Don’t be Afraid of the Future

Jesus said to them, “Watch out that no one deceives you … You must be on your guard … Whenever you are arrested and brought to trial, do not worry beforehand about what to say.” – Mark 13:5, 9, 11

What does the future have in store? It would be helpful to know so appropriate plans could be made. It would also be helpful to avoid conflict and tragedy. Through Mark’s account of Jesus’ life and ministry, the Christian receives a glimpse of the future.

All in all, it is distressing. All one needs to do is to look at three key phrases of our all-knowing Lord Jesus: “Watch out that no one deceives you.” “You must be on your guard.” “Whenever you are arrested and brought to trial, do not worry about what to say.” While it does paint an ominous picture, there is a bright ray of hope. This is what I need to keep in mind.

From Jesus’ description, life will become more challenging as I live it for him alone. There will be those who will try to deceive me. They will say a life of faith isn’t that important. They may also demand I need to add something to it. There will be those who try to persecute me and prohibit me from giving a clear witness to the world. There will even be those who will attempt to put me on trial for my faith and seek to imprison me.

Do I give up? Do I give in? Do I live my life in fear? Jesus answers my fears and allays my apprehensions. It is his assurance which helps me meet the challenges of the future. In great love and understanding he says, “I know, and I will be with you.”

Everything that could eventually happen to me, he has already experienced. On his way to the cross to secure my rescue from God’s just judgment on sin, he endured deception and arrest. He was put on trial by those who sought to silence him and was sentenced to death. He was finally crucified even though he was innocent. Through his precious work he paid the price for my rescue. At the same time, he provided the assurance and strength to meet the challenges I will have to face as I live for him.

Because of Jesus I do not have to fear future challenges. I can recognize them with the knowledge he offers. I can meet them with the strength he provides. I can overcome them with the victory he says is mine. This is what I need to keep in mind as I prepare for the future.

Prayer: O blessed Jesus, not only do you give me a warning to be prepared for the future, you also prepare me to meet the challenges it will bring. Keep me focused on the knowledge, the strength and the victory you have secured so I can remain faithful to you in all things. Amen.
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