Lately, I’ve struggled to trust God with the future.
Listening to the news, I’m challenged to believe for a better tomorrow – or at least one that’s no worse than today. Sometimes I slip into worry. I have to remind myself that God is sovereign.
Over and over I recall Jeremiah 29:11: “‘For I know the plans I have for you… plans for your wellbeing, not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope’”. This verse was part of a letter the Lord penned through the prophet Jeremiah for the exiles in Babylon. False prophets were telling the people what they wanted to hear: that their exile would be brief, all would be well and they would soon be returning home to Judah.
Those were not God’s words.
Rather than allowing the people to live with false hope, Jeremiah’s letter relays God’s words to the exiles: “‘Build houses and live in them. Plant gardens and eat their produce. Find wives for yourselves, and have sons and daughters. Find wives for your sons and give your daughters to men in marriage so that they may bear sons and daughters. Multiply there; do not decrease. Pursue the well-being of the city I have deported you to. Pray to the Lord on its behalf, for when it thrives, you will thrive.’” (Jer 29:5-7)
Living in Babylon was not going to be a brief interruption in their life plan, it was their life plan for the next seventy years. (See Jeremiah 29:10)
A hard truth.
Doubtless there were some faithful worshipers, worshipers who had not looked to other gods (the choice that got the people in trouble in the first place). They, too, found themselves living in exile.
But the Lord never abandons His people; Hebrews 13:5 teaches us that He is always with us.
In Matthew 6:34 and Luke 12:22 Jesus reminds us not to worry. Philippians 4:6 tells us, “Don’t worry about anything, but in everything, through prayer and petition with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.” (Emphasis added.)
Trust and worry mix like oil and water.
Some days it’s a battle to live in the light of truth: God loves us, He is sovereign, He is faithful, He is merciful; we can and should trust Him. He is fair beyond our understanding of “fair.” Through faith I must choose to live in this reality, to abide in this truth.
And I need to remember that the span of this life – with its difficult seasons – is less than a breath in eternity.
I choose trust.
Like the faithful who found themselves living out their lives in exile, I must accept that the future I had hoped for may be several generations away, that my children and grandchildren may be forced to endure hard times.
I also need to internalize Jesus’ promise “‘I am with you always, to the end of the age’” (Mathew 28:20). I must choose to abide in His presence because His presence brings peace that “surpasses all understanding” (Philippians 4:7); in His presence is fullness of joy…” (Psalm 16:11 NASB).
I choose to trust that whatever situation my children and their children and their children find themselves in, the sovereign Lord will be there, covering them with His love, flooding them with His mercy and grace.
Unless otherwise noted, all Scripture quotes are from the Christian Standard Bible, Holman Bible Publishers, 2017.
© Debbie Lowe, Life Lessons from the Living Word, 2021.