Do you ever wonder about the future, about what life has in store for you? Questions like where you will go to school, who you will marry, what job you’ll have, or where you will travel and ultimately settle down?
“That the Gentiles should be fellow heirs, of the same body, and partakers of His promise in Christ through the gospel.” (Ephesians 3:6)
These are concerns that people typically have when they are young—when they’re mature enough to think of them, but not quite old enough to have these issues settled. Yet even those of us who have lived long enough to have many of our questions resolved still wonder about the future.
God knows that we think about these things. And while He doesn’t give us specifics, for those of us who have acknowledge Him as the rightful authority in our lives, He gives quite a bit of encouragement. In Jeremiah 29:11 God tells the Israelites, “For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the Lord, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope.” And while this particular verse was given to the Israelites as a promise that God would not abandon them in captivity, it reveals His heart toward those who belong to Him.
The truth is that we do not have all the answers to our questions. Not only do we frequently not know answers about the near future, we are even more in the dark about distant things. What we can know with certainty, however, is that regardless of who, what, when, where, and how life will turn out, if we love God, it will be okay. Romans 8:28 tells us, “And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose.God’s promise to us through Christ in the gospel is the good news that we do not have to be under Divine condemnation because of sin—it assures us that its penalty has been paid by Christ, and that we can now walk in newness of life–and this brings hope and freedom. Hope, because we know that as long as we truly love God, all things work together for good. And freedom, because we can now choose to do right, through Christ.
Many people think that God restricts—that the Christian life is full of thou shalt nots—but it is the opposite that is true. Yes, there are thou shalt nots, but they are not to restrict but to safeguard. Think of it as walking in a field and seeing signs warning of land mines and pits. If we pay attention to them and avoid those areas, we will successfully continue on our journey and live safe, joyful, and productive lives, but if we deem them restrictive and ignore them, our progress will not only be hindered; it may be completely derailed.
Romans 6:4, 6, 11-14 explains: “Therefore we were buried with Him through baptism into death, that just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life…knowing this, that our old man was crucified with Him, that the body of sin might be done away with, that we should no longer be slaves of sin….reckon [consider] yourselves to be dead indeed to sin, but alive to God in Christ Jesus our Lord. Therefore do not let sin reign in your mortal body, that you should obey it in its lusts. And do not present your members as instruments of unrighteousness to sin, but present yourselves to God as being alive from the dead, and your members asinstruments of righteousness to God. For sin shall not have dominion over you…” Our old, dead to God selves have been, in His perfect economy, crucified with Christ on the cross. And even though we are still occasionally tempted to sin, we are taught to consider ourselves dead to sin, but alive to God, and can consciously choose to follow Christ rather than indulge sinful desires.
So even though we do not know the exact details of how our lives will play out, we do know that as long as we genuinely love God, everything else will ultimately be okay!
Thank You that regardless of how the particulars of our lives play out, You are in charge. We know that as long as we love You—and You have told us in Your Word that we evidence our love by obeying You—You have promised us that all things work together for good. Thank You for this assurance, and help us to continue loving You with everything we are! Amen.