Few things cause us more anxiety than the future. It stresses us out because we don’t know what will happen. Although we try to prepare for it by making wise decisions in the present, few of us have peace about it.
The anxiety starts when we’re teenagers. As soon as you enter high school, everything is about getting into college. You take advanced classes and join extra-curricular activities because it looks good on a college application.
But as soon as you enter college, everything is about joining the workforce. You log internship hours beyond your time in class because it looks good on a job application.
Once you enter the workforce, everything is about advancing in your career. You (or your spouse) may pressure yourself to look for opportunities to “get ahead.” Beyond that, you must also save and prepare for retirement.
It’s no wonder the future stresses us out! Knowing which college to attend, which degree to pursue, and which career path to follow is difficult. It can be especially difficult for a Christian who is trying to discern God’s will for their life.
The future is an important part of discipleship. Will you allow Jesus to set the direction for your life? Or will you do what seems best to you? We grow spiritually when we devote ourselves to discerning and obeying God’s will for our lives.
Jesus Had a Future
Jesus started understanding God’s will for His life by the time He was twelve. His parents had taken Him to Jerusalem for the Passover. After leaving, they realized He wasn’t in their company. They returned to Jerusalem and found Him among the teachers at the temple, “listening to them and asking them questions” (Luke 2:46).
What was He asking them about? I think He was asking about Scriptures that say the Messiah must suffer (e.g. Isaiah 53, Psalm 22). As the Passover lambs were being sacrificed He realized, “That’s going to be me someday.” So He was studying Scripture to gain clarity about His future.
You Have a Future
God has set a course for your life as well. We tend to take a narrow view of His will. In other words, we think He has set a specific path for us. This makes us fearful because we might step off that path by making a wrong decision!
But I believe His will is more general than specific. While He cares about what we do, He cares more about how we do it. He may tell you to do something specific with your life. If He doesn’t, then do whatever you do the way Jesus would.
Romans 12:2 says, “Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is.” Devote yourself to God and He will guide you into His will.
Jesus Controls Your Future
Jesus can relate to you when you struggle with anxiety about the future. He wasn’t born with an automatic sense of what He was supposed to do. He had to discern God’s will through prayer and Bible study. And He had to endure opposition from His family when He began pursuing it.
So don’t be anxious about your future. You don’t have to figure it out on your own. Instead, entrust your future to Jesus. He says, “Do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself” (Matthew 6:34). He will handle tomorrow if you remain faithful to Him today.
How does Jesus relieve your anxiety about the future? Leave your thoughts with a comment below!
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