When reading or listening to the news, there is much about the future that seems uncertain. We may also feel a sense of uncertainty about our own lives. Is there a way to overcome such fears?
As I’ve considered this question, I’m grateful for the Bible’s promises of God’s goodness and love. They have consistently helped me overcome “what if” fears about the future, reassuring me that no matter what happens, we can never be separated from God and His love for us.
I especially love this passage from the book of Romans, from the J.B. Phillips translation of the New Testament:
“Can anything separate us from the love of Christ? Can trouble, pain or persecution? Can lack of clothes and food, danger to life and limb, the threat of force of arms? ... No, in all these things we win an overwhelming victory through him who has proved his love for us. ... Neither death nor life, neither messenger of Heaven nor monarch of earth, neither what happens today nor what may happen tomorrow, neither a power from on high nor a power from below... has any power to separate us from the love of God in Jesus Christ our Lord!” (8:35, 37-39).
I recall a time a few years ago when I faced uncertainty about my own immediate future. I began experiencing significant discomfort in my foot. Walking for any distance was painful. In addition to hindering my day-to-day need to get around, this also raised concerns about an upcoming trip that would include hiking in a national park.
Since I have often found peace and cure of physical problems through prayer, I naturally turned to God for help. My prayer was an affirmation that we can never be separated from God, and therefore can never be separated from the source of true goodness, joy, and health. We always have been, are now, and always will be one with God as His spiritual image, just like the image in a mirror is the inseparable reflection of the original.
I also affirmed that God’s purpose for me – and for all His creation – is entirely good. Our purpose is to glorify Him, and God supplies whatever is required to do this, including safety, intelligence, grace, and love.
While the problem with my foot raised concerns about my immediate future plans, I realized the broader issue was that I was feeling trepidation about my future in general. I was afraid to move forward in life and was clinging to the safety and comfort of the status quo. This wasn’t like me!
So I expanded my prayers, mentally yielding the fear and human outlining about my life to a deeper sense of God’s goodness and love for me. Mary Baker Eddy, the discoverer of Christian Science, describes God’s care for us in an article called “Angels” in her book “Miscellaneous Writings 1883-1896”: “God gives you His spiritual ideas, and in turn, they give you daily supplies. Never ask for to-morrow: it is enough that divine Love is an ever-present help; and if you wait, never doubting, you will have all you need every moment. ... This sweet assurance is the ‘Peace, be still’ to all human fears, to suffering of every sort” (p. 307).
The life and work of Christ Jesus proved this to be true in situations where positive outcomes seemed far from certain. Among other things, he fed thousands of people with a few loaves of bread and a couple of fish, stilled a storm, and healed various illnesses through understanding our inseparability with God. He told his disciples, “Fear not, little flock, for it is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom” (Luke 12:32). I realized that if Jesus could prove the presence of God’s supply of good in such large-scale situations, surely I could feel and trust the goodness of God in the midst of the more modest challenges I was facing.
Soon, not only was my foot completely healed, but my general fear of the future lifted, too. At no point during the very active trip did I experience a problem with my foot. This healing has remained permanent.
Any time we begin to feel concerned about what the future may hold, whether for ourselves or the world, we can remember that at every moment our Father-Mother God, whose will for us is always good, is present. We can let His love lift us out of fear and light our future.