Al Earley | Christmas time: the future

Published 9:18 am Wednesday, December 14, 2016

These last two weeks I have written about living in the precious present. To do this, we must find healing and freedom from the chains of the past. What about the future?  How are we to understand future time? Too often, fear of the future cripples our living in the present. The Bible has no support for this, only strong teaching to trust God completely with your future.

One of the greatest barriers people struggle with to live the abundant life today is worry.  There is much that we can worry about. We can worry about our health, the safety of our children and grandchildren, our financial security, and don’t forget all the worrying associated with Christmas: spent enough money, spent too much money, got the right gifts, is the turkey too dry? Worrying about such things begs for us to ask, “Does my worrying make anything better?”  

Jesus answers the question succinctly with the don’t worry text from Matthew 6:31-33, “So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.” 

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The good thing about Jesus’ answer is He not only tells us not to worry because it doesn’t help anything, He also tells us what to do instead. Trust God.

I also invite people who worry to memorize this text. Matthew 6:25-34 is the whole text.  I recommend that you memorize as many verses as corresponds to how much you worry. This is probably not something you can answer for yourself very well, so ask someone close to you, on a scale of 1 to 10 how big a worrier you are. If they score you a big worrier, like nine or ten, then you need to memorize the whole text. If you are a five, then choose five verses and memorize them. Then whenever you start worrying you can remind yourself that God can be trusted.

Fear of the future can also destroy our ability to live in the precious present. There is much that could scare us to death. Corrupt politicians, terrorists, corrupt financial leaders, thieves invading our homes and deadly disease, just to name a few. In Mark 5:35-41 Jesus and His disciples are in a storm-tossed boat, and the disciples are terrified that they are all going to die, including the experienced fishermen. When we face death, fear is the common response. Jesus calms the sea, and then says to His disciples, “Why are you so afraid? Do you still have no faith?”  When we have faith in Jesus Christ we can live without fear, and Jesus not only tells us not to be afraid, He also tells us what to do instead. Trust God.  

So, what future does God have in store for us? This is why we can trust God in all circumstances, and live in the precious present. God promises us that if we love Him, He will work ALL things out for our good (Romans 8:28). If something on earth kills us, we then spend eternity with Him.  So, death should not scare us. God uses our struggles in life to make us stronger.  God’s love shatters the hate and darkness that seeks to invade our lives. Finally, God promises that one day He will establish the Kingdom of Heaven on earth (Revelation 21-22). No one knows the time except God (Jesus tells us this in Matthew 24:36). So, we are to live each day as if it will be our last because it might be, and that should have a powerful effect on what you choose to do today.

Are you a worrier? What scares you the most about life? Are you going through big Christmas holiday struggles that fill you with fear? Have you asked for help from God? If you knew today was your last day of life, how would you live it? What things should we focus on each day to live in the precious present?  

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