Do you find yourself worrying about your unknown future?
Strength and dignity are her clothing, and she laughs at the time to come. ~Proverbs 31:25
This is my new life verse. I love the concept behind it.
If you’ve ever studied the Proverbs 31 woman, you know she is a pretty remarkable lady.
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I find it quite challenging to live up to her standards – after all, I hate getting up in the morning, and I don’t sew all the clothing for my family. She sets the bar high, but her pattern is an excellent one to follow.
Of course, I realize she did live in a different time period, but the message is the same – she is diligent, she is wise, she is faithful to her husband and family and caring for them is her priority. She is well known in the community for her testimony, and she is kind and generous to the poor.
What really strikes me when I read this verse is the last part:
“She shall rejoice in time to come”.
What does that mean? Is she looking forward to something? Is Christmas coming? A birthday? Is she going to the Bahamas for her 20th wedding anniversary?
Why is she rejoicing in her unknown future?
Enter: the hard stuff
When I was young, I looked forward to lots of things. Marriage, children, vacations, Christmas, the future was wide open!
But now that I’ve lived over half of my life (more than likely) I find that I don’t look forward that much. I’ve found I’m looking backward.
Backward because all of the things I’d hoped to accomplish in life came to fruition.
I found my soul mate, I had the children I’d always wanted, I raised them, lived my life watching them grow and being involved in that process. That was what I wanted to do with my life.
And now, I find myself wondering – how many Christmases do I have left to enjoy? How many grandchildren will I have the privilege of knowing? How much longer do I have on this earth?
What is there to look forward to?
Maybe you’re in the throes of raising kids and you just.need.some.air. You feel as if the time will never come when you can just sit down and read a book for pleasure.
Maybe you have a loved one that is terminally ill.
The world appears more scary with each passing day, and we worry about what our kids are up against.
We all have things looming on the horizon that we don’t want to face.
Enter: laughter at an unknown future
“She laughs at the time to come” quotes the English Standard Version.
Laughter at the future? That’s some pretty strong language. The Living Bible says, “She has no fear of old age”.
WOW. I’m afraid of old age, aren’t you?
The Hebrew word for rejoice in this passage is “sachaq” and means to laugh (in pleasure or detraction), to make merry, mock, play, rejoice, (laugh to) scorn, be in sport.
To make fun of the future?
Here is what the Matthew Henry Commentary has to say about it:
“She enjoys a firmness and constancy of mind, has spirit to BEAR UP UNDER THE MANY CROSSES AND DISAPPOINTMENTS (emphasis mine); and this is her clothing, for defense as well as decency.
So you see, in truth, the last part of the verse very much has to do with the first part.
She is rejoicing in time to come because strength and honor are her clothing.
She has saturated herself with living righteously. It is her way of life, and in that she can rest and have peace. She knows disappointments will come. But:
Putting on Strength and Honor
How can we live so righteously?
1.) We can start by setting aside time each day for the Lord. This does not come easily, especially if you have little ones, or if your schedule is very demanding. Yet, it is vital.
Seek ways to be creative with this! Use your time wisely, write this Scripture on a 3×5 card and stick it on your mirror. Read it every day, several times a day. Look away from it and see if you can say even parts of the verse by memory.
2.) Pray while you do the dishes, drive the car, stand in line.
3.) Listen to uplifting music or radio programs.
4.) Be accountable to godly friends. Go to church, fellowship with believers.
Never stop striving to be better for God. I am preaching this to myself as well as you, my friends. I am seeking to make better use of my time – wiser choices.
We can expect to be working on this until the day we die! But it will help us to look forward to the future, to laugh even, knowing that God has got this!
The more secure we are in our belief, the more we can rejoice in time to come.
And that, my friends, is joy.
So let’s take hold of this joy. Obviously it is possible – the Proverbs 31 woman did it.
Joy in action
Remember what the angel said to Mary, right after he told her she would conceive the Son of God by the Holy Spirit? He had just informed her that her barren, elderly cousin, Elizabeth was pregnant and in her 6th month!
“For nothing will be impossible with God” (Luke 1:37).
These were two women that God used to further his plan of redemption and salvation for us.
It is obviously God’s will for us to walk in this strength and honor, and when He asks us to do something, He will make a way for us to do it.
Let’s lay hold of that joy today. Let’s rejoice in the future! Ready? Go!
“Strength and honor are her clothing, she shall rejoice in time to come.” Proverbs 31:25
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