Help for Today — Hope for Tomorrow
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[Steve Myers] Do you feel unsettled with all that's going on in our world today? You can find real solid ground. And today, we'll discover the source of that true stability.
How secure is your life? We've all faced the challenges of the coronavirus. There's been financial turbulence, global problems. So how confident are you about the future? Do you get worried about things? I mean one thing the pandemic has certainly shown us is that the system has its problems. There are weaknesses. And in fact it's not a new thing. There were warnings given more than 100 years ago. Way back in 1906 Alfred Henry Lewis said, "There are only nine meals between mankind and anarchy." Now could it be true? I mean think about it for a moment. Food is certainly that one essential that we can't do without. Now we've seen shortages, shortage of toilet paper, but we could actually make do for months, maybe years without toilet paper. How about a shortage of gasoline? Now that'd be a little bit more serious. But you know I think we could survive it.
Now is it true panic drives people to do volatile things? I mean how quickly do people resort to stealing, to violence, especially if there's not much food on the shelves at the store? And when you understand that, we've actually seen that haven't we? I mean you look at some of the natural disasters that have happened when people turn to looting, sometimes even bloodshed at those times, and those events are the events that they give us a little bit of an insight into how weak the veneer of civilization really is. And we've seen it. We've seen social unrest. We've seen rioting. And under stress society can break down into violence and disorder. You can't just casually dismiss this idea of nine meals to anarchy. So can you survive whatever peril might come your way? I mean think about it for a moment.
How quickly would our neighbors turn against each other if there wasn't electricity for a couple of weeks? I mean imagine if the food really did start to disappear from store shelves. I know we've seen those cracks in our system. And if you're honest you know we're facing some trouble. I mean is it just a temporary crisis, or could it be one that will lead directly to the fulfillment of major Biblical prophecies? Now don't think that stockpiling food or weapons and prepping for anarchy will save you. That's not the answer. Prepping for Armageddon? That is not the solution to your problems. So what can you do?
Well we have to ask ourselves, have I really put first things first? Is my life built on the right foundation? I was reminded of this a while back when a Florida town, quite a few years ago, they wanted to increase tourism so you know what they did? They decided to build the world's largest sandcastle. So they hired a renowned sand sculptor. They assembled all kinds of volunteers. They spent thousands upon thousands of dollars. You know what? They did it. They made it into the Guinness Book of World Records. Hundreds of hours of laborers, they rented front end loaders, tons of sand. And you know where that sandcastle is today? Gone. It was temporary. It didn't last. You know you could say it was built on the wrong foundation. And isn't that a good reminder? This world is built on the wrong foundation. Now what about your life?
You know Christ made a reference that's very similar to the one we were just talking about. In Matthew 7:24 He says that very thing, a little bit differently, but notice what He says. He says, "Therefore whoever hears these sayings of Mine and does them, I will liken him to a wise man who built his house on the rock. The rain descended, the floods came, the winds blew and beat on that house, and it did not fall for it was founded on the rock." Now of course on the other hand, Christ said, "Everyone who hears these sayings of Mine and does not do them will be like a foolish man who built his house on the sand. And the rain descended, the floods came, the winds blew and beat on that house, and it fell. And great was its fall."
So when you think about the challenges and the difficulties that we all face, I mean all too often we spend so much time and so much energy on trying to figure out what should we do? What's the solution? And oftentimes we end up relying on everything but God. And see Christ is telling us, we build on Him He's going to be with us. And if we count on that, that's real reassurance. There's no storm that we cannot weather without God. And after all there's no doubt we live in an unsettled world. It's a world that's plagued by health issues. We've experienced these things, economic uncertainty, business closings, a world of political uncertainty, international problems and tensions, government corruption, social injustice, racism. And these are just a few of the problems that we face to show that we live in a world of uncertainty. But you know the real key, we live in a world of spiritual uncertainty.
So are you ready for something that you can really count on? Don't you want to live in a worry-free world, one that you don't have to be anxious, one that you don't have to be fearful? Because even in times like this, it can actually build our faith. Deuteronomy 31 tells us about that very fact. It tells us this, it says, "Be strong and of good courage. Do not fear or be afraid of them for the Lord your God, He is the one who goes with you." It says, "He will not leave you or forsake you." You see when we're facing a trial, because we don't know what's in the future, we forget that God does know. He transcends time. I mean He's the God of our present and He knows the future as well. So doesn't it make sense to let Him guide us since He knows infinitely more about our lives than we even do? And so we'd like you to have that kind of faith.
