“Strength and dignity are her clothing, and she laughs at the time to come.”
What a phrase. You think about this verse near the end of this chapter, describing this woman who displays the glory of God in her life and her marriage and her family. This description of her in verse 25, “Strength and dignity are her clothing,” so this picture of courage and integrity, strength and dignity in her, and then the Bible says, “she laughs at the time to come.” The picture, she laughs at the future, at what is to come in the days ahead because she’s not worried about it. She’s not afraid of what’s coming in the future. She is confident, she’s strong. Her strength doesn’t come from herself. The whole picture here at the close of the Book of Proverbs is, she fears God. That’s the whole picture in the very end of this chapter. Charm is deceitful and beauty is vain, but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised.
We are prone to be anxious, but when we fear God we do not have to be afraid of the future.
When you fear God, you will not be afraid of the future. Oh, get this, this is so important. When you or I fear God, we don’t have to fear the future. The fear of God takes away worry in the world. What a beautiful truth, not just for this woman, for women, for all of us to hear, men and women. When we fear God, we don’t have to be afraid of what’s to come in the future. When we fear God, we are free from worry. This is what Jesus said, “Do not worry about anything.” Don’t worry about anything, He said. “Seek me, my kingdom, the righteousness of God, all these things will be given to you.”
The Bible says later, Philippians chapter 4, “Do not be anxious about anything,” like, anything the Bible says over and over again, we don’t have to worry about anything when we are trusting in God, when we fear God, when we’re looking to God, we are free from worry, we are free from fear about the future. I think about, I don’t know what’s coming to my life tomorrow, what’s coming to my life a month from now or a year from now, and you don’t either. If I think about it a lot, and I think about all the things that could happen, there’s all kinds of things I could worry about. I can think of, dream up all kinds of things to worry about.
My wife and I were having a conversation just the other day when we were talking about some unknowns as we walk into the future. We were, I mean, it was getting overwhelming and it was certainly causing worry and anxiety, and then it was like, wait a minute, let’s stop for a minute. We don’t have to worry about tomorrow. The Bible tells us that God says that to us, we don’t have to. If we’re worrying about tomorrow, we are not living in line with the Word of God. We are not living in light of His instructions to us, His compassionate, good instructions to us. He has not called us to worry about any of these things, but to trust in Him, to fear Him and to trust Him. When we do, we can laugh at the future.
That doesn’t mean it’s going to be easy, that the future is guaranteed to go the way we think it will. Like, no. But, through the fear of God, through trust in God we can find strength to face whatever is to come in the future. God knows what the future holds. God knows everything that lies ahead. How do you live when you don’t know what lies ahead? You keep your eyes fixed on the God who does know what lies ahead.
Oh God, please, please, please help us. We are prone to worry. We are prone to be anxious. We’re prone to try to look ahead, try to figure out what’s going to happen here or there. We’re prone even to think the worst sometimes about what could happen here or there. God, we know we want to make wise plans. We see that in Proverbs. We see that throughout your Word. We want to think about the future, but God, we don’t want to worry about it because you have clearly told us not to. We pray that you would help us not to worry. Help us not to be afraid or anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and petition to present our request to you, to lift our eyes to you and to experience your peace.
This what you promised, oh God, in Philippians chapter 4, your peace that passes all understanding, that it would be ours in Christ Jesus. Oh God, we pray for your peace. I pray for that over every single person who’s listening to this right now, every single woman and man, I pray this over my own life. God, please help us to laugh at the time to come, to be dressed in strength and dignity and confidence as we fear you, as we look to you, and through the fear of you, God we pray, for your total deliverance from fear of the future, from worry about the future. God, help us to rest in you, knowing that you hold the future in your hands, you hold us in your hands. We fear you, we worship you, and we trust in you. In Jesus’ name, amen.
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