And of the children of Issachar, men that had understanding of the times, to know what Israel ought to do.
1 Chronicles 12:32
While it is true that God is very unlikely to give us a lot of details in our life about what is coming at us, we do have enough information from Him to live righteously. God has graciously given us prophecy of the end of times in the Book of Revelation and in the Gospels and epistles of the New Testament. He has revealed these things to keep us focused on living for Him and to not fall into fruitless pursuits that have no eternal value. He also promises to give us wisdom we need for today if we will but humble ourselves and ask Him (James 1:5). Our Lord is far more invested in us making wise choices and living righteously than we are as Christ died for us to enable us to live this out. God does not promise to tell us every detail about our future health, finances or relationships for the coming days, weeks, months or years; we are called to live by faith in this life which means there is much we do not know and cannot know about our future. This is not to frustrate us or cause us to worry or be anxious, rather it is designed to increase our desire and commitment to live for God today while we can. To be sure, the signs of our times here in the USA and here in Des Plaines, IL are troubling indeed. As I write this blog, I had just finished reading about a 14 year old middle school boy who was gunned down and killed last night just walking home on road a few miles away from our church. Every day seems to bring an increase in violence, robbery and hatred in our immediate community and all around our nation. What are we to do? Well, we are to respond in wisdom, faith and love for God and people. We need to understand that as the world darkens from sin in greater degrees, we need to let our light shine ever brighter for God’s glory. While we need to exercise proper caution and care in dealing with the realities around us, we cannot hide away and remove ourselves completely from the world that Jesus died for to bring redemption. Each of us needs to go to the Lord in prayer and Bible Study to find out what He wants from us personally and specifically to do in these times just like the men of Issachar did during their troubling times in the nation of Israel. In the above text, Saul had died in battle with the Philistines and the nation of Israel was in disarray seeking who was to be the next king. Israel was surrounded by nations that wanted to exterminate them and the people needed to find God’s will for them to have any future at all. In times of trouble, we better look to the Lord to guide us rather than rely on ourselves or any person’s opinion. Frankly, this must be our determination every day we are given in life; to seek God’s will and direction daily so we can live righteously and be a people who know how live in the times we are immersed in. Do you practice this? It starts with having Jesus Christ as your personal Lord and Savior so you can get the indwelling of the Holy Spirit in your soul. After salvation comes the process of learning how to think and live like a disciple who follows the direction of our God through His Word and His Spirit. It is a continual process and effort that needs to be practiced every single day (Luke 9:23). I sure hope you are “in” for this as the times demand that those of us who claim to be Christians are truly living for Him and not just talking/faking the part. Much more is at stake than any of us can realize. Blessings!
Love in Christ,
Pastor Gary Houdek