Times like these affect how we generally think about the future. There is palpable fear about contracting the dreaded novel corona virus. Added to this fear is the uncertainty that the virus has induced everywhere. Uncertainty about your studies, uncertainty about your jobs, uncertainty about your finances, and uncertainty about your health. Sometimes this past week I heard the leading infectious disease expert in the United States say ordinary things like shaking hands or hugging friends may be a thing of the past for a while. Vacations canceled, conferences canceled, weddings canceled, and other celebrations canceled everywhere. In the last one month 22 million Americans have either lost their jobs or been furloughed. It was revealed this week that Anti-anxiety prescription drug is up 34%. How does one think about the future in this situation?
Under normal circumstances people are uncertain about the future. We find that we cannot control the future, so we often find that a lot of people are anxious about the future. Even in the so-called normal times, some folks have found their own ways of trying to stay ahead of the future. Therefore, many folks take to Psychics who claim to have the ability to predict the future. We have witnessed Christians who are fascinated by men of God who claim to know the inside workings of God and can prophesy about people’s future. There are yet other people who go to different kinds of diviners whose source of power, they know not. These times are, however, not normal. These are stressful times and it is not surprising that more people are getting anti-anxiety drugs in order to keep going. Thinking about the future in a time like this may become even more stressful.
It is important for those of us who are people of faith to remember God’s promises for us at a time like this. “For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future” – Jeremiah 29:11. God has a plan for each of us. While it may be difficult at a time like this to see it, we must always remember that He indeed does. While we may be disabled, essentially, at this time, God is active. While we may be lost about tomorrow, God sees exactly how our future will be. Just think about what He has done in the past and that will give you strength to move into the future well assured of His presence with you. While we are at it, we should also remember that what we think about the future is not what God thinks about our future. ““For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,” declares the Lord. “As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.”” – Isaiah 55:8-9. So, as we are going through our circumstances, we must realize that our fears and anxieties do not change what God plans for our future. Let us learn to believe God’s Word for us. His plans for us are good. His plans for our future are good, and there is no amount of bad thoughts we have that is capable of changing God’s plan for us. Let us comfort ourselves with the words of the song “I don’t know about tomorrow” by Ira Stanphill. If you have fears about the future now, just know the one who holds tomorrow knows your future.
We all have plans for our lives, but none of us understands what tomorrow holds, and situations like this tend to make it worse. We must remember that the word of God says that God has “set eternity in the human heart; yet no one can fathom what God has done from beginning to end” – Ecclesiastes 3:11b. This Scripture is telling us that God has placed a longing for an endless life after death in our hearts. Whatever is in our hearts we always think about. So, in times of trouble why don’t we think about eternity. Why don’t we think about things we can do to make eternity? Why don’t we think about how we can correct our mistakes of the past? We can avoid thinking about our fears and our worries about the future, if we make it a point to think about eternity. We long for school, we long for our jobs, we long to finally retire after many years of toiling, and so on, but God has placed a longing in our hearts that surpasses all these other longings. It is times like these that God uses to call our attention back to the things that matter most. He gets our attention when extraordinarily good things happen to us, but He also gets our attention when things like Covid-19 happens. So, you do not know what to think about the future? Why don’t you think about eternity? When the future comes the one who holds the future will take care of it. – Pastor Simbo Odunaiya