As a chronic worrier, I tend to make decisions by looking at every. possible. detail. of whatever it is that I am doing. Thankfully, I’ve been blessed with the most easygoing family and friends who help me to realize that I’m kinda crazy and worrying solves nothing.
However, sometimes that realization takes a while, and worry permeates my every thought as I look to everything looming in the future.
What if it all goes wrong? What if my plans don’t work out? What if this prayer is never answered?
Recently I thought back to a few years ago. I remember praying for a two individuals during my freshman and sophomore year of high school. Consistently, I heard no response from God in regards to these prayers.
I remember specifically praying for the opportunity to share the Gospel with one of these friends, but for a couple years no opportunity arose. That’s a long time, and I’ve been tempted to think that I should’ve taken more initiative. However, because of how it turned out, I think God inserted that waiting period for a reason.
It took a while for me to look back and realize that God so clearly answered those prayers, opened doors and proved His steadfast faithfulness.
God provided the most amazing opportunity to share the Gospel three years after the first prayer had been uttered. Three entire years.
It’s easy to look at the future with apprehension—wondering if God will come through, if we will have what it takes. Because what if everything goes wrong?
But you know what, that’s when we have to remember the ways in which God has proven himself in the past. Then we’ve got to trust and move one step forward. One day at a time.
With the friend mentioned earlier, nothing drastic happened in response to the Gospel message I shared.
But, hopefully a seed has been planted and this person remembers the Good News they have now heard. It would be easy to give up, assuming that “well, God gave me this “opportunity” and nothing happened, so that’s that. If He’s not going to use me, I might as well give up trying.”
But that’s not how I have chosen to look at this situation. Remember the first time I prayed for this friend? That was three years before anything tangible ever happened.
It's almost overwhelming to think of all that could happen one, three, ten years from now! All I know is I’m not going to stop praying anytime soon (or ever).
I would encourage you to look at your past and discover evidence of God’s faithfulness in your life.
If you are a new believer—or maybe you just have a hard time recognizing God’s faithfulness in your past—don’t worry. Start by thinking of your salvation. I don’t know your story, but is it too far to say that you are a believer because of His faithfulness? If not, rest in that.
Also think of those in the Bible—stories like Ruth, Paul, Joseph and countless others—where His faithfulness is evident. When you are looking to the future, wondering whether you have reason to hope or whether God will be faithful, remember all the times he has proven himself in the past.
I don’t know what your future looks like or the current situation that is causing you to stress and worry the most. But I do know that He is faithful. Move forward with hope, knowing that He answers prayers in His beautiful way and in His beautiful timing.
He’s got you covered with His faithfulness, and oh what a comforting feeling that can be.