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3 Reassuring Reasons Not to be Anxious About the Future

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In this unprecedented time we find ourselves with a global pandemic, I am struck by another common thread that binds the entire world together and that is fear.   Fear which fuels the anxiety we feel for our loved ones, anxiety we feel for ourselves, and anxiety, in general, about the future.

The NASB captions the following very familiar passage "The Cure for Anxiety".

For this reason I say to you, do not be worried about your life, as to what you will eat or what you will drink; nor for your body, as to what you will put on. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing?  Look at the birds of the air, that they do not sow, nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not worth much more than they?  And who of you by being worried can add a single hour to his life?  And why are you worried about clothing? Observe how the lilies of the field grow; they do not toil nor do they spin, yet I say to you that not even Solomon in all his glory clothed himself like one of these.  But if God so clothes the grass of the field, which is alive today and tomorrow is thrown into the furnace, will He not much more clothe you? You of little faith!  Do not worry then, saying, ‘What will we eat?’ or ‘What will we drink?’ or ‘What will we wear for clothing?’  For the Gentiles eagerly seek all these things; for your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things. But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.

“So do not worry about tomorrow; for tomorrow will care for itself.  
Each day has enough trouble of its own.
Matthew 6:25-34

Something that strikes me while reading this passage is the repetitiveness of three words:  eat, drink, body  

Jesus is highlighting that which sustains as well as that which protects us from exposure.  Not only that, He is focused on these three areas as it relates to tomorrow.  Indeed, a prescription for how to stop being anxious about the future.

I'm sure you've all experienced the plethora of empty shelves greeting you at the stores.  Disinfectant wipes, hand sanitizer, toilet paper, flour and butter have all gone missing.  These items have been wiped out because people are buying in bulk, anxious about the future, concerned whether these items will be available tomorrow...

Yet the Lord promises that He will provide for tomorrow and admonishes us to stop worrying about the future.

With all the news headlines, it is almost impossible not to be anxious about the future!  Yet the same God who inspired the Scripture passage above, is the same God who keeps His promise still today.  Our God is unchanging.  His promises were sure yesterday, are still sure today and will be sure tomorrow.

During this pandemic, we find ourselves hoarding drinks, food and protective items because of fear of the unknown.  In the same way, we are actually hoarding worries about the future and not believing God's "Cure for Anxiety".

I believe these three reassuring reasons not to be anxious about the future as outlined by Jesus, provision for food, drink and our bodies, can also be applied to our emotional and spiritual health.  As I said earlier, eating, drinking and protection of our bodies is essential for life, but in the same way God will provide what is necessary for our future each in its own right...

Anxiety About Future of a Relationship

Before beginning this section, I want to clarify that I am in no way devaluing that there are indeed situations where the future of a relationship causes much heartache and anxiety.  My desire is that as you read on you will see that even in the midst of those worries you have reason for hope to calm those anxieties about the future.

As Believers, our hope and expectation is that our future spouse will be a Christian as well.  It's something that is earnestly prayed for.  But for many, as the months and years go on, and you don't feel that the Lord has brought that someone, you can become discouraged.  You may be watching your friends getting married, one by one, which creates anxiety about your future and whether you will ever get married.

We know that we have a good good Father and that He knows exactly what we need and is willing to give it to His children, but His timing is best.

Delight yourself also in the Lord,
And He shall give you the desires of your heart.
Commit your way to the Lord,
Trust also in Him,
And He shall bring it to pass.
Psalms 37:4-5

The Lord made provision in the Garden of Eden that man should not be alone.  Not only did he provide food for them to eat and ultimately made them their clothing, He provided a spouse.

“Then the Lord God said,
“It is not good that the man should be alone;
I will make him a helper fit for him.”
Genesis 2:18 

The Lord may also show you that His will for you may be to not marry, and if that is His perfect plan for you, pray for acceptance and seek wisdom from the Lord for your future

 Are you bound to a wife? Do not seek to be free.
Are you free from a wife? Do not seek a wife.”
1 Corinthians 7:27  


For those who may be in a difficult marriage or are currently in a relationship that you care very much about, but you are concerned about its future, the Lord promises to provide for you as well.

I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; 
I will counsel you with my eye upon you. 
Psalm 32:8

Mark the blameless and behold the upright, 
for there is a future for the man of peace. 
Psalm 37:37

Trust in the Lord with all your heart
    and lean not on your own understanding;
in all your ways submit to him,
    and he will make your paths straight
Proverbs 3:5-6

Anxiety about the future of a relationship is certainly understandable, but when you claim the promises above and truly believe in them, you will better be able to leave the future of that relationship in the Lord's hands who knows what is best.

Anxiety About Future Career

Now more than ever, people are faced with concerns over the future of their jobs and possibly their careers.  As we watch each state shut down one by one, see the unemployment numbers climbing at astronomical rates and the economy tanking all due to the pandemic, there indeed is anxiety about the future of employment as a whole.

I believe today's passage above directly speaks to this very fear of the future.  For the Lord WILL provide even when we are unemployed - food, drink and what we will wear.

I've shared in a previous post that my husband is in medical research and a good part of his salary is funded by grants.  When the grant money runs out, he could potentially lose his job.  Many years ago, before he was a Believer, my husband was out of work for nine months.  I had just recently become a Believer prior to the loss of his job.  During that time we had to cut back significantly, eating spaghetti or boxed macaroni and cheese three and four times a week, but indeed, we were eating!

As a new Christian, I was recognizing how God was providing the necessities for our family in creative ways.

