Overcoming the Fear of the Uncertain Future

By Chip Ingram

We’re living in a world of uncertainty where many things can make us afraid – the slow and steady disintegration of the family, a volatile economy, and growing violence. In our current political environment, no doubt many of us are weary of the media coverage and personal debates, in addition to our own concerns about the impact to our nation and our world.

In this climate, taking responsibility and being informed is really important for us as Christians, but what’s even more important is the way we as everyday believers respond amidst these uncertain times. This could be the greatest and most strategic opportunity for the body of Christ to respond in decades.

Jesus said that we are to be the salt of the earth (Matthew 5:13). As Christ-followers, we are to live in such a way that we experience God’s peace, joy and love even in the midst of uncertainty, and to such a degree that those outside of Christ will want to know what we have and want what we have. We can have a tremendous positive impact!

But in order to live this way, we must be strong and courageous. This is tough to do when we fear things like our future, our own failure and even abandonment by the ones we love the most.  So how do we get the strength and courage to live out this radical life when everyone else is shaking in their boots?

Here are three ways we can have confident lives, regardless of our uncertain future:

  1. Believe God’s promise for our future. Believing — to the point of action — God’s promise for our future will give us the power to overcome the fear of the unknown. If we’re believers of Jesus Christ, then our future is not unknown. When we view our lives in light of eternity it produces a strength and courage inside of us. They key word here is “hope.” If we are in Christ then we can have hope that we will be with Him in eternity. Whether it’s a down economy or whether the election gives us an unfavorable outcome we can be confident that our future is secure.
  2. Appropriate God’s power of victory to help overcome our fear of failure. Many of us are fearful of failing in our lives, but we don’t have to fail. God wants to use our lives! When God commissioned Joshua to lead the Israelites into the Promised Land he told Joshua the means and the how-to of gaining spiritual power so that he could be successful. God told Joshua, “Keep this Book of the Law always on your lips; meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do everything written in it. Then you will be prosperous and successful. (Joshua 1:6-8) The average Christian doesn’t know how God gives them the power to live the life they were always supposed to have. But just like Joshua, God promises us that when we meditate on His written Word, the Holy Spirit will come and give us the power to live and act and respond.
  3. Recognize that God’s presence is key to overcoming our fear of abandonment. What I’m really talking about here is love. We are the objects of God’s affection. God loves us so much so He could never leave us. That’s why when Jesus went to be with the Father He sent the Holy Spirit to dwell in us. So we can be confident that He is with us when we courageously step out to take a risk.

As Christians, we possess a hope that is unshakable. And when we live by faith, act on God’s Word and believe that there’s a God that’s all-powerful and sovereign and we’re the object of His affection, we can be strong regardless of our circumstances.

This week, we begin the series Facing the Future with Confidence. Despite these uncertain and confusing times, no matter what we’re going through, it is possible for us to have courage. It’s my hope and prayer during this series that we will be able to fully experience the hope, faith and love that God has given to each one of us so that we can face tomorrow and each day that follows with confidence and strength.

EDITOR’S NOTE: This article was originally published on November 4, 2012, and remains relevant today. In response to feedback from our Living on the Edge community about this topic, it has been republished in its original form with only minor updates for accuracy.

Written By

Chip Ingram

Founder & Teaching Pastor, Living on the Edge

Chip Ingram is the CEO and teaching pastor of Living on the Edge, an international teaching and discipleship ministry. A pastor for over thirty years, Chip has a unique ability to communicate truth and challenge people to live out their faith. He is the author of many books, including The Real God, Culture Shock and The Real Heaven. Chip and his wife, Theresa, have four grown children and twelve grandchildren and live in California.

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