Trust the Lord for the Future
College has been one of the main topics for discussion around our house for the past several months. Our son, Colson, is a senior in high school and will be graduating this year. So this is the time when he, and other seniors, decide what their plans are after graduation. As he has begun to receive college admissions decisions, we talk more and more seriously about where he might go to college and what that means for his future. Like everything else, the pandemic has made things more complicated as college life has been disrupted and campuses aren’t even open for visits. I think it’s intimidating for him (and us) to have to make such a big decision which we know will affect the course of his life. In college, like many of you, I got a degree which led to my first job. In college, I met some of my best friends. In college, I met Renae. In college, I learned how to cook (well not really). In college, I got involved in a campus fellowship which the Lord used in my life. Yet with all the uncertainty about the future for us and our children, we know that our God is wise and sovereign, and faithful to His people.
In the Bible, Joshua 24 is a great example of this. In this chapter, Joshua gathers the tribes of Israel before the Lord one last time before he dies. Then he speaks on behalf of God, and God Himself recounts how He has led the Israelites from the very beginning. The thing that stands out the most to me in this passage is how God speaks in the first person and says I did this and I did that. For example:
- Vs. 3-4: “I took your father Abraham from the land beyond the Euphrates and led him throughout Canaan and gave him many descendants. I gave him Isaac, and to Isaac I gave Jacob and Esau.”
- Vs. 5-7: “I sent Moses and Aaron, and I afflicted the Egyptians by what I did there, and I brought you out. When I brought your people out of Egypt, you came to the sea . . . you saw with your own eyes what I did to the Egyptians.”
- Vs. 8: “I brought you to the land of the Amorites . . . they fought against you, but I gave them into your hands.”
- Vs. 11: “Then you crossed the Jordan and came to Jericho. The citizens of Jericho fought against you . . . but I gave them into your hands.”
- Vs. 13: “So I gave you a land on which you did not toil and cities you did not build; and you live in them and eat from vineyards and olive groves that you did not plant.”
While we laud the forefathers of the faith such as Abraham, Isaac, Moses, etc. and what they did as great leaders, the Lord makes absolutely clear He’s the one driving the bus here. He’s the one that ultimately provides. As Joshua has brought them into the Promised Land, the Israelites may be tempted to think it’s by their own doing that they’ve made it this far or by random chance or luck (or even other gods or idols). Even as Christians, I think we sometimes look at our own lives this way. That God may step in once in a while to do something miraculous but otherwise we live by chance or our own skill and ingenuity. But that’s not what Scripture tells us. For followers of Jesus, we live under the steady hand of a sovereign God who leads us, fights for us, delivers us, and blesses us in ways we often can’t see or understand. So it’s imperative for us to place our trust in Him and be faithful in return. Proverbs 3:5-6 says “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight.”
Do we still worry about Colson’s college decision? Yes. Don’t we all still worry about the future of our children, our church, our friends, etc. at least a little bit? I think so. But if we know the Lord, we can take heart in His ongoing faithfulness to His people and trust Him for the future. In Joshua 24:14-15, after God speaks, Joshua instructs the people to make a conscious decision to serve the Lord. He says “Now fear the LORD and serve him with all faithfulness. Throw away the gods your ancestors worshiped beyond the Euphrates River and in Egypt, and serve the LORD. But if serving the LORD seems undesirable to you, then choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve, whether the gods your ancestors served beyond the Euphrates, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land you are living. But as for me and my household, we will serve the LORD.” May we decide like Joshua did to trust and serve the Lord.