With timid hopefulness we cast our ballot in the U.S., count the days left in 2020 and look ahead to what the future holds. The reality is that around the corner there is joy, heart break, excitement, and fears all intermingling. A new year, new month and new president will never bring about the peace and rest our souls long for.
We look ahead because we are sure that this illusive place will hold, finally, the end of masks, distance and loss. Even if that is what is ahead though, the reality is, this side of Heaven, we will always have a front row seat to the dizzying narrative of life, a tragic comedy filled with mystery.
But even in that instability, there is hope. A sure and stable anchor for our souls is not just ahead, but very present with those who surrender to Him.
The night Jesus was going to die at the hands of His own people, He foretold of this to His disciples and wrapped it with the assurance that Peter, you too will fail. Peter was likely feeling pretty shaky, as the tension in the room increased.
Jesus’s words for them knowing full well what was ahead likely fell on deaf ears in the midst of those next 24 hours. But as we peer into the moment from the perspective of 2000 years, we can see the balm His words really are.
“Let not your hearts be troubled. Believe in God; believe also in Me.” (John 14:1)
First of all, He implies choice here. We get to pick if we will let our hearts be troubled. That is a word meaning stirred up, agitated and disturbed. We get to choose to NOT be stirred up but rather set our minds on things above not things of the earth (Colossians 3:2). We can choose to pray, take it to the Lord and cast our cares on Him (1 Peter 5:7). What will we choose?
He calls us to instead of choosing agitation, to believe in God. The original word is referring to trusting in, a leaning on kind of belief. Am I leaning on my own understanding and what I see and reason in my human, limited mind or am I trusting in God, the Almighty Sovereign One who is working all things for the good of those who love Him and are called according to His purposes (Romans 8:28)?
Finally He doesn’t leave it at believe in God, but calls Himself God again for the ones in the back that might have missed it. Believe in, trust in God, Elohim, your Creator. But also trust Me, the Way, the Truth and the Life (John 14:6), the Savior of your soul and your warped mind. So is that a trustworthy enough One to lay our burdens on and let go?
Am I wringing my hands over the election, the virus, the what ifs of the coming year? Or am I choosing to not let my wandering heart go there and instead trust my full weight of cares and worries on Him again today?
Regardless what might be ahead, if you know the One who holds the future, you don’t have to fear what’s ahead.