This year has been challenging, and there are some scary predictions for the coming months. Since I was in high school, I’ve lived through over 50 scares of prophecies, conspiracies, and projections for the end of the world or the destruction of our society. I remember the prediction of the Second Coming was June 21, 1982. Even though I wasn’t walking with God, I knew the scripture in Matthew 24:36 said that no man knew the day or the hour, and I didn’t worry about it. Any person, no matter how spiritual or gifted, can make a mistake, since the devil plays with our weaknesses and fears. The only one who knows the future is God. Over the years, I’ve found a strategy to help me be prepared, not scared. The first, as I learned in 1982, we can trust his word.
But of that [exact] day and hour no one knows, not even the angels of heaven, nor the Son [in His humanity], but the Father alone.Matthew 24:36
Predictions, Probabilities, and Precautions
Prepare with wisdom. I remember the Y2K conspiracy theory all too well. Many were terrified that when January 1 2000 rolled around computers wouldn’t be able to tell the difference between the year 2000 and the 1900 dates. They predicted catastrophic circumstances since computers controlled so much of our lives and no one was sure until midnight rolled around. We weighed possibilities, probabilities, and scenarios. Having small children made us cautious. Since there was a possibility and no one knew for sure, we took precautions. We got extra food, water, ammo, and everything we’d need but we didn’t go overboard but gave ourselves the amount of supplies to last a reasonable amount of time. We prayed and trust God to take care of us. God expects us to work hard to find, hold, and use wisdom. He promises that we can trust him for the rest.
The beginning of wisdom is this: Get[a] wisdom. Though it cost all you have,[b] get understanding. Cherish her, and she will exalt you; embrace her, and she will honor you. She will give you a garland to grace your head and present you with a glorious crown.Proverbs 4:7-9
I’ve heard many conspiracies, predictions, and even threats regarding November’s election. Many think we could face violence and anarchy or economic crises and international safety crises. We don’t need a prophet to see that November will be a challenge no matter who wins. In all this, God does not want us to fear and assures us of this in 2 Timothy 1:7. If we feel anxious as we prepare, let’s remember that God hasn’t given us a spirit of fear. Fear is our biggest foe, even if the worst comes about, fear within it not only torments but clouds good wisdom and judgment. Yes, I am preparing in every way I should, not just food, supplies, and protection, but especially in my spirit. My cancer battle was the example, if my spirit is strong, I can endure just about anything.
For God did not give us a spirit of timidity or cowardice or fear, but [He has given us a spirit] of power and of love and of sound judgment and personal discipline [abilities that result in a calm, well-balanced mind and self-control].2 Timothy 1:7
Love To Prepare
I am working on making relationships strong. The Apostle Paul depicted in 2 Corinthians 7:5-7. Paul experienced had “harassed at every turn conflicts on the outside, fears within,” but the love, concern, and devotion of others helped him. The same was true of my loved ones during my cancer battle. I do the same for them and others when they are in need. Love fights fear. I’m working to communicate better, manage expectations, and give my loves the benefit of the doubt. In all this, fear can creep in; we must cut it at the root. If nothing terrible comes, we are better off for all we have done. If some or part of those things happens, we will have gained wisdom, know how to have peace, how to cast out fear, and how to let our faith work for us.
For when we came into Macedonia, we had no rest, but we were harassed at every turn—conflicts on the outside, fears within. 6 But God, who comforts the downcast, comforted us by the coming of Titus, 7 and not only by his coming but also by the comfort you had given him. He told us about your longing for me, your deep sorrow, your ardent concern for me, so that my joy was greater than ever.2 Corinthians 7:5-7
Find It, Proclaim It, Pray It, Believe It
Since the sixth century, there have been over 165 of the world predictions that I know. I’m sure there’s more. Each time, people interrupted their lives, feared, and many prepared. Some made regrettable decisions. What if nothing else bad happens this year? I say, thank God! We have lost nothing by using wisdom to be prepared, but we have gained a lot. If things go well, it doesn’t hurt to have some extra supplies and healthy relationships. I like the advice Jesus gave the disciples in Matthew 26:41 before he was taken, tried, and crucified. Watch and pray. That’s the order for today, do not fear for he is near. Find a scripture that speaks to you, that eradicates fear as you pray for wisdom and prepare. Cite it, sing it, pray it, proclaim it and believe it.
Watch and pray so that you will not fall into temptation. The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak.Matthew 26:41
Don’t Fear Anything
‘Do not fear [anything], for I am with you;Isaiah 41:10
Do not be afraid, for I am your God.
I will strengthen you, be assured I will help you;
I will certainly take hold of you with My righteous right hand [a hand of justice, of power, of victory, of salvation].’