Have you ever been afraid of the future? Most of us have fearfully peered into the unknown at one time or another. And because we couldn’t see what would happen, we invented scenarios about what could happen—usually the worst possible outcomes that made us even more afraid. Long before we were born, God spoke to Abraham about fearing the unknown. God’s message to Abraham applies to us today.
After God called Abraham to travel to an undisclosed land, God told him not to be afraid. Easier said than done, we may think. Abraham left his country, his home, his friends and everything else that made his comfort zone so comfortable. He packed up and moved out. But he didn’t even know where he was going. He didn’t know where he would live, how people would treat him, how long it would take to establish income-generating connections or how he would handle the culture shock. If an uncertain future leads to fear, Abraham was teetering on the brink of alarm. But God steadied him.
God calmed Abraham’s fear, not by promising to make his future a good one (even though God would ultimately make it good), but by reminding Abraham of God’s goodness. God said, "Do not be afraid … [because] I am your shield, your very great reward” (Genesis 15:1 NIV). Although Abraham’s future was uncertain, God’s character was not. God’s rock-solid faithfulness was already sustaining Abraham and would continue to support and satisfy him every step of the way. Abraham put his faith not in his future, but in the ever-faithful God. And Abraham moved forward into the great unknown.
When we face challenging situations—such as financial instability, terminal illness, personal conflict, or any other situation where the outcome is unsure—we can refuse to be afraid. Instead of fearing the unknown, we can focus on what we do know. We know that God’s character does not change, no matter how uncertain everything else in life may seem.
God addressed Abraham’s fear—not by drawing attention to what God would do, but to who God is. When we know God’s character, we can rest in God’s promises—without fear.
“By faith Abraham, when called to go to a place
he would later receive as his inheritance, obeyed and went,
even though he did not know where he was going” (Hebrews 11:8 NIV).
Copyright © 2014 Sherrie Lorance. All rights reserved.