When everything goes our way, we feel so close to God, so joyful and encouraged. During these times, it’s easy to believe that there’s a bright future ahead. Through our praise and thanksgiving, God nurtures that belief into the beautiful future He has planned for us. He allows us to envision a new beginning that transforms our futures into something bigger than our imaginations. Spending time with God enables the plans He has for us to take root in our minds and hearts. The more we grow in God, the more He helps us to align our actions, behaviors, and beliefs with His Word and continue building that future. What happens, though, if we rarely spend time with God, if we fail to study His Word and learn His character? How will we ever realize His future plans for us if we don’t allow Him to speak to us through His Word?
It’s no secret that God is not the only one concerned with our futures. We have an enemy who battles for our souls to steal our futures, and his name is Satan. He has a plan for us as well. It’s dark and lonely, filled with lies, despair, and death. This enemy is no respecter or persons. He preys on nonbelievers and believers alike. In fact, I believe he considers it all the sweeter when he can get one of God’s soldiers to join his ranks of lost souls. Do they still have a future? Absolutely, but it is not one any of us would seek. Although the enemy’s offerings are often initially sweet and appealing, like the apple with which he tempted Eve, Satan’s promised futures are rooted in lies and destruction.
God is the true architect of our lives, designing a future full of wonderful possibilities. However, the path we travel is up to us. While God gives us the power and privilege to make the choices that will determine our destinies, the consequences live outside our control. God offers us peace, but most of us choose to follow our own stubborn and selfish ways, so we experience a good bit of turmoil before surrendering to God’s peace. Because of that battle for our souls, we wage a spiritual war within ourselves. Jesus lived during some of the most violent times in history, yet he chose and experienced amazing inner peace.
We can do the same. It sounds contradictory, but peace is worth the fight. Peace is rarely found by apathy and following the status quo. Peace isn’t given to those who sit in place in the middle of a storm and wish they were someplace quiet and still. No, that’s not how we find a peaceful and productive future. Every day we struggle to remain positive in a negative world. Every day we fight an individual war against the enemy to walk in peace with God. The beauty of this war is that God offers us an entire league of angels to strengthen us and give us courage. God promises us a beautiful future, and he is a God who keeps His promises. We have an army of support with God to lead us to victory.
At what cost does God give us this fantastic future? Well, it requires nothing short of everything from us. We must give everything to God—our worries, fears, doubts, guilt, greed, and pride. We must let go of all these things and surrender our entire hearts to God. We must be willing to put Him first in all we think, say, and do. What we get in return is a future of freedom and eternal life.