Predictions about the future are making headlines today. For example, CNET tells us that “the next Apple event could be just around the corner.” However, if you read the article, you learn that “there hasn’t been any word, official or otherwise, on the exact date and time” for the event, much less what new technology the company will reveal.
With the NFL season set to kick off Thursday night, you can find predictions like these for every team in the league. (Don’t bother with this prognosticator, however: he says my Dallas Cowboys will finish 8–9 and miss the playoffs, so he’s clearly not to be trusted.)
Other stories in the news also demonstrate the clear unpredictability of the future. For instance, the pandemic caused a shortage of drivers in the UK, which led to a shortage of supplies to McDonald’s restaurants, which led to the headline, “McDonald’s runs out of milkshakes in England, Scotland, and Wales.” Who saw that coming a year ago?
An Apple II manual signed by Steve Jobs in 1980 recently sold at auction for $787,484. 3D-printed houses are gaining in popularity. Robots have been developed that can work cooperatively to move a couch in your home. Who would have predicted these stories a year ago?
An update on Tim Keller’s health
Some stories in the news illustrate not just the unpredictability of the future but give cause for great concern as we face it. For example, parents in California have sued to stop chants to Aztec gods in their children’s ethnic studies curriculum. What is next in our post-Christian, even anti-Christian, culture?
The Taliban are claiming victory over the last opposition forces in Afghanistan. Now that they are consolidating control of the country, what’s next for al-Qaeda? ISIS? Terrorism against America and the West?
At least eighty churches in Louisiana were damaged by Hurricane Ida; what will the next natural disaster bring? New COVID-19 infections are up 316 percent from last Labor Day; what will happen with future variants?
New York City pastor Tim Keller shared an update last Sunday on his battle with pancreatic cancer. On August 23, doctors discovered a cancerous lump underneath a previous surgical scar and have increased his chemotherapy to previous levels. Keller notes: “Pancreatic cancer is able to learn how to evade medication, so it is only God’s power that we look to for complete healing.”
He then asks: “Please do pray that I will be able to fulfill my teaching and other obligations, and that the neuropathy and other side effects will be minimal while the medication will be effective against the cancer, and that we will run the race God has set before us with joy.”
Please join me in praying as Dr. Keller asks today.
What Jesus knows that we don’t
Tim Keller is right, and not just about his pancreatic cancer: “It is only God’s power that we look to for complete healing.” In yesterday’s Daily Article, we explored Jesus’ invitation to “take my yoke upon you” (Matthew 11:29a). We discovered that we should submit our lives and challenges to Jesus’ “yoke” and direction because he is “gentle and lowly in heart,” meaning that he always does the right thing with and through our lives (v. 29b). In addition, his yoke is “easy” (it fits perfectly), so that his “burden is light” (v. 30).
Today let’s add another reason to wear Jesus’ yoke: he can always be trusted to lead us into our best future.
Because Jesus is divinely omniscient, he knows the past more perfectly than any historian; he sees the present more fully than any reporter; and he comprehends the future more completely than any futurist.
Now let’s apply this fact to our personal lives.
Jesus knows your past better than you do, so he knows your education and experiences as well as your sins and failures. As a result, he can be trusted to utilize your life in ways that take the greatest advantage of your past experiences for his glory and our good.
Jesus also knows your present better than you do, so he knows your gifts, skills, and resources as well as your shortcomings and challenges. As a result, he can be trusted to utilize your life in ways that take the greatest advantage of your present opportunities for his glory and our good.
And Jesus knows your future better than you do, so he knows the people he is already preparing for your ministry. He knows the doors he is opening and closing, the opportunities tomorrow for which he is equipping you today. As a result, he can be trusted to utilize your life in ways that take the greatest advantage of your future service for his glory and our good.
A prayer I invite you to offer with me today
Joseph’s past visions and present circumstances prepared him to interpret Pharaoh’s visions and build a future no one foresaw but God. Moses’ past in Pharaoh’s household and present circumstances in the wilderness prepared him to lead Israel into a future no one could have predicted but our Lord. Peter’s past education in Judaism and present experiences as a successful businessman prepared him to lead the Christian movement into a future no one could have imagined but Jesus.
Now our Lord is ready to redeem your past and use your present to lead you into a future only he can foresee. Here’s the key: If you will wear Jesus’ yoke today, he will guide you today. If you will not, he cannot.
These words from Kate B. Wilkinson form a prayer I invite you to join me in offering to our Master:
May the mind of Christ my Savior
Live in me from day to day,
By his love and power controlling
All I do and say.
May the word of God dwell richly
In my heart from hour to hour,
So that all may see I triumph
Only through his power.
May the peace of God my Father
Rule my life in everything,
That I may be calm to comfort
Sick and sorrowing.
May his beauty rest upon me,
As I seek the lost to win,
And may they forget the channel,
Seeing only him.
Whose yoke are you wearing today?