Today’s Truth

For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future (Jeremiah 29:11, NIV).

Friend to Friend

We like happy endings.

During the difficult World War II years, Hollywood movie directors re-wrote the endings to popular books such as The Grapes of Wrath to have happy movie endings. Since there was so much sadness around the war, the movie studios wanted to create a cinematic happy ending, even if the books didn’t end that way. One article called this revisionist process, “happyendingification” or the taking of a bad situation and turning it into a happy one.

Do you ever try to do some “happyendingification” in your life? When we or someone we love is struggling or when a situation we hate is out of control, we grab our control-loving remote to point and click our way to an ending in which everyone is smiling and happy when the final credits roll.

However, we don’t watch movies just because we want to see the end. The unfolding storyline draws us in. Watching the characters face tragedies and triumph over their personal problems makes for a rich and full story. The ending is only part of the experience.

The same goes for you. While you might be fixated on creating a happy ending, God wants to change your heart along the way. His ultimate plans for you include making you more like Christ. God is more concerned with your character than your comfort.

In John 11, Jesus received an urgent message from two sisters, Mary and Martha, that their brother, Lazarus, was very sick. It’s not hard to imagine them splitting their attention between taking care of their brother and impatiently waiting for Jesus to arrive. In time, Lazarus’ physical condition declines and he dies. That’s not the ending that Mary or Martha wanted.

When Jesus arrives four days after Lazarus death, both sisters make the same comment to Jesus: “Lord, if you had only been here, my brother would not have died” (John 11:20, John 11:32). Both women believed that if Jesus would have come in time, he would have ensured their happy ending.

However, in John 11:25, Jesus teaches a greater perspective beyond our desire for a happy ending: “I am the resurrection and the life. Anyone who believes in my will live, even after dying.” Jesus knew that even if Lazarus was healed from that earthly condition, Lazarus would still die again in the future because of humanity’s sin.

Therefore, Jesus casts a vision of eternal life and redemption that gives us hope far greater than whatever happy ending that we could ever want in this life.

You can’t control what will happen in the future, but you can trust God here and now. Keep praying for God to restore a marriage, rescue a prodigal child, heal an illness or provide finances. However, let God’s promises, not your plans, direct your hopes and dreams. When you let go of your view of how the future should look, you’re free to see the possibilities through God’s promises, not just your perspective.

God’s plan for the beginning, middle, and end of your life will bless you when you trust Him. Jeremiah 29:11 reminds us that God has more for us, because God has put more in us. So, when God says that He has a plan, you can be certain that God can handle everything, even if you can’t.

One of the treasures I’ve learned in my surrender journey is this: God is my future. He is my outcome.

The same is true for you. God is your future. He is your outcome.

God knows your storyline from the beginning to the middle and the end. You can be certain He knows how to land the plane when the time comes.

As you reflect on what you’re praying about or worried about for the future, what do you need to let go of and trust God for today?

Let’s Pray

Dear God, You are my future! Today, I need to let go of the future I want to see in regard to ________________________ and focus my eyes on You. I trust that Your presence, Your promises, and Your provision will be all I need.
In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

Now It’s Your Turn

What are some of the bad endings you fear?
When you consider that God is your future, how does that shift your perspective on whatever you’re facing today?

More From the Girlfriends

Today’s content is from Barb’s new devotional book, Surrendered: 40 Days to Help You Let Go and Live Like Jesus. This 40-day devotional invites you to let go of trying to control others or outcomes and learn how to live like Jesus. Learn how to trust God’s power, presence, promises and provision for your life so that you experience God’s peace no matter what’s happening in your life.

ã 2020 Barb Roose. All rights reserved.

9 Responses to “Letting Go of the Future”

  1. Susan says:

    Thank you so much for this timely devotional. Both my parents have been in the hospital with pneumonia . Today my mother will be going to a rehab that I won’t be able to visit. She also has COPD and is showing signs of dementia . I am finding myself in need of answers and reassurance of what will happen to her. On the other end is my dad who will go through a procedure today to remove fluid on both his lungs. Uncertainty is trying to rule in my mind but your devotional reminds me that God holds the future and I must trust that His plans are the best ones.

