The future is full of uncertainties — job changes, new or broken relationships, financial strains. And whether it is an exciting change or a stressful one, it can really wear you down and rob your daily happiness.
Anxiety has taken over my mind lately. My heart beats faster just thinking about the future and all the unknowns it will bring. I’ve thought about it so much to the point of mental exhaustion. Why can’t I just let things go and hope for the best? You absolutely should, but you should also know that someone is playing a part in your small universe.
It’s God. And it reminds me of my favorite Bible verse, Jeremiah 29:11.
“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.”
Whether in the car driving to work or at home completing daily tasks, I have to continually repeat these words in my head. Because I believe them wholeheartedly, even though the world tells me that everything is a coincidence, luck or just one chance.
But, they’re wrong. God plays a pivotal role in your life and knows your future.
An excerpt from my daily devotional for Feb. 26 in Jesus Calling says, “I am leading you, step by step, through your life. Hold my hand in trusting dependence, letting me guide you through this day. Your future looks uncertain and feels flimsy—even precarious. That is how it should be. Secret things belong to the Lord, and future things are secret things.”
When I feel the anxiety creeping into my mind, I know I have to do something quick.
Here are some ways I deal with a hazy, uncertain future:
Before you are tempted with anger, frustration and sinful desires, take a moment and pray for God to calm your fears and anxieties. Prayer is one of your strongest defenses against the battlefield in your mind, as well as the world around you.
For me, prayer puts me at ease and gives me peace and resilience for a long day ahead. I’m also specific in prayer, praying for certain people or situations in my life. And I know God hears and answers in his own timing. (1 John 5:14). I also thank him for the many blessings he’s given me.
Remember, a grateful heart will change the way you look at things and situations.
Don’t worry, trust.
The Bible tells you not to worry, especially about the things out of your control. Your future is one of them. The majority of the things we agonize over – money, relationships, work – are sometimes things we can’t change right this minute. So send your worries and cares to Jesus, the one who said in Matthew 11:30, “For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.” He will carry your burdens, so you don’t have to. Imagine if you went through an entire day (vacation doesn’t count) with no worries.
Practice being in the present moment.
Being present is a tough thing to do in today’s world. You have to unplug every once in awhile and not stress out about the daily to-do list. You do what you can each day at your very best. Be productive, but don’t get overwhelmed. We all get the same 24 hours. It’s up to us to decide how we want to spend our time, hopefully 8-9 hours of it snoozing between the sheets!
Being mindful of where you are at an exact moment and relishing in it is extremely satisfying and can alleviate anxiousness.
Let God do his work.
Stop being so hard on yourself. I’m serious, I’m my own worst enemy. The worst thing you can do is try to work against the plan God has for you. You could be upset about a broken relationship you thought was forever, or it could be that amazing job opportunity that just didn’t work out.
As a child of God on Earth, you choose your own dreams and goals, but God determines the steps and the course of action. So let him do the good work he’s always done. The work that has produced miracles and changed countless lives from his unconditional love.
“I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will counsel you and watch over you.” —Psalm 32:8
Believe me, he works overtime. And he might just have something better in store for you.
In a Bible reading group last year, we read a book called “Let’s All Be Brave.” The author wrote something along these lines: “God gives our dreams in pieces, because if we had it all at once, we would be too scared to see the entire picture.”
Think about all the times you’ve worked hard to get somewhere or achieve a goal. Many times, the obstacles aren’t part of your plan, but you persevered and never gave up. Those hard times and learned lessons are pieces of the big picture.
God is doing his part behind those closed doors, even when you can’t see it. That’s what faith is. Trusting in the Lord with all your heart and believing in things unseen, and not the patterns of this world.
So relax. And enjoy the journey you’re on.