Question: Fear of the Future

yaejinkim asked:

How do you put Lord over your future?

Hey there dear friend: I believe Philippians 3:12-14 sums it up better than I can.

Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already been made perfect, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me. Brothers, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus. 

I know that most of us would say, “God is in control” or “Leave it to God” or “God knows all things” — and all that is true.  It’s easy to Google “God and future” and come up with all kinds of inspirational verses, but I think that only goes halfway.  When Christians talk about the future, it mostly feels like we’re re-arranging mental furniture to feel some pseudo-peace for the next five seconds.  I can see how that would help, but there will always be an anxiety and fear about our future no matter how much we mentally massage ourselves.

So Apostle Paul is saying, Just press on anyway.  Not necessarily because God will work things out the way we want, but because God has called us to a task bigger than ourselves.  He both holds the future and calls us forward into it.  To put it another way: The time we have on this earth is both from God and for God.  A lot of us like the first part but forget the second.

I think to “Let go and let God” is only half the picture.  To say “God holds our future” is correct, but it’s not meant to calm us before a final exam or a job interview.  God is calling us to be willing active participants in what He is doing on the earth.  That means: we’re confident God has written the final ending to our story, but this is more reason to work hard and not less.

Apostle Paul breaks it down pretty simple:

1) V.12 — Press on, for God has called us.

2) V.13 — Forget the past and look ahead.

3) V.14 — Press on, for God has called us.

Notice this doesn’t specifically mention our fears.  There are plenty of verses that can do that, but here Apostle Paul reminds us of the mission at hand.  And even in the most common-sense way, your fears get obliterated by the very act of deciding and doing.  Pushing forward as if God is already there is exactly how we put God over future.

So if you’re scared of the future right now, that’s understandable.  Just keep moving.  I’ll leave you with one more passage.

Be very careful, then, how you live—not as unwise but as wise, making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil. Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the Lord’s will is.

— Ephesians 5:15-17

— J.S.

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