Balancing the present and the future

If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe you—you of little faith?  So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’  For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them.  But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.  Therefore, do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own. Matthew 6:30-34 NIV

How often we see people squandering their money saying they can’t take it with me when they die. Some Christian sects don’t even believe in saving and teach that it’s a sin to save. They often cite the above quote stating that Jesus taught us not to worry about the future. But, is this really what Jesus meant? He did tell another parable of a wealthy man who broke down his barns and built bigger ones to fill them up with his excess of grain:

And he told them this parable: “The ground of a certain rich man yielded an abundant harvest. He thought to himself, ‘What shall I do? I have no place to store my crops.’ “Then he said, ‘This is what I’ll do. I will tear down my barns and build bigger ones, and there I will store my surplus grain. And I’ll say to myself, “You have plenty of grain laid up for many years. Take life easy; eat, drink and be merry.”’ “But God said to him, ‘You fool! This very night your life will be demanded from you. Then who will get what you have prepared for yourself?’ “This is how it will be with whoever stores up things for themselves but is not rich toward God.” (Luke 12: 16 – 21)

Jesus wasn’t telling us to be foolish. He was telling us not to focus so much on the needs and wants of life that we miss out on what’s truly important in life. When we run after things for ourselves, so that we can enjoy life without any consideration of God, instead of being rich towards God. Jesus wants us to trust him for our daily provision, as well as our future. We need to understand that everything can be stripped away from us in a moment. Life is extremely volatile. Don’t be anxious about the future, trust God for it.

However, he has also given us wisdom to be good stewards of what he’s given us. He told the parables of the servants who the master of the house gave five, two and one talents. He expected them to invest the talents and multiply them, and was angry at the servant with the one talent who hadn’t done so.

Through Pharaoh’s dreams and Joseph’s interpretations thereof in Egypt Joseph told Pharaoh to appoint a wise man to save grain throughout the seven years of abundance to use during the seven years of famine. They did that, under Joseph’s supervision, and people’s lives were saved during the years of famine. God gave Joseph the wisdom to take care of the future, but that didn’t mean that he lacked faith in God for the future.

Let’s live balanced lives by trusting God wholeheartedly for our future, but also planning for it at the same time, whilst submitting our present and future to him.

If you don’t have anything and are wondering how you’re going to get through the present, never mind the future, Jesus’ words are for you to come to him and not to be anxious.

1 Comment

  1. Merle

    Excellent message Alan


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