Four reasons not to fear the future for our kids
What kind of world will our children grow up in?
It’s a question many parents are asking. Regardless of our political affiliations, nations of origin, circumstances in life, or religious affiliations, many of us are paralyzed with fear over the future.
How can we deal with legitimate fears in a healthy manner? First, we need to figure out how or why we are scared. Then, we can take steps to fight it.
How Did We Get Here?
Fear takes over when our focus is off. Instead of focusing on building God’s kingdom, we tend to focus on protecting ourselves and our families. Instead of focusing on how God is at work in every situation, we can hyper focus on the problems themselves.
But when we fix our eyes on Jesus, the Author and perfecter of our faith, there is no room for fear (Hebrews 12:2). Our eyes see the devastation around us, but our faith reminds us that we belong to a God who is infinitely bigger and more powerful than anything we could see or even imagine.
Jesus never promised us calm, easy lives. We can try to rearrange our lives with enough measure of space to avoid pain, but in doing so we miss out on all the blessings God has for us in hard times (James 5:1-6).
In our quest to escape pain, we simultaneously bypass the excitement and joy that comes from being part of the exceedingly abundant life Jesus died to give us. As believers, we will finish our race in heaven, but the fullness of life Jesus wants for us starts right now — in the mess, in the pain.
If we truly want better for our kids, we have to step into the mess rather than run from it.
Four Tools to Combat Fear of the Future
1. Listen to the right voices
2 Timothy 1:7 says, “For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.” If the messages we’re reading and hearing are paralyzing us with fear and rendering us useless to the kingdom of God, we can be sure they are not of God.
The best way to know what’s from God and what isn’t is by spending time with Him in order to learn His voice. In John 10:27, Jesus says, “My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me.” As we speak Jesus’ truth to ourselves and our kids, we begin to drown out the despair and defeat in our heads.
2. Answer God’s call on your life
When we are pursuing a higher calling, our fears take a back seat to what God is doing for the good of man. God gives each of us gifts to be used for the benefit of others. Along with those gifts, He gives us a passion for a cause close to His heart.
When you see the world orphan crisis, the growing sex slave industry, or the homeless on your town’s streets and can’t shake the image from your mind, that is likely the place God is calling you to step in and serve. When we all operate in our passions and gifting, our “work” is life-giving and doesn’t leave room for fear.
3. Remember that God is not surprised
Parents, God is preparing us to raise our children in this world. He gives us the tools to equip them. We must be more intentional as parents to equip and instill our values because they won't learn by osmosis. The ways of God are often contrary to the ways of this world (Isaiah 55:9). While world events may surprise us, they're never a surprise to God. In facts, He's sovereignly orchestrating every detail of our lives.
4. End your fear of suffering
James 1:2-4 says to count it all joy when we face trials because they produce fruit that only struggles can produce. It’s not realistic to prepare for a world without pain. We can show our kids how to weather disappointment and hard things with Christ rather than pretending the pain doesn’t exist or running away.
Nowhere in the Bible does God say this world is easy or should be, but He does promise to work all things together for our good (Romans 8:28).
This is the only way we can stop feeding the frenzy of fear in ourselves and others, and be a part of the solution by sharing the good news that there is a Savior.
What a gift we give our kids when we model trust in God rather than fear of man or circumstances on Earth! Jesus said, “Do not be afraid of those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. Rather, be afraid of the One who can destroy both soul and body in hell.” (Matthew 10:28). Our fears are misplaced if they are centered anywhere on this earth rather than eternity.
We need to heed the words of Hebrews 12:1 and “...throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles as we run with perseverance the race marked out for us…”