Whenever something bad happened in Hank’s life he’d start worrying about what was going to happen to himself in the future. He would put the worst spin possible on what was presently occurring, and then project that scenario into the future—always making himself the center of the storm; personalizing everything. And as Hank continued in this process, he would then start to go over things from the past, reliving mistakes that he had made years ago, and fearing that he would have to pay a price for those things sometime down the road. He would start having sleepless nights and would be distracted when interacting with those around him. Hank’s fear of the future was really getting the better of him, and it was paralyzing him.
Does this scenario sound familiar to anyone? I sometimes think that fear of the future is becoming an epidemic. When we see the things that are happening in our world it can sometimes fill us with fear. What will things be like ten, fifteen or twenty years from now?
Sometimes we think that trying to predict the future will give us some kind of control over our life. But, in the end, I don’t think this is how Christ wants us to live. Notice the advice the Lord gives to his disciples as they go forth to preach the Word: “Carry no money bag, no sack, no sandals; and greet no one along the way. In whatever house you enter, first say, ‘Peace to this household’. If a peaceful person lives there, your peace will rest on him; but, if not, it will return to you.”
This does not seem to be advice that would be comforting to someone who is constantly worried about the future. But, obviously, Jesus is not wanting His followers to be worried about such things—nor does He want us to either!
There are so many stores is in the Bible—most of them actually—that show us how God or Christ is somehow rescuing those who are in trouble; how God makes impossible things happen; and how the things that people thought were going to happen usually play out in a way that they didn’t expect. God is often found in the surprises. But God is not found in the anxious feelings that we have. God is present in the peace we experience—the calm when then the storm stops blowing.
We do not know the future. And Christ never said to us that we would find our salvation in our predictions about the future. Instead of wasting time doing that, turn to Jesus. You are asked to move from fear to faith, to trust. You are not called to live in the future which we have created out of our fears and worries—out of our over anxious imagination.
Remember, our predictions don’t save us. We are saved by Christ. When you’re filled with fear, keep saying these words over and over again to yourself: God has not brought me this far to abandon me.