Facing the Unforeseeable

The years of life loom ahead. Measured by the past they should bring their share of happiness, health, and success, along with a proportionate share of sorry, illness, and disappointment.

President, Central Union Conference

The years of life loom ahead. Measured by the past they should bring their share of happiness, health, and success, along with a proportionate share of sorry, illness, and disappointment.

God mercifully veils the future from us. Knowing would not be best, for we would worry ourselves sick. To be sure, the troubles of life come with unwonted suddenness. Then again, the desired and expected blessings are often delayed.

A believing Christian is neither dismayed by the suddenness of the unexpected nor discour­aged by the delay of the expected. That which comes to him is not accidental but by the ex­press permission of God. With the psalmist he believes that "my times are in thy hand" (Ps. 31:15). This confiding trust braces a believer to face life's varying circumstances realistically. Even as the weather is not consistently all sunshine or rain, neither is life made up of all blessing or disappointment. Because of this, failure or suc­cess does not dim the Christian's allegiance to God and His commandments. Come what may, he sings:

When peace, like a river, attendeth my way, When sorrows like sea billows roll; Whatever my lot, Thou hast taught me to say, "It is well, it is well with my soul."

Such an attitude toward the unforeseeable is something one is not born with. The experi­mental processes by which it is attained are daily consecration, moment by moment obed­ience, and an abiding faith in God's promises. This is walking with God as Enoch did in days of old.

Walking alone means stumbling and hurting ourselves. Walking with God means dependence on a Guide who has trod the way before us. "The steps of a good man are ordered by the Lord: and he delighteth in his way. Though he fall, he shall not be utterly cast down: for the Lord upholdeth him with his hand" (Ps. 37: 23, 24).

Henceforth in both home and church why not face the future with courage, faithfully dis­charging today's duties as "the best preparation for tomorrow's trials" (The Ministry of Healing, p. 481).

Furthermore, look upon your work as a God-appointed blessing and be thankful and happy for something to do. As this is done, trust re­places worry, patience takes the place of fretting, love supersedes envy, and hope over­shadows fear.

Remember that God still lives, and in the darkest hour, when the "unforeseeable" seems forbidding, recall the promise: "Lo, I am with you alway" (Matt. 28:20).

God hath not promised

Skies always blue,

Flower-strewn pathways

All our lives through;

God hath not promised Sun without rain,

Joy without sorrow,

Peace without pain.

But God hath promised

Strength for the day,

Rest for the labor,

Light for the way,

Grace for the trials,

Help from above,

Unfailing sympathy,

Undying love.

—Annie Johnson Flint


Ministry reserves the right to approve, disapprove, and delete comments at our discretion and will not be able to respond to inquiries about these comments. Please ensure that your words are respectful, courteous, and relevant.

comments powered by Disqus

President, Central Union Conference

April 1960

Download PDF
Ministry Cover

More Articles In This Issue

"He Is Risen"

IN ALL history there is no event freighted with deeper meaning and of more importance to the human race than the resurrection of Jesus.

The Virus of the Comparative

It is time we lifted our eyes from what others may or may not be willing to do, and fixed our atten­tion on the needs of the world, on the pos­sibilities of the work, and on the potentials that await our sincere effort.

Ministerial Deontology

Ministerial evangelism, as a sacred vocation, grants to everyone who follows it great privi­leges and much honor and pride of achievement. It is obvious, therefore, that as a logical con­sequence of the privileges inherent in his in­vestiture, the minister also has duties and obli­gations.

A Noxious Influence

THROUGHOUT this land, people and gov­ernment agencies have become greatly alarmed by the ever-increasing number and violence of crimes committed by persons under twenty-one years of age.

A Decade of Prayer

ON JANUARY 1 of this year in Knoxville, Tennessee, the Methodist General Board of Evangelism inaugurated a special ten-year period of prayer entitled the Dec­ade of Prayer.

What Evangelism Is and Is Not

Our prophetic preaching, which was disbelieved by hu­manity years ago, is now in the realm of sci­entific possibility. Thank God that His word endures forever, and that we have an infallible message of hope to proclaim to this dying world.

Is Theistic Evolution Scriptural?

Among evolutionists today it is not uncommon to find individuals who, although they believe man evolved up­ward from the beasts, claim to accept the Bible as God's inspired Word for man. Be­cause our workers are continu­ally coming in contact with these folks, I thought it would be profitable to present a quotation that shows how these theistic evolutionists think.

God's Strategy for Small Towns

The victory over the metropolis of Jericho, followed as it was by the failure at little Ai, seems too often the pattern for twentieth century evangelistic warfare. That the results of our small-town efforts are not as we would wish will be readily admitted by most of us.

Preaching through a translator

Let us take advantage of every opportunity to give the last warning message, not only to every nation and kindred but to every tongue and people—even those within the borders of our own land.

The Reformation Series

A VERY different and yet effective new series of meetings was conducted this fall in the city of Minneapolis, Minnesota —The Reformation Series.

View All Issue Contents

Digital delivery

If you're a print subscriber, we'll complement your print copy of Ministry with an electronic version.

Sign up
Advertisement - Southern Adv Univ 180x150 - Animated

Recent issues

See All
Advertisement - NAD Stewardship (160x600)