Why Can We Be Confident a Better World Is at Hand
ISN’T it true that you are inclined to put confidence in some things, but not in others? If, for example, you read in the newspaper that the sun will rise at a certain time, you probably believe it. Why? Because the movements of the earth and the sun are so regular and precise that such predictions can be accurately made.
But, on the other hand, what if a politician tells you that when he is elected, the rate of unemployment will fall, relations with other countries will improve and economic prosperity will be enjoyed? You have little confidence in what he says, isn’t that so? Why? Because, even if he is sincere, you realize that his power and ability to carry out his promises are limited.
Young people, especially, tend to be pessimistic about efforts of men to correct problems. And the fact is, much of the earth becomes more and more polluted every day, its natural resources continue to be squandered, the wildlife is killed off, food shortages increase, the arms race goes on, and so forth. Yet, prospects for the future are not as bleak as some may believe.
Consider for a few moments an often overlooked side of the picture that shows why we can look forward with confidence to what lies ahead.
Reasons for Confidence
If we think about it, we can see in things around us good reasons for confidence as to the future. For instance: The uniform, regular movements of the earth and other bodies in space. Because of their unvarying, reliable orbits, not only can we count on the sun rising at a certain time tomorrow morning, but eclipses can even be predicted centuries in advance. Also, because of the earth’s consistent speed of travel, some 66,600 miles per hour, it keeps just the right distance from the sun—not too near and not too far away—for life to be pleasant and enjoyable on earth.
But there are scores of other factors that make a happy life here possible. The earth consistently makes a complete revolution on its axis every twenty-four hours. This ‘provides regular, predictable hours of light and darkness. But what if sometimes it rotated in ten hours, or thirty hours, or fifty, or whatever? The length of day and night would be unpredictable. There could be no planning; little real work could be accomplished. There would be confusion. And if, as in the case of the planet Mercury, the earth rotated once a year, one half of the earth would be a frozen sub-zero waste and the other half would be a deserted furnace.
Earth’s atmosphere, composed of a mixture of different gases, also provides reason for confidence. Like a mighty “ocean” it surrounds our planet. Just as fishes will perish out of water, so we would die if we could no longer breathe this proper mixture of atmospheric gases. But for thousands of years, everywhere around the earth, the atmosphere has remained stable, maintaining just the right mixture for supporting life. And all this time the atmosphere has shielded living things from certain harmful rays of the sun; it has kept the warmth of the earth from being lost in the coldness of outer space, and it has protected humans from meteors, which are usually burned up as they penetrate the upper atmosphere.
A writer in the New England Journal of Medicine commented: “The sky is a miraculous achievement. . . . I doubt whether any of us could think of a way to improve on it, beyond maybe shifting a local cloud from here to there on occasion. The word chance does not serve to account well for structures of such magnificence.”
The soil, too, is remarkably designed for our benefit, providing a basis for confidence. A thimbleful of it contains billions of living organisms. Many of these organisms decompose wastes and dead creatures, thus cleansing the earth. Some take nitrogen from the air and change it into nitrogen compounds. This is important, since plants need nitrogen and they cannot utilize it directly from the atmosphere. Doesn’t it appear obvious that an Intelligent Source is responsible for the many amazing processes and cycles that make life on earth not only possible, but potentially very enjoyable?
Just consider the function of plants and what this indicates about our future. Maybe you have read comments such as, ‘plants send down roots to get water and push up their stems for sunlight.’ But ask yourself: ‘Why? How?’ You know that plants have no brain and so are not capable of conscious thought. Yet could you ever have conceived the vast variety of delicious foods that plants produce for our pleasure?
How do plants manufacture this food that feeds all living things? It is known that carbon dioxide and water are acted on by the chlorophyll of plants. But what actually happens is still a mystery to humans. Science News Letter observed:
“It is here that the ‘deities’ perform their miracle. Sunlight provides energy for the great chemical change, and chlorophyll acts as the ‘switchboard’ that controls the reaction. Under the influence of these two, the carbon dioxide and water now combine to create the basis of all food, a simple sugar. All the numerous fats, proteins and carbohydrates used by plants and animals must be created later from this sugar.”
There are hundreds of factors that work together to make life on earth not only possible, but potentially very happy. Consider light. Not only is it vital to the production of all food, but it blesses us with gorgeous color and beauty. The color of things actually is in the light that shines upon them. Amazingly, light can be separated into tens of thousands of hues or colors! How pleasant, how miraculous is light!
Yet it is similar with so many things, such as the infinite variety of sounds, tastes and smells that contribute toward making our life pleasant and enjoyable. These things are staggeringly complex. Man did not create them. He doesn’t even fully understand them all. When we think about it, don’t the many processes and cycles make us realize that our planet Earth had a Designer? Yes, the many interdependent factors that work in harmony to sustain life on earth produce a marvelous system far, far more complicated than anything man has designed or built.
