Fear of the Unknown & Resting in Grace

I appreciate these words from Paul David Tripp’s daily devotional for today (New Morning Mercies):

new-morning-merciesYou don’t have to be anxious about the future. A God of grace has invaded your life, and he always completes what he starts.

It’s natural; we all do it. We all wonder about what is to come. Some of us think about the future and hope our dreams will come true. Some of us dread the future and pray that we will not have to face the things that we fear. For some of us, the future seems foggy and unknowable. For all of us, it’s hard to look into the future and be secure, because the future is simply out of our hands. With all of our consideration, meditation, and planning for what is to come, things never turn out the way we envisioned. There are always unexpected turns in the road. There are potholes and ditches we did not anticipate. There are mountains and valleys we just did not foresee. We find ourselves walking through moments of darkness when we thought we’d be living and walking in the light. It doesn’t take long for us to begin to acquiesce to the fact that we don’t ever quite know what is around the next corner.

But we don’t have to live plagued by the anxiety of the unknown. We don’t have to go to sleep wondering what the next day will bring or wake up working our way through all the “what-if’s” we can think of. We don’t have to seek some means to figure out what we will never be able to figure out. No, we can have rest when we are confused. We can experience peace in the face of the unknown. We can fell an inner well-being while living in the middle of mystery. Why? Because our peace of heart does not rest on how much we know, how much we have figured out, or how accurately we have been able to predict the future. No, our rest is in the person who holds our individual futures in his wise and gracious hands. We have peace because we know that he will complete the good things that he in his grace has initiated in our lives. He is faithful, so he never leaves the work of his hands. He is gracious, so he gives us what we need, not what we deserve. He is wise, so what he does is always best. He is sovereign, so he rules all the situations and locations where we live. He is powerful, so he can do what he pleases, when he pleases.

Paul says it well in Philippians 1:6: “And I am sure of this, that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ.” Are you experiencing anxiety because you’ve forgotten who you are and what you’ve been given? Are you experiencing the fear that results from trying to know what you’ll never know? He knows, he cares, and he will complete the job he’s begun.

For further study and encouragement: Romans 8:18-39

Paul David Tripp, “February 6.” New Morning Mercies (Wheaton, IL: Crossway, 2014.)

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