When activity is buzzing all around you, how can you keep your focus?
The sound of the cicadas was deafening as I walked along the path on a summer Sabbath morning, enjoying the breeze and collecting my thoughts after a busy and eventful week. There was so much to think about, and to make sense of from a biblical point of view. Yet those cicadas were humming away so noisily that it was hard to concentrate!
As I walked along, though, it dawned on me that the sounds of summer are 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 Great Flood—the greatest catastrophe the world had ever seen—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).
God assures us that there will come a new season. Although difficulties may come and obstacles may arise, His plan is ever unfolding. The Psalmist understood this when he wrote: “The counsel of the Lord stands forever, the plans of His heart to all generations” (Psalm 33:11).
In a similar vein, the prophet Isaiah recounts these powerful words given by 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’” (Isaiah 46:9–10).
Yes, God has a plan, and He is working to bring about the best He can in our lives. We also read of this in the New Testament. Paul wrote these words that can be very reassuring in times of trouble: “We know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose” (Romans 8:28).
So, when we are distracted by the world around us—or when we see loved ones suffer, or we face personal obstacles that might shake us—we need to remember the many plain statements in God’s word, and have confidence that as long as we do our part, our circumstances will turn out just as God wants them to, even if right now we cannot imagine how this will be possible.
As Paul so eloquently wrote: “For I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels 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 is in Christ Jesus our Lord” (vv. 38–39).
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. Through it all, God will provide the strength, the guidance and the answers that we need. We can follow in the footsteps of Paul, who reassured us: “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me” (Philippians 4:13).
When you hear the sounds of summer—or of fall, winter or spring—be encouraged and remember the promises of our loving God. With His help and guidance we can and will make it through the difficult seasons that are sure to be ahead of us. So, take a walk. Meditate on the things of God (v. 8). And know that a time is soon coming when the whole world will be under His firm and benevolent, loving rule. To learn more about that time, read our free booklet, The World Ahead: What Will It Be Like? Request a copy from the Regional Office nearest you (listed on page 4 of this magazine), or order online at TomorrowsWorld.org.