Facing the Future Without Fear

by John MacArthur

While I have no way of knowing what will happen on January 1, 2000, I do know this: people have always and will always fear the future. In fact, the growing response to the Y2K problem demonstrates how delicately the world balances on the edge of panic—how driven we are by fear and uncertainty about things to come.

Certainly, you don't need to be a computer expert to find reasons to fear the future. In fact, you don't need to search at all—fear and uncertainty will find you. A bleak medical diagnosis. Company layoffs. A stack of bills. Car trouble. Whether you're concerned about your health, your home, or your ability to provide for your family, one thing is certain: fear and uncertainty about the future come from every angle and wait around every corner.

Thankfully, in the face of so much uncertainty, God hasn't left us alone or without promises. When fear of the future grips us, the encouragement we find on the pages of Scripture provides our best and only defense. I can think of times when God's Word put to rest the doubts and fears of my family and gave us peace in trying circumstances. I remember the drive to the hospital after learning of Patricia's near-fatal car accident several years ago, not knowing whether she would live or die. More recently, I was the one in the hospital, suffering from blood clots in my lungs. For several days my condition was unstable as the doctors waited to see how I would respond to medication. In each case, God's promises kept the fears at bay.

I'm sure you can think of times in your own life when fear and doubt would have overwhelmed you if not for a verse or passage you remembered from God's Word—times when worry or panic gave way to peace as you immersed yourself in Scripture.

But as heavily as you and I lean on God's Word to fend off our nagging fears about the future—as carefully as we plumb its riches for encouragement--I believe we often overlook one of its most precious treasures. There's a portion of Scripture most of us don't consider—at least not at first—yet it probably contains more promises, offers more proof, and results in more praise than anywhere else in the Bible.

Where is that treasure of biblical encouragement? It isn't contained in one chapter or book. It appears in Genesis and culminates in Revelation. It weaves its way through the Psalms, the prophets, Jesus' teachings, and even the epistles. The encouraging, yet often-overlooked portion of Scripture I'm speaking of is prophecy.

Understanding Bible prophecy encourages in two unique ways. First, it serves as a reminder that God controls history. When, you read from the pages of Scripture how He keeps His promises, your faith is strengthened. God promised a son to Abraham and Sarah, and He provided Isaac. God promised to bring His people into Canaan, and He did. God promised to judge Israel, and the Babylonians led the nation into captivity. God promised a Messiah, and He sent His son. God promised to raise Him on the third day, and He did. In each case, whether He promised to bless or to judge, God was faithful. By reflecting on the fulfilled promises of the past, you can find great comfort as you look toward the future.

Second, understanding God's promises for the future provides a solid foundation to which you can anchor your hope—a sturdy shield with which you can deflect your doubts and fears about tomorrow. Concerning your finances, God has promised to supply your needs. Concerning your health, God has promised to give you a new body. Concerning the unexpected, God has promised to work all things for your ultimate benefit. Concerning your salvation, God has promised to finish the work He began in you. When you reflect on God's plans and promises for you and for the world, you can face the future without fear.


Taken from a public letter


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