Toward the end of World War II the USS Indianapolis was torpedoed and sunk, sending its crew into the salty, sun-baked, and shark-infested waters of the Japan Sea. While the men knew that their best hope for survival was to stick together in the water, there were those who swam off on their own, virtually assuring death by shark attack.
The importance of believing that God has a future for you can’t be overestimated. It’s been shown over and over again through history. One characteristic of prisoners who survived the Nazi death camps, for example, is that they believed there was going to be life for them beyond the barbed wire.
The same can be said of those who survive today. When people lose any vision for the future, they also lose the stamina, creativity, and will to survive. Some are driven to madness. But those who believe that there is something waiting for them beyond the present trial – no matter how difficult it is – find that they have the resolve, energy, and clear thinking required to bring them into the future.
The principle that your view of the future has a major bearing on your ability to handle the problems of the present is rooted in the Bible.
When Judah was brought into exile for 70 years in Babylon, the prospects for the future looked grim, to say the least. In this environment it was extremely difficult for the people of God to maintain their faith and preserve their religious practices. It all seemed so futile.
But God had not given up on them, so He sent them a message. Through the prophet Jeremiah He declared, “I know the plans that I have for you. . . plans for welfare and not for calamity to give you a future and a hope” (Jer.29:11).
This was just the message the captives needed to remain faithful and look to the Lord to bring about better days ahead.
This is the same message people need today.
How many in these times look at their lives and wonder how they are going to survive? They need a future.
Where does that future come from? It comes from the One who holds the future in His hands. Jesus Christ is the Alpha and the Omega, and He has a future and a hope for all who live their lives trusting Him.
As we turn to Him in faith, we have peace. We also grow in perseverance, character, and hope because His love has been poured out within our hearts (Rom.5:1-8).
We are able to not only survive, but move into the future He has for us.