God Holds the Future
I’ve been thinking about the future. I’m a recent college grad working on her master’s degree, and I honestly couldn’t tell you where I’ll be in three years, much less five or ten. I could be in the same city I’m in now; I could be somewhere else in America; I could be on the other side of the world.
Actually, I could be anywhere, and I could be doing anything.
My hope is that I would be serving God, growing to be more like Jesus Christ, and loving those around me wherever I am, but the details are so uncertain. Sometimes I feel like I’m walking on a dimly lit path, and I can hardly see the step in front of me, much less the next step, or the step after that.
But, when I am tempted to worry about the future – so basically every day – God reminds me of several important truths.
1) God knows exactly where I will be in the future.
God doesn’t just know where I will be in the future – He wrote that future for me!
David says it best in the psalms:
Psalm 139:16 Your eyes say my unformed substance; in your book were written, every one of them, the days that were formed for me, when as yet there was none of them.
I love words, and I love writing words. But God writes, too. And one of the many things that He has written is His sovereign plan for my life. I don’t have to hunt it down or search it out. Before my first day began, God had scripted out my life from my conception to my very last day on this earth.
When I think about the future, I can’t help but think of my kind and loving God Who planned each day. In His time and for His glory, He will bring His sovereign will to pass in my life.
2) God is preparing me now for the future.
Proverbs 3:5-6 Trust in the LORD with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths.
God answers my fears with these commands: “Trust in the LORD . . . and do not lean on your own understanding.”
My own understanding asks why I haven’t “found” what I’m “supposed” to be doing yet. It wonders whether I’ve made a wrong turn in the road. Sometimes, my own understanding decides to settle where I’m the most comfortable. It wants to do what makes me the happiest. It distrusts the future because it can’t view the future from its own perspective in the present.
My own understanding talks to me every day and tells me to trust anything and anyone but God.
Yet God commands me to trust Him. He doesn’t tell me to trust Him when I can understand the future, and He doesn’t tell me to trust Him when I feel like it. I need to trust God every single day.
If I am trusting God, then I must acknowledge His presence and His work in my life. The alternative would be trusting (“leaning”) in my own understanding and acknowledging myself. But God clearly states that His way is the straight way – not mine.
Every day, God is preparing me for the future by giving me opportunities to practice constant, focused trust in Him. When I fear the future, I am only acknowledging my own way, not the purpose of my sovereign, all-powerful God.
One of the best ways I can prepare for tomorrow is to lean completely on God today.
Philippians 1:6 And I am certain of this, that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ.
3) God will be with me wherever I am.
God wrote my future out, day by day, and He calls me to trust Him. But that’s not all God does; God also promises to be with me every step of the way. I can never escape from His presence.
Psalm 139:7-8 Where shall I go from your Spirit? Or where shall I flee from your presence? If I ascend to heaven, you are there! If I make my bed in Sheol, you are there.
God will be with me wherever I go. I could not hide from Him even if I wanted to. As a Christian, this gives me incredible hope. I have no need to fear – either now or in the future; I am confident that God is with me.
Deuteronomy 31:8 It is the LORD who goes before you. He will be with you; he will not leave you or forsake you. Do not fear or be dismayed.