So we prepared a special Bible study aid that's called "You Can Have Living Faith." It will help you dig into the Word of God so that you can deal with the real issues of life. I mean do you have the kind of faith that you really need? That confidence, that ability to trust God, no matter what the circumstances might be? In fact how do you find that? Well call us at the number on your screen or go to beyondtoday.tv. There on the web you can download a free copy or read it right there. Otherwise call us and we can send you your own copy of "You Can Have Living Faith." It will really help you to discover what you can trust in and how you can rely ultimately on God.
Because you know after all, is there any doubt we face stress? One thing that the American Psychological Association does every year is survey people across the United States. And they ask people about stress in their lives, its sources, the intensity, how people are responding to stressors, both the mental things and the physical effects of these things. It's called the Stress in America Survey. So let's take a moment and look at the results of this survey. They found that 77%, that's more than 3 in 4, say the future of our nation is a significant source of stress for them. And then there's worries about healthcare. People are stressed over that. Sixty-six percent are worried about those things. There's the opioid, the heroin epidemic that is plaguing our nation. Forty-five percent of the people are worried about those things.
There's also sexual harassment. There's assault. We hear it in news reports all the time. Forty-seven percent of Americans worry about those things. They're stressed over those things. And of course we think about the news of late. We've seen racism. We've seen social injustice. We've seen the protests that have brought fear and anger. The majority of adults, it doesn't matter what race they are, they say police violence toward minorities is a significant source of stress in their life. And sadly, three in five Americans say the number of issues that we face is overwhelming to them. And amazing to think this, more than 7 in 10 say this is the lowest point in our nation's history that they can remember.
So thinking about those things, are any afflicting you? I mean most likely these findings are speaking to the hardships you're facing. So many of us are confronted with these things right now. And you know, these issues, are they going away? I mean they just seem to keep piling up more and more. And the American Psychological Association is sounding the alarm. Here's what they're saying. They say, "We are facing a national mental health crisis that could yield serious health and social consequences for years to come." So what can you do?
Well if we turn to the Word of God we find that through the Prophet Isaiah, He tells us this, He says, "Fear not," He says, "for I am with you." That's God's speaking. He says, "Don't be dismayed. I am your God, I'll strengthen you." He says, "Yes, I will help you. I'll uphold you with my righteous, right hand." You see God's got an answer to those stressors. And those trials and difficulties, they just have a way of wearing us down. And before long you start to think that, how can I go forward? But see remember, you're not alone. Don't listen to those voices that say you're not going to make it. You see God's reassuring us that He's with us. He's going to give us the strength that we need. He's going to help us and He's going to uphold us.
And of course if God upholds us, we're going to be okay. In fact Psalm 62 is a great reminder of this. It says, "He only is my rock." We're not talking about building on sand, but God is my rock. It says, "He is my salvation. He's my defense. I will not be greatly moved." I mean do you trust that? Do you believe the answers to our problems really are found in places like, what, the United Nations? Are they going to solve our problems? Our political systems, is that going to take care of us? I mean yeah, never has there been such a need for strong leadership more than today. And yet it seems harder and harder to find. So where does it leave you? Where does it leave your family? How are you going to personally cope with all of the challenges that we're facing?
Now some turn other direction. Some think that money, that must be the answer. That's going to give me the security that I need. Is that where our hope lies? I mean I often think of a man who was a millionaire, John Rockefeller. He said this, "I've made my millions." But you know what else he said? "They've brought me no happiness." Another multimillionaire Andrew Carnegie, he said something interesting. He said, "Millionaires seldom smile." So is money the answer? I mean perhaps you've been furloughed, maybe you've lost your job and you don't know what you're going to do next. Well is that government stimulus check, is that going to save you? I mean is that what we put our confidence in? I mean when you really think about it, what is the best investment that you can make?
When you really consider it the best advice is going to come from your Bible, from the Word of God. Christ Himself said this. When it comes to our confidence, He says, "Don't lay up for yourselves treasures on Earth." What's going to happen? Well, Christ said, "Where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal." That's not going to help us. Christ said, "Lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven. That's where moth and rust cannot destroy." That's what Christ said. He said thieves aren't going to break in and steal. And then He said, "Where your treasure is, there, your heart will be also." So where's your heart? Where's your confidence? Where is that trust? I mean how secure is our future?
