Time Running Out?

by Ed Urzi

Note: This study originally appeared shortly after the events of September 11th 2001.

By now, just about everyone has seen, heard or read of the terrorist attacks that occurred on September 11th 2001 in New York City and in Washington DC here in the USA.

In watching as these events have unfolded, many people have understandably become really, really concerned about the future. The horrible attack on the World Trade Center wasn’t the kind of computer-generated video game destruction that we’ve all become used to seeing- it happened in the real world in real time to real people whose lives really ended without any warning.

When you see these things occur before your very eyes and then think about the potential for destruction that exists at the simple touch of a button, it’s easy to become very nervous about the future. If this is the way that you have been feeling, then The Doctor has some encouragement for you.

First, always remember that God has personally assured His people that everything will be OK for them no matter what events may happen in the future. If you are a Christian and you are concerned about what may happen in the future, here’s some of what God’s Word has to say to you…

“I give them eternal life and they shall never perish. No one shall snatch them away from me, for my Father has given them to me, and he is more powerful than anyone else, so no one can kidnap them from me” (John 10:28-29).
“I am leaving you with a gift– peace of mind and heart! And the peace I give isn’t fragile like the peace the world gives. So don’t be troubled or afraid. Remember what I told you– I am going away, but I will come back to you again…” (John 14:27-28a)

“I have told you all this so that you will have peace of heart and mind. Here on earth you will have many trials and sorrows; but cheer up, for I have overcome the world” (John 16:33).

“Now I am leaving the world, and leaving them behind, and coming to you. Holy Father, keep them in your own care– all those you have given me– so that they will be united just as we are, with none missing… I’m not asking you to take them out of the world, but to keep them safe from Satan’s power” (John 17:11, 15).

“But Jesus lives forever and continues to be a Priest so that no one else is needed. He is able to save completely all who come to God through him. Since he will live forever, he will always be there to remind God that he has paid for their sins with his blood” (Hebrews 7:24-25).

“…I know the one in whom I trust, and I am sure that he is able to safely guard all that I have given him until the day of his return” (2 Timothy 1:12).
So you can see that we can always be certain of God’s care for us regardless of what the future brings.

Because of this, you should be very careful to avoid the trap of constantly dwelling on questions that begin with the phrase, “what if…” While it’s good to think things through and prepare for the future (see Proverbs 22:3), it’s another thing to spend all your time thinking about all the bad things that might possibly happen in the future.

You see, if you allow your mind to dwell on all kinds of bad things that could happen (as in, “what will happen to me if such-and-such should occur”) then you are taking your center of attention off the God who has promised to care for you no matter what.

Constantly focusing on negative things that may or may not ever happen can only lead to worry, fear, anxiety and distress- things that God would like to see you avoid (see Philippians 4:6). The fact is that we simply don’t know what’s going to happen in the next five minutes let alone what’s going to happen in the coming weeks and months.

So instead of dwelling on bad things that might happen, we should take this bit of advice from the Book of James…

“How do you know what is going to happen tomorrow? For the length of your lives is as uncertain as the morning fog– now you see it; soon it is gone. What you ought to say is, “If the Lord wants us to, we shall live and do this or that” (James 4:14-15).

It’s been said that we may not know what the future holds but knowing who holds the future makes all the difference! If you’re on Jesus’ side then your future is secure, no matter what may happen! And never forget Jesus’ promise to you in Matthew 6:34…

“So don’t be anxious about tomorrow. God will take care of your tomorrow too. Live one day at a time.”