In the midst of all of this, the Lord was slowly but surely wooing my husband to Himself.  It was during the tail end of his unemployment that my husband accepted Jesus as His Lord and Savior.

During this time, we were also down to our last pennies, literally!  The unemployment checks were going to run out with no more extensions available.  I remember it as clear as day, I was riding my exercise bike in our bedroom and I commanded that the Lord provide for us using Scripture to back up my bold claims.

What happened the very next day was stunning!  We received an anonymous $200 check in the mail to pay for groceries; my husband's unemployment was extended, but that didn't end up mattering because he found out that he got the job he applied for, the very research job he still holds and has enjoyed for many, many years.

Whether you are in college and are uncertain what your future career will hold for you or whether you find yourself at a crossroads due to difficult job circumstances or whether you have lost your job and are anxious about your future and your career, I can testify that God will provide for you.

For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, 
plans for welfare and not for evil, 
to give you a future and a hope.
Jeremiah 29:11

Commit your work to the LORD, 
and your plans will be established.
Proverbs 16:3

The Lord will use you today and move you toward the work He has prepared for you to do in the future.  There is no need to be anxious about your future career, for it is the Lord who has set aside the works that you will do independent of or within your chosen career.

Worries About the Future

I would say this is the number one fear for many, and even more so within the context of this pandemic.  This is a very scary time indeed!     

 I tend to follow positive people on social media, many of whom are Christians.  These people are from different parts of the United States, but some also live in Europe.  During this pandemic, these women have chosen to stay within their normal content as a place of normalcy for people to continue to come to in what are very abnormal times.  But what I appreciate most is that these ladies will be transparent and admit when they are having a hard day due to the circumstances. They will express their fears and anxieties, some of whom have never dealt with anxiety before.  It is truly stunning how this pandemic has acutely effected every single person, especially their emotions.      

One thing this experience has taught me thus far is worrying about the future, ESPECIALLY in these times, will just cause overwhelm.  If I just take things one day at a time and maintain structure and routine, not thinking about how long we will be practicing social distancing or whether myself or loved ones will come down with the virus, I don't suffer with anxiety about the future.  In fact, I have done remarkably well in the anxiety department and for those of you who know me, that is supernatural!

But shouldn't this be applied to worries about the future in general?  Doesn't the verse above say, And who of you by being worried can add a single hour to his life?  

I saw a quote just a few minutes ago that said, "Fear does not stop death, it stops life."  

The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. 
I came that they may have life and have it abundantly.
John 10:10

Jesus suffered and died so that we would live each day, in the present, abundantly in Christ Jesus - the ultimate provision!  When we worry about the future, we are robbing today of it's abundance.

For we walk by faith, not by sight. 
We are confident, then, and would prefer to be away from the body
 and at home with the Lord.  So we aspire to please Him, 
whether we are here in this body or away from it.…
2 Corinthians 5:7-8

The Lord has numbered all of our days and that, of course, includes our future.  Whether we live to be 100 or we die tomorrow, He will ALWAYS be with us.

He has ordained our future.  His plans set in motion for us before the worlds began.  Worrying about the future will not change anything that the Lord has already set into place.  For He is already there.

We must remember that God wrote our story from "once upon a time" to "the end" and we can know as Believer's in Jesus Christ, the ending of our story here on earth is only the beginning of the next book in the series, our story with Jesus in Heaven.

So whether we live or die, our future is filled with hope for abundant life.

Do not be anxious about the future, but seek first the Kingdom of God and His righteousness and all of these things will be added to you.




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Comments

  1. So much wonderful scripture here and comfort in God's goodness in promises! Each place resonated with me, like God Himself was speaking to all the struggles and worries I've been having from time to time this year. We have to continually soak in His promises, don't we? And peace beyond even our own understanding falls upon us when we drench ourselves in His truths.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Lynn, Praise God this post resonated with you through the Scripture that was shared.

      Yes! Indeed we do.

      Amen!

      Thanks so much for stopping by. I enjoyed your visit! :-)

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  2. Congratulations to Betsy for winning your wonderful book! I loved reading about your experience when your husband was out of work and how God provided for you. Such encouragement to come here and visit with you today, sweet friend. I know God will do as He promised He will in His Word. We need only to trust Him and relax in His everlasting arms. Many blessings and much love to you!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Cheryl, And your visits always encourage me! :-)

      Indeed and Amen!

      Sending you love and blessings,

      Delete
  3. Karen, love the scriptures you shared which fitted in so well with your points. I especially enjoyed Psalm 37:37 - "there is a future for the man of peace." I'd actually not noticed that part before.

    Also, I was thinking about the Lord's Prayer. He only instructed us to pray "this day, our daily bread." I've an idea He wants to trust day by day.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Jerralea, Don't you love when that happens?! Thanks so much for highlighting that part of the verse. :-)

      I agree. We not to worry about tomorrow, but trust in Him for today.

      Thank you so much for adding to the conversation and thank you so much for visiting.

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  4. Thank you for this encouraging post. Thanks for the book suggestion also. The future is so uncertain, even in good times, but especially now. I'm so glad we know Who holds the future!

    Pinned.

    Thanks for linking up at InstaEncouragements!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Patsy, You are welcome!

      Amen!

      Thank you so much for pinning. I always appreciate it!

      You are welcome!

      Delete
  5. Happy Sunday, Have a good week ahead.

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    Replies
    1. Hi Peabea, Same to you! Thanks so much for stopping by. :-)

      Delete

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