Life is full of unexpected occurrences. Some are pleasant, like receiving a nice surprise, others are unpleasant and sometimes devastating. As we come to September, many will remember the 11th of September 2001 when two planes flew into the Twin Towers in New York. It was unexpected – how could anyone have imagined that would happen? Some people were perhaps at the Twin Towers when they weren’t planning to have been and others, because of last minute changes in their schedules, were saved by an unexpected delay whilst many of their colleagues perished. I know of one such person.
I often read bank forecasts, and the one thing they can never get right is the ‘unexpected’. You can guarantee that something unexpected always happens. How could they know the future? Warren Buffet, the famous billionaire investor, says that forecasts tell you nothing about the future, but more about the forecaster.
It is easy to point the finger at others, but we do exactly the same. We plan, we strategise, and then something comes along that totally disrupts our plans. James refers to this:
Come now, you who say, “Today or tomorrow we will go to such and such a city, spend a year there, buy and sell, and make a profit”; whereas you do not know what will happen tomorrow. For what is your life? It is even a vapor that appears for a little time and then vanishes away. James 4:13
Yes, we strategise and plan for the future with all of its uncertainties, and there is nothing wrong with that, but we often fail to plan for what is certain: We will all one day stand before God and give an account of our lives.
The Bible is full of forecasts. There are numerous references to the coming of Christ in the Old Testament, and in the New Testament there are numerous forecasts about the spread of the Gospel around the world, which has and is happening, and the return of Christ, which is yet to happen. The one difference here is that God actually knows the future. He is not taken by surprise. There is nothing unexpected in God’s calendar.
God’s calendar contains no uncertainties, no unexpected events. His prophecies are not merely forecasts; they are established future fact and can be relied upon completely.
When those unexpected things happen in our lives, let’s remind ourselves of the certainties that are to be found in Christ and the absolute assurance we have when we commit our lives to Him.
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