When we talk about a spiritual investment, the spiritual investment advice that we all need, there's some interesting advice that comes from a prophet with an odd kind of a name. His name, Habakkuk. And Habakkuk gives us an interesting perspective on our future. Here's what he said in chapter 2, verse 1. He said, "I stand my watch and watch to see what He will say to me, what God will say to me and what I will answer when I'm corrected." I mean even that alone is kind of interesting. He's asking God, "God, direct me," recognizing he needs to adjust his path. He needs to be guided. He needs correction. He was willing to change his actions. He was willing to change what he was doing and line himself up with God's way. And so we need to follow that direction.
In fact, verse 2 he says, "The Lord answered me and the Lord said this, ‘Write the vision and make it plain on tablets that he may run who reads it.’" What's that about? Well, he goes on, he says, "The vision is yet for an appointed time, but at the end, it will speak and it will not lie." And so what we find, this passage was not just for Habakkuk's day. It also applies today. As we're coming to that end time God's reminding us, He's predicted the future, He knows what's going to happen and undoubtedly, it will come to pass. In other words the system of this world doesn't have the answers. And we've been caught in this downward spiral that mankind has brought us into.
In fact here next, God reveals a major spiritual key if we're going to find real spiritual security. In fact here's how we can cope with a personal crisis as well as coming world crisis. In verse 4 He says, "The just shall live by His faith. The just shall live by His faith." If we rely on ourselves, is that the answer? The arrogant foolish pride, that's going to be the solution? You don't find that here at all. In fact we're told to live by faith. And it's not just a matter of having faith but it's a matter of acting on faith, exercising that faith, putting that trust and that reliance in God Himself. That faith is the kind of thing that will bring us through those difficult times, the dangerous times that we're facing. And you may ask, "Okay, how can I have that kind of confidence?" Well we'd like to help you to have that kind of confidence.
Order our Bible study aid, "You Can Have Living Faith." We've prepared this specially so that you can have those answers to the questions that you face in your life. Why do I lack faith? How do I put that kind of faith into action, especially in this faithless world that we live in? Call us at the number on your screen, go to beyondtoday.tv, that way you can read it for yourself or download it to your tablet, your phone, and read it at your convenience. Otherwis, we'll send you a free copy. Call us at that number on your screen so we can help you to find the faith that you need. There's no doubt that the challenges that we face, they're spiritual problems. And so do you really have the tools that you need to overcome? Do you have the kind of faith that will support you as we face these challenging times? This booklet "You Can Have Living Faith" will help you face those difficulties in your life and help you to have the faith that you need to grow. Because no doubt this time of uncertainty is something we all face.
But at the same time it's a unique opportunity, an opportunity that we can grow. In fact it's time to find that missing spiritual element. Because if we're honest with ourselves, I mean we can look around this world. I mean isn't it fair to say that as a people, as a culture, we've turned our back on God? It was true in ancient Israel, at the times of your Bible, but it's also true today. The Prophet Jeremiah spoke to this very thing. Notice what Jeremiah said, tell me if this is true today as well. Jeremiah 2:13 says this, "My people have committed two evils." It says, "They've forsaken Me, the fountain of living waters." And then look what he says, "They've hewn for themselves cisterns, broken cisterns, that can hold no water." Of course that's what a cistern is supposed to do. It's supposed to hold that life-giving water that supports us and keeps us safe.
And so Jeremiah says, not only then but now, we've forsaken the true God. We've gone after other gods. Is that fair to say? I mean we've gone after the gods of money, the gods of sex, the gods of materialism. We've gone after wrong teachings. We've gone after wrong beliefs. We've gone after the wrong morality. And after all of that we can even say we've gone after the wrong religious perspective. Religion is not the faith that was once delivered by Jesus Christ. And what has it caused? It's brought cracks in our character. You know, are you a broken cistern that cannot hold the water of Biblical truth? You see today's churches, most of them are not based on the true teachings of the Bible. They resemble those false pagan religions of the ancient world, more than the church of God that's described right here in your Bible. And the fact is, most churches today do not follow the true profound teachings of Jesus Christ. And so like water in a cracked jug, that truth is just seeping out. And it's left a hollow shell that doesn't satisfy our deep spiritual needs.
