Week 7 Hope and Anticipate
Hope Trumps Worry
This is what it means to hope in the Lord: we entrust the future we cannot see or control into His hands, and then live with Him as our present reality.
ur lives may not have unfolded as we would have planned, but we can trust that all things have come together as God has planned. We tend to disregard the truth of Romans 8:28 (all things work together for the good of those who love the Lord) because we know we have not been obedient. Our past disobedience may loom so overwhelmingly large in our minds that we forget God’s sovereign power extends even to cover our misdeeds; in fact, our sin is the reason He sent His son.
Perhaps repentance has done its good work and our hearts have thrilled to the Lord’s promise that our sins have been removed as far as the east is from the west,[i] but our lives have remained full of challenges. We know God is with us in our present difficulties and we are happy for His provision and grace, but what might happen in the future? Although we accept that God is able to remedy situations our sins have damaged, we may use the hard facts of circumstances as they exist in the present moment to extrapolate to what might happen in the future.
If our current situations are relatively trouble free, we still are not immune to worry because it is difficult to avoid crossing the line from empathy for the suffering of others to fear for ourselves; what has happened to them could happen to us. It’s as though we believe rehearsing possibilities in our imaginations will ease the sting of sorrows that might come later on. However, the Lord doesn't provide strength to be dependent until we actually become dependent. He doesn't provide grace to receive support from others until we need that support. And He doesn't provide dying grace until we are near death.
It’s almost comical how we are able to say, “Well yes, God has provided for me amazingly in this current trial I am facing, but based on what I can see in my present, horrid things might happen in the future…” The problem is that God’s provision comes in ways we can’t anticipate. His creativity, wisdom, knowledge, and power allow Him to create treasures even from the darkest times.[ii] Our knowledge is not complete, and our understanding can’t accommodate the ways God will astound us with His ability to bring beauty from ashes.[iii] What we can do, however, is trust in His knowledge and understanding where our own does not reach.
We don’t have enough information to predict the future, and so every effort we make to prepare ourselves emotionally for what might happen is futile. We will be off-target, because we just don't have all the facts. The God who provides what we need for today is trustworthy to orchestrate our circumstances tomorrow.
Pray: Dear Lord, please forgive me for worrying about the future. I am sorry to be afraid; please comfort me with your love, reassure me with memories of how You have provided for me in the past, and protect me and those I love from the enemy’s strategies against us. You are greater than anything I fear, Your power is beyond any challenge I may face, and I praise Your name! Amen.
Therefore do not be anxious, saying, ‘What shall we eat? ’ or ‘What shall we drink? ’ or ‘What shall we wear? ’ For the Gentiles seek after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them all. But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.
“Therefore do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.