Northside Baptist Church

Facing the Unknown

Jeremiah 29:11 (ESV) For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.

When Joseph was sold into slavery by his brothers his future was completely unknown to him. Not only was it unknown, it appeared to be a hopeless situation. He would be a slave in a foreign land. He would have no friends, no family, no rights, no standing and no income. He would be untterly without hope. In the midst of his dark, hopeless time he had no way of knowing the end of the story as we do now. We can look back and know he was eventually lifted up to be 2nd in command of all Egypt under the Pharaoh. We look back and can see how God used Joseph’s “hopeless” situation to provide for the very brothers who caused his troubles.

You may be facing an unknown, uncertain future. Hope may be a fleeting thing, hard for you to grasp. You may be wondering just how, and even if, it will all work out. May the following brief thoughts about the unknown bring you some encouragement.

Whatever is unknown to us is NOT unknown to our Father in Heaven! In Jeremiah 29:11, He says “I know My plans for you….” God is the Great Planner. He absolutely knows our future. He wrote the plans. The future is never unknown to Him. He wants us to know that His plans are plans of peace and not calamity. The future is one of expectant hope. It is a hope that is sure and unwavering. We can put it in the bank. We can stake our claim on it and know all will work out according to His plan.

However, the promise of a hope-filled future does not mean we won’t walk “..through the valley of the shadow of death…” Often the path we travel will appear to be an uncertain one filled with anxiety. Joseph did spend time as a slave and in prison. We may look down the road and see darkness, uncertainty and hopelessness but from God’s perspective the future is one a hope, peace and blessing.

Furthermore, the promise of a hope-filled future does not relieve us of our responsibility. Verses 12 and 13 of Jeremiah 29 says “Then shall ye call upon me, and ye shall go and pray unto me, and I will hearken unto you. And ye shall seek me, and find me, when ye shall search for me with all your heart.” Often God’s purpose in leading us through what appear to be hopeless situations, is to drive us to our knees in prayer. He wants us to grow so desperate that we have no place to look but to Him with all our heart. He is not deaf to our prayer and He is not hard to find. To find Him is to find His will. To find Him is to know the peace and hope. To find Him is to be able to rest in His mighty arms.

Remember that our view of the unknown often changes when we are looking back at it. It is only unknown because of our limited perspective. It may be unknown because we have never faced it before. But it is never, ever unknown to God. Trust him, pray to Him, seek Him with all your heart and the unknown, uncertain and hopeless future will be one of expectation, peace and hope. Amen!!