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A Brighter Tomorrow!

Psalm 97

A visitor to London England was concerned about the dismal, rainy, and generally, unpleasant weather.
Seeing the overcast conditions, he asked a native of London, "What kind of weather can we expect today?"

Without even glancing toward the window, the Londoner replied, "Oh, it's going to be bright enough!"

The visitor was about to ask, "And how bright is bright enough?" when the light dawned in his mind.
He realized that what he had just heard was a declaration of faith of this individual.

This is a central affirmation of our Christian faith.

It is the reasonable confidence of a believer in God, who Jesus has made known to us as the loving,
all-powerful Ruler of the universe.
Jesus also taught us that God is our loving, heavenly Father.

This is a reasonable confidence because it is restrained.
The Londoner did not predict it would be bright, but that it would be "bright enough."

As the Christian examines probabilities in planetary weather, he also is restrained.
Few are left to retain the ecstatic hopes which once were prevalent in our Western world.
To believe that our human society is full of sweetness and light, and that its progress is inevitably
upward and onward, is to have your head in the sand.

Life has its fogs.

Christian realism has never denied that stormy weather overtakes the inhabitants of God's earth.
Someone once observed that "Anyone who has to look for trouble just hasn't been paying attention."

Trouble is here in surplus quantities.
Disease strikes; accidents shatter or destroy; friends vanish or, worse, betray; dreams of a secure, healthy future
crash into fragments -- in one situation after another.

The verdict of a homespun philosopher seems accurate: "The good ain't able, and the able ain't good."

Notwithstanding an encouraging increase in religious interest, there are countries in which the Christian Church
has been driven underground.
Our world is rapidly becoming pagan.
Life is a mixture of heartaches and happiness.

Yet, this remains the astonishing affirmation of Christian faith: "Tomorrow will be bright enough!" The answer is a blunt, "No!"

Christian confidence in a bright tomorrow is not a secular hope wearing "Sunday-go-to-meeting" clothes.

All human effort on behalf of a better life for human beings is not doomed to failure.
It is necessary to reject partial views.
After all, weather forecasters base their predictions on more than one day's storms.
Air travelers know how a few hours flight can change the picture.
Out of our own experiences we must find enough light to affirm that there will be at least bright intervals
in the darkness ahead. Children do this.
Sometimes in the night, children hear only the strange sounds and noises, and forget the familiar furniture
and the caring family nearby.

Perhaps, this was why this little poem was composed:
"From ghoulies and ghosties and things that go bump in the night, Good Lord deliver us!"
But even so, focusing on the total picture is insufficient to support the forecast,
"It will be bright enough tomorrow."

What is the foundation of such confidence?
In our own living, how can we be sure of this?
What does this mean in our language of today?

It means this -- enthroned in power, active in history, and therefore, living and operating in our world is God.
This is the conviction that is strong as steel, solid as stone, and stirring as a battle-cry.

God is not an absentee ruler.
Therefore, with God what shall be shall be!

We have the foundation of our confidence in the triumph of the church.
If we, as church leaders and church members, submit to discouragement, act jittery and uncertain about the future,
it is usually because our idea of God is insufficient.

J. B. Phillips asked the question, "Is your God too small?"

A great religion demands a great God for its starting point.
Complex and difficult problems require a great God to provide light in which to find the solution.

Our Christian faith takes the whole world for its field of service. If we have doubts, timidities, hesitantancies about the future, it may well be due to our inadequate picture of God.
We have made Him too much like ourselves.

Our God is a great God who is above all and is all-powerful.
That is our confidence!
No magnified, glorified man is equal to the transformation of which our gospel speaks.

This vision of the divine supremacy of God as controlling all things rescues us from a delusion,
common to activists, such as ourselves; that the triumph of the church depends on us.

It is our mighty God who said: "Ask of me, and I will give thee the heathen for thine inheritance,
and the uttermost parts of the earth for thy possession
." (Psalm 2: 8)
God said that!
Our Almighty God said that, and He will do it!

When you read the closing verses of Mark's Gospel, you read this wonderful antithesis:
"Then... the Lord... was received up into heaven, and sat down on the right hand of God.
And they went... everywhere
." The servants are out in the field, and Christ is living within.
This vision of the Almighty God produces the same effect in every age.

"Do you expect to convert China?" Asked the captain of the ship, on which Robert Morrison sailed.
"No," replied the indomitable missionary, going out alone to claim China for Christ,
"But I expect God will."

The Lord reigneth; let His church rejoice!

The days ahead may be loaded with difficulties.
Greater is He that is with us than all that are against us. Let this truth of faith pervade your private life. God compasses our path and our going out and coming in.
He is acquainted with all our ways.
He orders our steps.
Knowing this should cause us to rejoice!
How can we be listless, inactive, and resigned to conditions as they are, when we know this great truth.

The Lord reigneth! "Tomorrow will be bright enough!"
"The Lord reigneth; let the earth rejoice."

Sermon by Dr. Harold L. White
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