A Future That Doesn’t Exist
Mar 16, 2023 1588
We are often afraid of a future that doesn’t exist. The things you know already can be frightening, but the fear of the unknown can be the most terrifying of all. That’s why in scary movies, the directors’ always aim to scare you with the unexpected.
If you completely knew the future, then you wouldn’t need fear most things, because you’d be able to prepare, plan, and avoid many of those things that terrify you. (Also, I might add, your life would be a lot less interesting!)
But, we don’t know the future, and that’s why we have fear in our lives. But even if you knew the future, there’d always be things out of our control. None of us can avoid aging and what comes with it. None of us can avoid death.
Jonathan Parnell says that,
Fear is a hollow darkness in the future that reaches back through time to rob our joy now by belittling the sovereign goodness of God.
But there is no need to fear a future that doesn’t exist.
In the movie, “The Shack” there is a line that I love, and that I’ve adapted here:
Fear comes from imagining a future without Jesus and that future doesn’t exist.
If you knew that Jesus had safely opened up the path to your future, and that he has gone on ahead of you, and defeated all of your enemies, what reason would you have for being afraid of anything? That is the reality in which every child of God should live.
But God knows that we are weak, and that fear is part of our natural condition as human beings. When God tells us in the Bible not to be afraid, it is the same way in which a mother comforts her child during a thunderstorm. It isn’t because God sternly commands us that we are not afraid, but precisely he knows that we naturally will be afraid.
The comfort that God gives us is in our fear is that he is with us. He says to you,
Fear not, for I am with you (Isa. 41:10.)
He is with you always,
I am with you always, even unto the end of the world (Matt. 28:10.)
If you are a child of God, there is never any version of the future without Jesus.
Here is the truth. If you are a child of God, there is never any version of the future without Jesus. This is powerfully illustrated in the fourth and fifth chapters of the book of Revelation. At the beginning of chapter 4, John writes,
After this I looked, and there before me was a door standing open in heaven. And the voice I had first heard speaking to me like a trumpet said, “Come up here, and I will show you what must take place after this” (Rev. 4:1.)
It is important to understand that what John is about to be shown is about the future. The first thing he sees is a magnificent throne in the centre of the universe. This is the control-centre and power-source of all existence. Everything in heaven surrounds this throne, and on the throne there is “a Lamb, looking as if it had been slain” (Rev. 5:6.)
A future without Jesus is a future that doesn’t exist.
Right there, in the very centre of the universe, where the past, present, and future converge on the throne of God, we find Jesus. However, his presence and rulership over the universe is mediated through the Cross. Jesus is there by virtue of his atoning death. It is his innocence and suffering that is highlighted.
Whatever sorrow, suffering and pain the future may hold for you, Jesus is already there. However, focus on what is most important, and that is that Jesus has prepared everlasting glory and joy for you.
Hebrews 6:20 tells us that Jesus is “our forerunner.” The Greek word refers to a servant whom a king would send before him as he travelled, to announce his imminent arrival. Jesus is that servant.
Wherever he may ask you to be, he has gone ahead of you. He is already in your future. If you trust in Jesus, there is no future without Jesus in it. That is a future that doesn’t exist. There is no reason for fear.