But there's good news. Broken cisterns can be fixed. They can be repaired. And the solution lies in turning to Biblical truth. And we can find that truth. We can follow the faith that was once delivered. That's the first step. If we're going to achieve security, if we're really going to find meaning in life, that's what we have to do. Turn to the Bible, discover the truth, learn the truth, and most importantly live the truth. I mean do you really know and understand the true teachings of God that are found right here in the Bible? And do you understand and do you live the teachings of Jesus Christ? I mean if you really dig into it you might be surprised what the Bible really says. Now that's beginning to put your priorities in the right order. And especially when we're facing these difficult times, we're facing desperation, difficult circumstances, we turn to the Bible and we find we can count on God's promises.
I mean don't you long for that? Don't you long for that kind of assurance, that kind of security that will truly last? In fact the Proverbs remind us of that. Proverbs 1, right at the beginning of the book, it reminds us in verse 33, "Whoever listens to me," God says, "will dwell safely and will be secure without fear of evil." I mean that's the kind of faith that we can develop. That's the kind of right relationship we can begin to have with God. You can have that kind of faith. And we want to help you find that faith. So be sure and order our study aid, "You Can Have Living Faith." Call us at the number on your screen. It will help you dig into the words of your Bible. It will help you learn about the true God. And what did Jesus Christ teach after all? What did the first-century church believe? What did they have faith and trust in? Well you can have that kind of faith. So call us at the number on your screen. Go to beyondtoday.tv, we'll send you a free copy right to your door or read it for yourself right there online or download it.
Faith is so critical in these desperate times. And of course as we begin to think about those things, we can certainly understand that idea of nine meals to anarchy? It could be true. It could be true. But we don't have to fear. We don't have to panic. Psalm 55 is such a beautiful reminder of where we really have to put our confidence, our trust, ultimately our faith. It reminds us, "Cast your burden upon the Lord." It all goes on and it says, "He will sustain you. He will never allow the righteous to be shaken." And of course, as we trust in the one true God, yeah we live in shaky times but He can take on whatever troubles we may face and in fact when we can't handle it, He certainly can. He'll help steady us in these difficult times. And no matter how shaky this world gets God's there for you. And so be sure you turn to God. He is that rock. Don't build your life on the sand. And so when we face these unstable, uncertain times, God's reminding us, He's telling us it's possible to have confidence and assurance. It is possible because there is a merciful God. And God loves you and He wants you to have that trust and faith and confidence in Him.
So now is the time. Now is the time to look at what really matters. How's your relationship with God? Do you have the kind of faith necessary to get you through the difficult times that we live in? Now is that time. Now's the time to dedicate yourself and turn your life around, direct your life to God, learn the truth of the Bible. Be sure and get the study aids that we're providing so that you can learn for yourself because now is the time to dedicate our lives to discovering truth. Now's the time to dedicate yourself to a true relationship with the one God of the Bible and His teachings. Because that's the real key. That's the key to finding real security. How do you find real security? Put your trust in God, put your faith in Him. And that's the one spiritual security that can truly be found by living, learning, and obeying the true God.
[Narrator] Call now for the booklet offered on today's program, "You Can Have Living Faith." This easy-to-read booklet deals with the real issues we face like what to do when it seems like God doesn't answer. What is the relationship between faith and works, and are faith and belief the same thing? It also shows you how to spot the enemies of faith in your daily life and how to combat them. Order now. Call toll free 1-888-886-8632 or write to the address shown on your screen. You can have living faith. We'll help you find hope in God's promises. You can overcome doubt and uncertainty and develop a greater confidence in life as you increasingly walk in faith with God.
When you order this free study aid, we'll also send you a complimentary one-year subscription to "Beyond Today" magazine. "Beyond Today" magazine brings you understanding of today's world and hope for the future. Six times a year, you will read about current world events in light of Bible prophecy as well as practical knowledge to improve your marriage and family, and Godly principles to guide you toward a life that leads to peace. Call now to receive your free booklet, "You Can Have Living Faith" and your free one-year subscription to "Beyond Today" magazine," 1-888-886-8632 or go online to beyondtoday.tv.
[Gary Petty] Hi, I'm Gary Petty, a pastor with United Church of God. If you're looking for a church that encourages living what the Word of God really teaches, you've found the right place. We're a community of believers dedicated to seeking the truth and preaching the good news of the coming Kingdom of God. We'd like to welcome you to come and join us on this spiritual journey. We have hundreds of congregations around the United States and across the world. Visit ucg.org to find a church near you. We're looking forward to meeting you soon.