it take for you to believe and obey God?
Isaac was the promised child through whom would be Abraham’s offspring. His name means “to laugh,” as Sarah thought everyone would laugh with her because she birthed him in her old age. Sarah was overprotective of Isaac, which might have caused him to submit to Abraham’s sacrificial offering. Isaac was an ordinary man who used meditation to wait for God’s promise of a wife. He spent quiet time praying, forsaking to quarrel and calling on the Lord instead. God appeared to Isaac and will reveal Christ to those who diligently seek Him today.
Here are some questions for you to ponder:
- How often do you meditate on God’s promises?
- Do you get anxious while waiting for God’s promises?
- How often do you spend time in prayer?
- Is there room for improvement?
Jacob was naturally crafty and used Esau’s famished condition to deceive him into selling his birthright. Later, Jacob stole Esau’s blessing and became known as one of the worst men in the Old Testament. After a dream from the Lord, Jacob’s heart began to change. He worked seven years for his wife Rachel and had twelve sons. Jacob became an honest man, and eventually, God blessed him. After a long separation from Esau and in fear of meeting him, He prayed and asked for God’s protection. Left alone, he wrestled with God until God blessed him changing his name to Israel and sparing his life.
Here are some questions to contemplate:
- Who have you deceived?
- In what areas have you struggled?
- Have you asked God’s forgiveness?
- How has God changed your heart?
Using these three persons, God lets us know that He is for the faith-filled person, the ordinary individual, and the human being with the worst reputation. Most Christian reflect the life of Jacob. Before they come to Christ, they rely on and have confidence in themselves until they encounter the Holy Spirit. He reveals our weaknesses and takes us through a stage of brokenness. The old nature of man must die for Christ to become our new life, indwelling, empowering, and transforming us into His image. Jacob wrestled with God and became a new man. There is good in every person because God said it was good when He created them. God made each person fearfully and wonderfully, and the Holy Spirit draws it out and uses it for God’s glory. God does not look at our natural aspects but the gracious life He has for us through Jesus, Hallelujah!
Remember, God made a covenant containing eternal promises to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. That same covenant pertains to believers today. He was not ashamed to be called their God because He prepared a city for them (Heb. 11:16). God gave them hope for the future, that there would be a resurrection (Acts 24:15). It is sad, but the Sadducees believed there was no resurrection. Jesus told them that He was the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, the God of those living and not the dead (Matt. 22:29-32). Jesus told the woman at the well that He was the resurrection and the life, then asked about her belief (John 11:25). Christians, who follow Christ, will die, but God will raise them to life again. In the meantime, His grace is sufficient (2 Cor. 12:9). Are you in need of grace and hope for the future?
Here is how you can know for sure:
- Admit you are a sinner. “There is no one righteous, not even one . . . . for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:10, 23).
- Ask God’s forgiveness. ” If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.” (1 John 1:9).
- Believe in Jesus. “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life” (John 3:16).
- Become a child of God by receiving Christ. “To all who received him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God” (John 1:12).
- Confess that Jesus is your Lord. “If you confess with your mouth, ‘Jesus is Lord,’ and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved” (Romans 10:9).