  2. Linda says:

    Thank you for sharing Letting go of the Future. Most of the time my faith stands firm, but on occasion I allow myself to feel tremendous sadness over what my future, in my minds eye, seems to hold. You see, my husband of 6.5 years has a TREMENDOUS amount of grief from loosing his previous wife. Christmas and many other holidays and memorable events from his past make him very very sad. Sadness that determines his future, therefore affecting mine. Christmas is such a wonderful time of year to me and I so enjoyed this year with my children and his and his/our new grandson. But as afternoon presented yesterday and his daughter and family went home I could see and feel, in the room, the heaviness and discontent… the ever present longing to be back in a time that was “perfect” as he remembers. So last night began the flowing of tears that I sometimes allow to get out of control. A deep deep sadness and awareness that this is for the rest of my life unless a miracle of healing takes place. A miracle that, I myself, somewhat understand. For you see, I too lost my precious spouse some 13 years ago at the age of 42. My God,
    My precious Savior, has been so faithful to provide healing and hope for my broken heart and my children
    Thank you again for sharing! Through swollen, red, tear stained eyes and typing out this email this morning, I am reminded of God’s faithfulness.

  3. carol says:

    Thank you, Barb for this posting.
    I have a real hard time letting go of worry. I’m better than I used to be.
    I loved your line which states, God “knows how to land the plane when the time comes”. That will be a thought I hold onto.
    God, is working with me, gently, to show me that small steps in my journey are “learning” steps to fully trusting Him. I would much rather feel His peace, than the drama of my worrying.
    Bless you in your work, in the coming New Year.

  4. Terra says:

    Thank you for the reminder of this truth. I have been struggling deep with depression and lack of self worth. My two children will not speak to me and I haven’t seen my grandbabies in almost 3 months. I have realized my kids #1. I know the Lord is teaching me let go and trust Him. It sounds easy, but it is not when your heart is broken and shattered. Christmas was the hardest this year for me. I cried and contemplated suicide both. Not a good place to be in. Mind you, I am newly married and my marriage has struggled much because of this situation. I could use some prayers. Thank you again.

  5. Cherilynn says:

    Dear Terra,
    I am praying for you and for your situation. You are dealing with a lot, and I pray that you will feel God’s loving presence surrounding you and giving you strength. Do you have a pastor or Christian friend that you can share with? That might help. Thank you for trusting us with your hurt and concerns. You are a precious child of God and He loves you ❤️

  6. DESOUREE says:

    Good Morning and God be with you
    I just want to thank you for sharing “ Letting Go of The Future” for reading this while drinking my coffee this morning brought tears to my eye for my heart showed me that I have so many things to let go of that have burdened me down for some years now. Today in the name of Jesus I’m letting go and moving on because the reality is God has this under control wether it turns out either way
    Thank you

  7. Melissa says:

    I read this devotion before bed and it was just what I needed. My husband and our kids do not have a great relationship and I feel like I am always ready to jump in to fix conversations etc. I can’t do it anymore. Tonight I’m giving it to the Lord and trusting him to make a happy ending.

  8. Valencia says:

    Oh, to God be the glory! As I prepare to get dressed and go to the funeral home, I was reflecting on how I got here. My mom never opened her eyes Sunday morning. I’m aching because she, like Susan’s mom, was in rehab healing from surgery and we couldn’t see her because of Covid protocols. My mind knows she was never alone but my heart is heavy with uncertainty and even a little guilt. I’m literally letting go of the future I thought we would share in 2021 and asking Him to show me my new future. But I’m also holding on to what my idea of a future is for my daughter and grandson who after a breakup moved home in September and was blessed to have spent this time with “Grandmother.” But she’s lost. Can’t find her purpose or way without employment,income and her own housing. She’s praying and reading and hearing God’s word but she hadn’t let go of the future she thought she’d have. And that’s creating tension within our home, animosity for who knows what, and my fear she’s at a desperate place. With my heart mourning and in fear I’m a mess. I want a happy ending today, right now! My mom is at peace and I praise Him for her amazing 82 years, 9 months and 17 days of life, the 56 I was blessed to have, the 31 shared with her granddaughter and the 3 she had to adore her grandson. I’m praying for Cherilynn, too. (Many of your words sound like my daughter’s) How do I let go of the future, for the future I know He has for her (them) if I’m afraid for my daughter and my grandson (and Cherilynn and her family)?

  9. R. Shaw says:

    I’m catching up on my devotionals. So I read this late, but it was right on time. What an EXCELLENT devotional! Thank you so much!

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"We loved you so much that we were delighted to share with you not only the gospel of God but our lives as well…" 1 Thessalonians 2:8