You Don’t Have to Worry about the FutureDaily Reflection / Produced by The High Calling
And as we live in God, our love grows more perfect. So we will not be afraid on the day of judgment, but we can face him with confidence because we live like Jesus here in this world.
1 John 4:16-18
In 1987, the United Nations released Our Common Future, one of the first reports to bring environmental concerns to the global conversation. Nearly thirty years later, people are still looking to that report for its definition of sustainability: "Development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs."
When we talk about sustainability, we often imagine the judgment of future generations, looking back on our excesses and mistakes and condemning us the way we look back and condemn the mistakes of generations before us. Christians know that this is only part of the story.
We are called to steward the earth well, not just for future generations, but to honor God. Thus, we rightly consider the judgment of God more than the judgment of the future. And we can face God’s judgment in confidence because we live in God and live like Jesus. Christian sustainability is not afraid of future condemnation or future suffering because it understands the perfect love of God, which is ready and willing to endure for the sake of others. Even so, our stewardship of the earth is not going to save the earth.
The author of Hebrews reminds us, “The Son radiates God’s own glory and expresses the very character of God, and he sustains everything by the mighty power of his command” (Heb. 1:3, NLT).
It’s like the children’s song: “He’s got the whole world in his hands.” Our efforts toward sustainability matter as a way to honor God and demonstrate God’s love to world, but Jesus is the one who sustains the world, not us. We join him in his work to sustain everything, but our efforts are not going to determine his success.
As it turns out, we can’t meet the needs of the present or the future. Only Jesus can do that. What an honor that he invites us to join him in meeting the needs of the world!
We know how much God loves us, and we have put our trust in his love. God is love, and all who live in love live in God, and God lives in them. And as we live in God, our love grows more perfect. So we will not be afraid on the day of judgment, but we can face him with confidence because we live like Jesus here in this world. Such love has no fear, because perfect love expels all fear. If we are afraid, it is for fear of punishment, and this shows that we have not fully experienced his perfect love.
1 John 4:16-18
QUESTIONS FOR FURTHER REFLECTION: Do you worry about the problems our society may be creating for future generations? What are you doing in your daily life to be a good steward of the resources that will be used by future generations?
PRAYER: Dear God, I’m grateful that you sustain the world! I know I would not do a very good job of this if you left it to me. On the other hand, God, let me not be complacent about my role as a steward of the good gifts you have placed in my life. Help me continue to serve you and love others, actively engaged with you as you sustain the world for your glory. Amen.