Have you read The Screwtape Letters? It’s a fictional story written by C.S. Lewis, and it is written as a correspondence between a Senior Demon, Screwtape to his nephew Wormwood, a novice demon in charge of securing the damnation of an ordinary human man. In the following correspondence the “Enemy” is God

[The demon Screwtape writes:] “The humans live in time but our Enemy destines them to eternity. He therefore, I believe, wants them to attend chiefly to two things, to eternity itself, and to that point of time which they call the Present. For the Present is the point at which time touches eternity. Of the present moment, and of it only, humans have an experience analogous to the experience which our Enemy has of reality as a whole; in it alone freedom and actuality are offered them. He would therefore have them continually concerned either with eternity (which means being concerned with Him) or with the Present-either meditating on their eternal union with, or separation from, Himself, or else obeying the present voice of conscience, bearing the present cross, receiving the present grace, giving thanks for the present pleasure.

Our business is to get them away from the eternal, and from the Present. With this in view, we sometimes tempt a human (say a widow or a scholar) to live in the Past. But this is of limited value, for they have some real knowledge of the past and it has a determinate nature and, to that extent, resembles eternity. It is far better to make them live in the Future. Biological necessity makes all their passions point in that direction already, so that thought about the Future inflames hope and fear. Also, it is unknown to them, so that in making them think about it we make them think of unrealities. In a word, the Future is, of all things, the thing least like eternity. It is the most completely temporal part of time-for the Past is frozen and no longer flows, and the Present is all lit up with eternal rays.”

 I constantly find myself obsessing about the future…the possibilities, the pitfalls…all “unrealities” (because who, in reality, knows the future?) that I make up in my head. I tend to play out scenarios and, suddenly I’m anxious, fretting, it’s 2 am, and I’m still wide-eyed and fidgety. In these moments, which unfortunately happen all too frequently, I am encouraged onward by what J.I. Packer says about meditating on the truth. He writes,

 “[meditation] is a matter of talking to oneself about God and oneself; it is, indeed, often a matter of arguing with oneself, reasoning oneself out of moods of doubt and unbelief into a clear apprehension of God’s power and grace. It’s effect is ever to humble us, as we contemplate God’s greatness and glory…and to encourage and reassure us…

So, when fear and doubt about “the future” creep in, I meditate on what is true:

The Lord cares for my future (1 Corinthians 2:9). The Lord desires to show compassion (Psalms 103:8-13, Isaiah 30:18). I am His child (1 John 3:1). I must seek first the Kingdom of God (Matthew 6:33), and everything else will fall into place.

These scripture references are just a few examples of the hope we have in and through Christ Jesus. Psalms 27:1 says, “The Lord is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? The Lord is the stronghold of my life; of whom shall I be afraid?” Are you depending on the Lord to be your stronghold today?

Oh Lord whom I love, you know my future. You formed me in my mother’s womb even then, you knew everything moment of my life until my last breath. I trust you with my past, present and future and I commit my future to you today. Jesus, Jesus, how I trust You! How I’ve proved You o’er and o’er; Jesus, Jesus, precious Jesus! Oh, for grace to trust You more!