“Never be afraid to trust an unknown future to a known God.”

Corrie ten Boom

Fear of the unknown haunts so many of us. We’re afraid of what lurks in the future. We’re afraid of sickness. Of financial ruin. Of exposure for some misdeed in our past. Of divorce. Of loneliness. Of government intervention and overreach. Of dementia. Of crime. Of ridicule. Of persecution. Of being forgotten. Of dying. Of dying alone. 

The reality is that I don’t know anything the future holds, and neither do you. I don’t know what’s happening five minutes from now, five days from now, five weeks, five months, or five years. That’s probably a good thing. If we knew what was coming, do we really think we’d be prepared for it? Do we think we could emotionally handle the knowledge of future events? 

I don’t know anything the future holds, but I do know who holds the future. 

In over three dozen places in Scripture, God assured people with the words, “Do not fear [or, do not be afraid] … I am with you.” In virtually every case, he was speaking to people who were concerned with an unknown factor in their future. 

  • When Isaac, son of Abraham, had doubts about his legacy, God appeared to him in a dream and said, “I am the God of your father Abraham; do not fear, for I am with you” (Genesis 26.23).
  • When David was preparing for his son Solomon to assume the throne, he said, “Do not fear nor be dismayed, for the LORD God, my God, is with you. He will not fail you nor forsake you…” (1 Chronicles 28.20).
  • When the prophet Jeremiah was called as a teenager to prophesy against his own nation, God said, “Do not be afraid of them, for I am with you to deliver you” (Jeremiah 1.8). 
  • When the apostle Paul was struggling in the city of Corinth, God appeared to him in a dream and said, “Do not be afraid any longer, but go on speaking and do not be silent; for I am with you…” (Acts 18.9-10).

In each instance, God didn’t promise them an easy road. He didn’t say there would be no problems. He didn’t give them any illusions about the future. 

Instead, God promised he would be there with them. 

When I was a child, I hated going to the doctor. I still had to go to the doctor. What got me through was knowing that Mom or Dad was there with me. It didn’t change the diagnosis or prescription. But it let me know that someone was always with me. May God give us that same assurance.