opinionBy Galandou Gorre-Ndiaye
Those who are anxious about knowing what the year 2013 holds for them, have no doubt gone ahead and consulted either their horoscope, soothsayer, talisman or fortune-teller in the hope of catching a glimpse of how the future would unfold. They want to be enlightened. Wrong move! The projections of their 'consultants' would, at the most, be mere guesses and far removed from the truth or from reality. The future is not in their hands. It is not in your hands either; our future has already been fashioned by the hands of the potter who made the clay - our creator, the God almighty. He is the one who holds the future.
Speaking through the prophet Isaiah, God reiterates: "I am God, and there is no other; I am God and there is none like me...I say: My purpose will stand, and I will do all that I please... What I have said, that will I bring about; what I have planned that will I do." (Isaiah 46:9-11)
Our God holds the future. He has a proven track record with unfolding it to us. His promises and predictions recorded in the Bible some 3,000 years ago have nearly all been realised. We await the final promise of the second coming of our Lord Jesus before the curtains are drawn and we exit this world.
God warned about the end times. Chapter 24 of the gospel of Matthew details the signs that we are approaching that era. "You will hear of wars and rumours of wars .... Nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. There will be earthquakes in various places ... many false prophets will appear and deceive many people ... the love of many will grow cold." (Matthew 24:6-7; 11-12)
God who created the earth and all that there is in it, knows how it would end. He is not a fortune teller; he is the Alpha and the Omega - the beginning and the end. (Revelations 1:8; 21:6) He controls the future. We need not look any further. It has been his great pleasure to reveal to humankind through his prophets events as they unfold - for fear that we may grope in the dark.
King Solomon launches this solemn appeal: "Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your path straight." (Proverbs 3:5) When we put our hand in the hand of the Lord, we can be sure we are walking in the right path. God is our Rock; he is stable and steadfast. He never changes. He is the same yesterday, today and forever. (Malachi 3:6)
It is evident we do not see things from the right perspective like God, and therefore will not understand where he is coming from. He declares: "For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways. As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts." (Isaiah 55:8-9) We cannot claim to think the way God thinks. His knowledge surpasses ours. We are no match. Our best bet is to trust in him. 'Trust and obey for there is no other way to be happy in Jesus than to trust and obey,' the hymnist wrote.
We trust God at all times whatever the circumstances and in whatever situation. We ought to submit to his will as an all-knowing, all-powerful and ever-living God. To walk by his precepts, we must be familiar with his word - the Bible. All we need to know about our future and what is in store for us is contained in this all time bestseller. There is a tendency to think that we know it all, but our intelligence will not take us far because we cannot perceive the things of God by sheer intellect. God's ways are spiritually discerned.
Again the prophet Isaiah underlines this when he writes: "Surely the arm of the Lord is not too short to save, nor his ear too dull to hear." (Isaiah 59:1) God is able to sustain us through thick and thin during 2013 if we make him our anchor. He makes the impossible possible and straightens crooked paths. (Proverbs 3:6)
Joseph, the dreamer, did not doubt for a moment that God's plan for his life would not materialise despite all the difficulties that were put on his path. He held out to the very end. He knew that the one in whom he believed, would be faithful to the very end. At the end of the tunnel, when he was elevated to the high office that God had revealed to him in his dream, Pharaoh commented; "Can we find anyone like this man, one in whom is the spirit of God". (Genesis 41:38) His faith was unshakeable. He trusted God until the end.
Three young Jewish lads commonly known as Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego had been exiled to Babylon during the reign of king Nebuchadnezzar. Their faith was challenged when the king obliged them to worship a golden image (an idol) he had made. They refused categorically even after knowing the penalty could be death in a fiery furnace. "O Nebuchadnezzar, we do not need to defend ourselves before you in this matter. If we are thrown into the blazing furnace, the God we serve will rescue us from it, and he will rescue us from your hand." (Daniel 3:16) This was an act of faith that was built on trust. God saved them from the fiery furnace for the glory of his holy name.
If you believe in the God of Abraham, of Isaac and of Jacob, trust him to see you through 2013.