What does all the thought and work that we see in earth’s complicated functions tell us? It tells us that the Creator of it all is interested in making life pleasant and happy for all those who live here. It thus gives us reasons for confidence in the future. From what we have seen, surely the Creator wants life on earth to be pleasant and happy, and he clearly has the power to carry out his will.
What About Harm Already Done?
True, some people believe that humankind’s future on earth already has been seriously damaged. Huge sections of land have been misused, which has resulted in destroying or greatly inhibiting its food-producing capabilities. But is this damage permanent?
No, it need not be. Perhaps you are even acquainted with areas that have been terribly damaged by pollution, natural disasters or destructive farming practices. Yet the earth has amazing built-in restorative capacities, as noted in places where destructive fires and volcanic eruptions have devastated the land. In time these areas flourished once again with vegetation. And when man’s pollution has been controlled, rivers that once appeared hopelessly ruined have again supported fish and become a healthful place in which to swim.
Even land that was turned into barren wastes due to man’s misuse of it can be restored. A case in point is the Near and Middle East. Once areas there were very fertile, as testified to by ancient histories, but they were then ruined and lay desolate for centuries. In recent times, however, some of this land has been restored to productivity. Food expert Walter C. Lowdermilk, after an investigation for the U.N., concluded that “Israel is restoring to cultivation a land damaged by a millennium of abuse.”
So while you may be rightly concerned about man’s abuse of the earth, be assured that the harm is not permanent. Young people need not worry that their parents’ generation will pollute the environment to such an extent as to ruin it for future generations. Why can we be so sure?
Further Basis for Confidence
This is where the Bible comes in. It tells of the Creator’s purpose for the earth and all humankind. It does not direct our hopes toward the present failing system of things, but reveals God’s purpose to do away with the mixed-up and ineffective rule of this earth under the hundreds of present political governments. God caused the prophet Daniel to foretell His purpose to replace these governments with a single government of His own making, His kingdom by His Son Jesus Christ. Note this Bible promise:
“In the days of those kings [or rulerships] the God of heaven will set up a kingdom that will never be brought to ruin. And the kingdom [of God] . . . will crush and put an end to all these kingdoms [political governments of men], and it itself will stand to times indefinite.”—Dan. 2:44.
When will this happen? As noted in the previous article, the Bible helps us to determine when by giving a “sign” made up of many features. Within a certain generation all the features of this “sign” would take place. When this occurred, the time for God to bring this corrupt system to an end would be at hand. Is the “sign” now being fulfilled?
You can determine that yourself. Read in the Bible Matthew chapter 24, Luke chapter 21 and also 2 Timothy 3:1-5. There you will note that such things as wars, food shortages, pestilences, great earthquakes, lawlessness, juvenile delinquency, along with anxiety and uncertainty, would mark the time of the end of this system. Aren’t these the very things that we see occurring with such frequency and intensity today? No generation before in human history has experienced all these things with such intensity as ours. This means that God’s new system has drawn near!
The Bible describes the grand changes that this will soon mean for humankind. God promises to stop for all time the political bickering and fighting. Those who live in God’s new system will all be peace-loving persons who have carried out the Bible prophecy at Isaiah 2:4: “They will have to beat their swords into plowshares and their spears into pruning shears. Nation will not lift up sword against nation, neither will they learn war anymore.”
With the end of war, armaments races and greedy commercial systems, no more will there be polluting of the air, the water and the land. Yes, the Bible says that God is going to “bring to ruin those ruining the earth.” (Rev. 11:18) This means that, in time, the air everywhere will regain its freshness and fragrance, every river and stream will again sparkle with pure water, and the land will be restored to full productivity. “There will come to be plenty of grain on the earth.”—Ps. 72:16.
Also, the Bible shows that perfect health will be enjoyed by all obedient humankind. No longer will there be sickness and disease, or even deterioration of the body as one grows older. The Bible promise is that God “will wipe out every tear from their eyes, and death will be no more, neither will mourning nor outcry nor pain be anymore.” Rev. 21:4.
These are only a few of the Bible promises regarding God’s purpose to bless humankind with peace, health and happiness. Surely the One who conceived and put into operation the complex processes and cycles that sustain life on earth is able to fulfill his promises! And we have every reason to believe that he will do so.
Perhaps you haven’t looked into God’s Word to find out what his purpose for the earth and humankind is. We encourage you to do this. You will then see why we truly can be confident that a better world is at hand.
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The uniform movements of the planets give reason for confidence in the promises of their Creator
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CARBON DIOXIDE ENTERS LEAVES
SUNLIGHT ENTERS LEAVES
WATER ENTERS ROOTS
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Earth has many marvelous processes and cycles, such as the oxygen-carbon dioxide cycle. Do they not make us realize that our planet Earth had a Designer?