What sort of emotions do you experience when you think about the future? Excitement? Fear? Joy? Anxiety?
The New Testament doesn’t tell us everything we want to know about the future, but it certainly tells us the one thing we need to know more than anything else.
For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord. (Romans 8:38-39 NIV)
This passage tells us that nothing, NOTHING, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus.
Consider this in relation to the hazy unknown that we call “the future.”
For I am convinced that…neither the present nor the future…will be able to separate me from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.
The future will not be able to separate me from the love of God. The future, full of its many unknowns, will not, under any circumstances, be able to separate me from the love of God. Wow!
I am typically a future oriented person. I am a “plan ahead” kind of person. This is fine, but it also brings with it a lot of unnecessary anxiety and worry. Looking into the future for too long can cause you to worry over your health, your children, your spouse, etc. Everything about the future seems uncertain and always will, but one thing that is certain and always will be is that I will be loved in the future. God will always love me.
Now, I want you to think about this with me. In fact, I want you to play a game of make believe with me. Pretend for just a moment that you have been given the opportunity to guarantee one thing about the future. Just one. What would that one thing be?
If you choose to never have to worry about money again, you won't. You will have an endless supply of money. If you choose to never worry about your health again, you won't. You will be healthy forever. The only catch is this--by choosing one thing you forfeit all other guarantees. In other words, if you choose to never worry about money again you won't have to, but there is no guarantee on your health. Steve Jobs had plenty of money, but in the end it could not buy health. If you choose to never worry about your health, you won't, but you may be the healthiest homeless person ever.
A choice this powerful demands that you consider it long and hard and recognize not only what you are choosing, but what you may be giving up.
Given the opportunity to really consider this long enough, the one thing I most need in the future is not money, or health, or my kids, or my spouse, or any other such thing--what I most need in the future is to be loved by God. If I am loved by God, everything else will work itself out.
Here's the great news: I WILL BE LOVED IN THE FUTURE!
For I am convinced that the future will not be able to separate me from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.
What an awesome realization! I already have the one thing I need most and I am guaranteed to have it in the future. This liberates me from fear and anxiety. This provides rest from all my striving. This provides security in the midst of uncertainty.
The death and resurrection of Jesus Christ guarantees that God will love me in the future.
As you find your mind drifting from the present and beginning to wander the shadowy lands of the future where things are dark and hazy, call yourself home. Come back to the here and now, where God is, and where you are free to experience his love in the present moment. Indulge in the present. You need not worry any longer over the future. Tomorrow's future will soon become today's present, and when it does God will be with you.
You will be loved in the future.