The sound of the cicadas was deafening as I walked along on a summer Sabbath morning, enjoying the breeze and collecting my thoughts after a busy and eventful week. I had so much to think about, and was trying to making sense of it from a biblical point of view. Yet, those cicadas were humming away so loudly, it was hard to concentrate.
As I walked along, it dawned on me that the sounds of summer are really an affirmation of a promise God made long ago—a promise that can help us keep our bearings, even when circumstances seem to go awry in ways that leave us doubting and confused. God knew that we would need to get our bearing from time to time, and soon after the greatest catastrophe the world has ever seen had occurred, He made a promise: "While the earth remains, seedtime and harvest, cold and heat, winter and summer, and day and night shall not cease" (Genesis 8:22).
So, while difficulties may come and obstacles may arise, we have God’s promise that His plan is unfolding. The Psalmist understood this when he wrote Psalm 33:10: "The counsel of the Lord stands forever, the plans of His heart to all generations."
The prophet Isaiah wrote of God: "Remember the former things of old, for I am God and there is no other; I am God, and there is none like me, declaring the end from the beginning, and from ancient times things that are not yet done, saying, ’My counsel shall stand, and I will do all My pleasure.’"
Romans 8:28 is very reassuring in times of trouble: "We know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose."
As we see loved ones stricken or surprising developments in our lives that might shake us, we need to remember the plain statements in God’s word—which we can count on to help us know that circumstances will turn out just as God wants them to, even if we don’t see how it is possible at the moment.
The Apostle Paul wrote of this eloquently in Romans 8:38: "For I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angel nor principalities nor powers, nor things present nor things to come, nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which in Christ Jesus our Lord."
With these wonderful promises in mind, we can be prepared for the unexpected, the unthinkable, the upheavals and disruptions that we would prefer never to face, yet which can happen when we least expect them. Through it all, God will provide the strength, the guidance, and the answers that we need. Paul reassured us in Philippians 4:13: "I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me."
In times of trouble, take a walk, and when you hear the sounds of summer, be encouraged and remember the promises of our loving God. With His help and guidance we can and will make it through the difficult times that are sure to come. To learn more about those times ahead, read our booklet, Armageddon and Beyond. For an encouraging overview of the wonderful Kingdom of God that will soon come to this earth, read The World Ahead: What Will It Be Like?