Suppose you made a million dollars per year. Would that set you up for life? Would it give you financial security for the future? Well, apparently not if you’re a professional athlete. According to a report in Investment News, 78 percent of NFL players are bankrupt or under financial stress within two years of retirement. Sports Illustrated similarly reports that 60 percent of NBA players are in serious financial trouble within five years of retirement.
Today we know it’s not enough to have a job that simply takes care of today’s needs, but that somehow we need to manage wisely for the future. In ancient Egypt, Joseph wisely stored up grain for the coming days of famine. In Proverbs 31, the wise woman was a hard-working manager who provided for her family and wasn’t worried about winter. She prepared for the coming seasons in advance. Jesus commended the shrewd steward in Luke 16 for using his current position to insure a secure future.
Nothing Can Pry Us From His Hand
As Christians, even though we should plan for our future, we don’t rely on the world for our ultimate security. For us, the eternal God is our refuge, and underneath are the everlasting arms. We have a hope that endures; for when Jesus comes into our lives, He comes with abiding security that is unlike any security we can find on earth. He not only died to forgive our sins; He rose from the dead to give us eternal life. His resurrection supplies the power, provision, and pattern for our own resurrections. Because He lives, we will live also.
John’s Gospel drives this home. At the end of his Gospel, John stated his purpose in writing—that we might believe in Christ and have eternal life (John 20:31). He similarly ended his little letter of 1 John by telling us he had written it that we might know we have eternal life (1 John 5:13). Throughout his writing, John used the phrases “eternal life” and “everlasting life” twenty-three times. For example, Jesus told us in John 10:26-29: “My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me. And I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; neither shall anyone snatch them out of My hand. My Father, who has given them to Me, is greater than all; and no one is able to snatch them out of My Father’s hand.”
The future just doesn’t get any more secure than that!
Nothing Can Separate Us From His Love
Not only can nothing snatch us from His hand; nothing can separate us from His love. The apostle Paul declared: “Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword?” He went on to say, “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” (Romans 8:35, 38-39). He was convinced and no one could tell him otherwise.
Nothing Can Alter His Plan
The Bible also teaches that nothing can alter God’s plan. Ecclesiastes 3:14 says, “I know that whatever God does, it shall be forever. Nothing can be added to it, and nothing taken from it. God does it that men should fear before Him.”
Our Lord is the same yesterday, today, and forever. He is immutable—unchanged, unchanging, and unchangeable. His grace doesn’t fluctuate. His power doesn’t ebb and flow. His love and mercy do not rise and fall with the tides of any cosmic ocean. He is steadfast, constant, and enduring. The Bible says, “The Lord is good; His mercy is everlasting; and His truth endures to all generations” (Psalm 100:5).
What security and hope! What a basis for an optimistic attitude, even during painful times. And how wonderful to know we don’t have to fear the future or worry about our security.
When the world experiences the ebb and flow of change, remember: Nothing can separate us from His love. No one can snatch us from His hand. Nothing can alter His plan. We are secure. Start enjoying your eternal life today!
Paul Wachter, “Pro Athletes, Amateur Money Managers,” Bloomberg Businessweek, October 7, 2010, accessed on January 19, 2011.
It’s the quality of love so strong and resilient, the Apostle Paul uses a military term to describe it. Dr. David Jeremiah continues his study of 1 Corinthians 13 with a look at how true love must endure all things, just as an army must defend its ground against all attacks.