Published on April 11th, 2018 | by Audrey French
Why You Can Stop Freaking Out Over the Future
Folding laundry one day, a wave of panic over my future hit me. With high school graduation fast approaching, major transitions and decisions loomed. I desperately wished I could see my future path neatly laid out in front of me.
In the middle of my panic, I felt God impress upon me, “Just worry about the next step. Then once you reach that, think about the step after.” This thought stopped me dead in my tracks.
Surprise: I was not actually supposed to figure everything out.
Instead, God was calling me to serve and praise him wherever I was in the present, and then transition whenever he directed a change.
Viewing the Future with Faith
Our Loving Father knows that though we’re his intelligent masterpiece of creation, we become overwhelmed very easily. As an act of love, God doesn’t reveal our entire future at once.
God doesn’t want us to be weighed down by worry over our future. Rather, he wants us to focus on the present tasks, allowing him to handle what comes next.
In Matthew 6:34, Jesus says, “Therefore do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.”
We were never designed to be weighed down by worry. Rather, as Corrie Ten Boom said, we should “Never be afraid to trust an unknown future to a known God.”
Simply put, we must walk by faith.
If God revealed our entire life to us all at once, and told us what college to attend, what academic major to pursue, who to marry, and how many children to have, then life wouldn’t require much faith. But God calls us to take every day step by step, leaning on him completely all the way.
Every life path has potholes. Even careers that seem to entail steady futures will undoubtedly contain twists and turns. Life itself is uncertain, and can end at any time.
The only solid foundation is God, and the future he’s promised and purchased for us—an eternity with him. We know that we can trust God with all circumstances, because no matter what happens on this earth, all that is wrong will be restored in eternity.
Abounding Hope in God’s Plan
Regardless of trials, tribulations, and challenges, we know that God has filled our future with hope. And because God has filled our future with hope, we can face stressful decisions with peace and joy. Romans 15:13 says, “May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound in hope.” As followers of Jesus, filled with the Holy Spirit, we’re not lacking joy and peace.
No matter what circumstances and confusion we see with our physical eyes, the truth is that God is always with us, he will never leave us, and he has a plan to work all things together for good (Romans 8:28).
You are crafted perfectly in the image of God. He gifted you with the talent, capacity, and gifts that you need to accomplish his purpose for your life. Ephesians 2:10 says to this effect, “For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.” Just as a master wood carver carefully, precisely chisels his wooden treasures, God has lovingly poured himself into you, making you an amazing, adored, cherished, valuable creation.
God is not done with you. Even when you feel stuck in a rut, even when poor habits rule your life, even when you feel complete confusion over the future, God has promised that he will complete the work he has started in his children. Philippians 1:6 says, “I am sure of this, that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ.” During times of frustration–even frustration at ourselves–we can remember that God is always ready to continue his carving, sanding, and polishing on us, if only we’ll let him.
If you find yourself panicking over the future, here is your permission to stop.
Remember, we were only supposed to take one step at a time. If we could see our whole lives, we’d be completely overwhelmed. With God as our guide in life, we can relax. God has crafted us beautifully in his image. He has equipped us with the joy, passion, and ability to conquer the challenges that lay ahead.
Our only responsibility is to stop freaking out, make wise decisions in the moment, rest in his grace, and eagerly anticipate all that our God-filled future holds.