By Hope Bolinger, Crosswalk.com
It seems as though this year has lasted forever, and we’ve barely passed the halfway point. So much uncertainty rules our lives in the face of COVID-19. And although some countries have emerged, or are in the process of emerging from the virus, many of us remain in the thick of the pandemic.
Even as we approach a time we may be able to leave this virus in the past, many of us wonder what lies in store in our future.
We may ponder questions such as, “What will the economy look like after this? Will we enter a major recession worldwide?” or “Do I have a secure job once this ends? Do I have pay cuts to look forward to and entire departments in my company disappearing?” or even “What will school look like in this next year for my son and daughter? Will they be safe in a classroom setting?”
And of course, “Will we see a resurgence of this pandemic any time soon, and if so, will we be better prepared?”
No doubt, we could spend our days coming up with anxious questions that boggle our minds about the future post-COVID-19. But do we have any questions we can ask that can assuage some of our fears?
Just for starters, this article will dive into five questions we can revisit daily, to remind us of our future and who holds it.
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1. How Has God Come through for Me in the Past?
Not all of us keep prayer journals or a diary of our daily events, but we can all likely point back to some period of time in our lives where we worried about something. And God came through for us during that time, most often in a way in which we least expected it.
Perhaps we worried about tithing at church because we didn’t even have enough to pay for groceries that week, and then a check arrived in the mail or a friend offered to purchase food for us for that week.
Or maybe a family member experienced an illness or an injury, and God healed them.
No matter what the case, we can likely identify dozens (if not hundreds), of instances where God came through for us in the past, especially when we feared for our future.
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2. What Does the Bible Say about Our Future?
We do have to bear in mind that the Bible was written for a specific audience during a specific time period (see the Jeremiah 29:11 explanation below), but Christians can find many applicable universal truths throughout the passage of Scripture.
Let’s dive into some verses that talk about the future and how God plays into it.
“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” – Jeremiah 29:11
Once again, we do need to bear in mind the context. This was written to the Israelites as the Babylonians took them into a 70-year captivity.
With the context mentioned, we do know (based on God’s character and what He states in the Bible) that he does have a plan for our lives, full of hope.
Proverbs 3:5-6 says, “Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight.”
Even if we can’t see our future, we know who holds it. We can continue to trust in Yahweh and know that He will make our paths straight, even when we can’t see beyond the next few steps.
2 Corinthians 4:17 explains, “For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all.”
Paul reminds us here that no matter what we face in the future, all our struggles will pale in comparison with the abundant joy we will experience when we see Jesus in heaven.
Find more verses on the future here.
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3. How Has God Come through for People in Scripture?
God has given us a beautiful book full of countless examples of people taking a step of faith into their future. Abraham left his hometown and was a sojourner, trusting in God (Genesis 12). Joseph awaited God to come through for him in jail, and wound up one of the highest rulers in Egypt (Genesis 39).
It seems as though we cannot find a single example of a godly person in Scripture who did not have to trust in God when it came to their future.
Even though we don’t know God’s plans when it comes to tomorrow, we can see him come through countless times for the tomorrows of those in the past. And we take assurance that if he came through for them, he will do the same for us.
4. What’s God’s Ultimate Plan for the Future?
We know that the story ends well. And if all is not well, we have not reached the end of the story.
In Revelation, we see God bringing a new heaven and earth, bringing an end to suffering, tears, and death.
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5. What Does the Lord Require of Me in the Meantime?
In the meantime, God first requires us to trust in him. We know he will take care of us, even when situations appear most bleak.
Second, we have a mandate to spread the Gospel to all the nations (Matthew 28). This means that we reach out to those who are experiencing despair or fear of the future, and we share the reasons for the hope we have.
Third, we should meet the needs of those in the world. Gospel tracts often do very little if we don’t supplement those with meeting a need (giving a large tip to a server, buying groceries for the neighbor who is struggling to pay the bills on unemployment, etc.). After all, if our brother asks for bread, we cannot give them a stone (Matthew 7:9).
Finally, we should take care of our family.
By family, I mean our church family (although, of course, we shouldn’t neglect our biological one either). Often, we can get so caught up reaching the lost in the world that we fail to realize the sheep in our own communities who need love, giving, and prayers.
Reach out to those in your church and ask if you can meet a specific need.
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