Looking to the Future
As we move further into the future, we can look back on amazing developments in humanity’s knowledge and power. We can also see the tragic consequences of the abuse of that knowledge and power. How can we find things for which to be hopeful as we begin a new year? We hear all kinds of predictions and prophecies about the future but will humanity itself get any better? Will we love and care for each other and the earth any better?
It is natural to be concerned about our future and our security. Humans like to feel they are in control of their destiny. The Christian knows that God is in control and God alone will shape the events of the next decades and centuries to come. Read Titus 2:11-14, Hebrews 12:26-20, and Revelations 1:17-20, 11:15. Look for three key words in these scripture passages that should give us hope. In Titus, we find the word wait. We should wait on God to reveal God’s plan to us instead of rushing ahead on our own. The writer of Hebrews says we are to be in awe. No matter how much power humans claim for themselves, we know God is mightier than anything we can devise.
John heard voices from heaven declaring the eternal reign of God and God’s kingdom. Earthly powers and rulers come and go, but our God remains. We have a great and powerful and wonderful God who is on the throne forever. No matter what the next century brings, we can trust God to care for us and provide for us, just as God always has. The good news for the Christian is that we do not have to fear for the future. It is in God’s hands.
- If we expect Jesus to return soon, why and how should we prepare?
- How can we learn to deal with fear? Are there healthy fears?
- If you could write a new commandment that would be observed and a new law that would be obeyed in the future, what would they be?
- Do a living history interview with seniors in your church who have lived through much of this century. What has given them hope in their lives, and what hope for the future do they have?
- Plan a tree planting ceremony at the appropriate time on your church property so that future generations can enjoy it.
- This is a good time to read your church history, and the history of the denomination, if you are not familiar with it. How can you carry on the hopes of the early heroes of our faith?