Yes, the future can be frightening. But God rules and reigns over it. While we don’t know what will happen, he does. And because he is a good God, we can trust our future to him. We can know that whatever happens is not outside his providence and control. No matter how challenging or difficult or hard the future might be, God will use it for our good. He will make us like Christ.
The future and I have a love/hate relationship with each other.
There are times in life when I view the future with excitement. Things I’ve planned and worked for are about to come to fruition, and I watch with anticipation as they unfold before my eyes—like when I completed a degree program, got married, or had a child. In those times, I love the future, and even strive to speed up its arrival—as if that were possible!
But there are other times in life when the future is not exciting at all. Instead, the future is dark with shadows, and it seems to hide its intentions. I can’t see what lies ahead, and it fills me with dread and fear. The unknown keeps me awake at night thinking through all the “what if?” scenarios: “What if ____ happens? Then what will I do?” In those times, I do what I can to keep the future at bay—as if I ever could!
I’m in the midst of one of those “what if?” seasons right now. It’s hard not to worry and fret about the unknown. It’s hard not to fear. And it can be hard to trust God with the future.
But I want to trust God. I want to be able to say with the psalmist,
Therefore we will not fear though the earth gives way, though the mountains be moved into the heart of the sea, though its waters roar and foam, though the mountains tremble at its swelling. (Ps. 46:2-3)
I want to look at the future with anticipation and hope—no matter what lies ahead—knowing that God is my refuge and strength (Ps. 46:1).
Perhaps you are in a similar season where the future looks fearful. You don’t know what the future has in store, and you fear you will be unprepared. You fear you aren’t strong enough to endure whatever trial or difficult circumstance awaits. You fear the future will hold something too hard, too difficult, too painful. In our battles against fear, we need to remember three things:
1. God holds the future.
Our God is sovereign over all things. Every molecule is under his control. He determines even those things that seem random in our eyes (Prov. 16:33). He rules over the hearts of man (Prov. 21:1). We may make our plans, but it is God who directs our paths (Prov. 16:9). God’s purposes and plans always come to pass. Nothing and no one can interfere with his plan:
“For I am God, and there is no other;
I am God, and there is none like me,
declaring the end from the beginning
and from ancient times things not yet done,
saying, ‘My counsel shall stand,
and I will accomplish all my purpose.’” (Isa. 46:9-10)