Stressing about the future is something that most of us struggle with. The future is full of uncertainty and offers no guarantees. The future is the great unknown. Anything can happen; good or bad. Thinking about the future affects each of us in unique ways.
I’m a goal person, so naturally my stress about the future comes from not reaching newly set goals. Do you relate to that feeling or is your stress about the future about something more specific? Does your stress of the future come from the uncertainty in your job or relationship? Or perhaps it’s something else completely. One thing is for certain, we can all agree that the stressful feeling always intensify at the end/beginning of a New Year. Now that 2018 is upon us, I find myself stressing about the future once again.
In some cases, stress isn’t a terrible thing. Sometimes we need to get motivated to act. But, when we stress about the future itself, we are stressing about something that is completely out of our control. This puts us in a dangerous place, mentally. Stressing over the future is created in our minds and is self-inflicted. It causes only harm; there is nothing positive about it.
So why are we all stressing about the future so much? What is the cause?
The answer can be summed up in one word. Trust. Where you place your trust has a direct effect on your mind.
Stressing about the future happens when we place our trust in our own formula for how we perceive life to flow and work. Our formula is our standard of rules and procedures for how we live our lives. The problem with trusting our own formula for life is that life (and the future) is never predicable.
By placing the pressure of the fate of the future in our own hands, we’ve created the reason for stress in our lives. But, there is a solution to this dilemma we’ve created within ourselves.
The solution: Trusting in God’s formula, instead of our own.
Trusting God’s formula for the future takes the pressure off ourselves. Allowing God to have the pressure of what tomorrow holds brings you to a place of freedom. Freedom from stress begins when you start to trust God completely.
Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths. – Proverbs 3:5-6
Trusting in God’s formula is where stressing about the future ends. If we look to God to define our future, we’ll enter a place of peace with Him. Even when things happen in life that would shatter our own formula, if our trust is in God, then we know it is part of His purpose.
When we start fearing God, we will stop fearing everything else.
As each of us prepares to turn the page and enter the New Year, I want to encourage you to stop trusting in your own formula. This is where your stress about the future comes from. Start increasing your trust in God. Let him lead you by His formula for your future. Give your stress to Him and start getting excited about what tomorrow holds!
Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? – Matthew 6:26 NIV