You have not been left to secure your own future, because God in grace has secured an end to your story more glorious than you can grasp.
You and I absolutely need our lives to be shaped and reshaped by these words:
Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! According to his great mercy, he has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, to an inheritance that is imperishable, undefiled, and unfading, kept in heaven for you, who by God’s power are being guarded through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time. (1 Pet. 1:3–5)
One of the most common human fears is fear of the future. We all ask, “What will happen if . . . ?” or “What will happen next?” or “What is down the road?” Embedded in all of this is the hope that we will be secure and things will be all right in the future. It is not insane to wonder about the future. It is not a sin to be concerned about what is to come. It is not wrong to plan for the future. In fact, you and I should live with the future in view every day of our lives. In some ways, everything that we think, desire, decide, do, and say should be shaped by what is to come. But there is a huge difference between worrying about what you have no power over and resting in what God has revealed about his future plans for you.
Peace and hope are never to be found in your efforts to figure out the future. God’s secret will is called his secret will precisely because it is secret! No, real hope is found in living inside the implications of what it means that God holds your future in his wise, powerful, and gracious hands. Peter says, “Don’t ever let yourself forget that Jesus has purchased a future for you that is better than anything you could have dreamed of or planned for yourself.” If you remember that you have this wonderful future ahead of you, you won’t live as if this moment is all you have and you will be free of the anxiety of fearing that somehow this moment will pass you by. I love the qualifying words that Peter uses to describe our inheritance as the children of God: “imperishable, undefiled, and unfading.” Together they mean that this inheritance is protected and untouchable; nothing will be allowed to happen that would damage it in any way. It is absolutely secure.
But Peter says more. He says that not only is God keeping your inheritance, he’s keeping you. He’s not only protecting what is to come, he’s protecting you, so that when what is to come has come, you will be there to receive it and enjoy it forever and ever. So remember today that no matter how hard your story is right here, right now, it is guaranteed for you as God’s child that it will end better than anything you can now imagine, and that glory will never end!
For further study and encouragement: 1 Thessalonians 4:13–5:11
Taken from New Morning Mercies: A Daily Gospel Devotional by Paul Tripp, © 2014, pp. 132-162. Used by permission of Crossway, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers, Wheaton, IL 60187, www.crossway.org.