And now, O Lord, what do I wait for? My hope is in you. (Psalms 39:7 NRSV)

Have you noticed that people's fear of the future has changed. Once people feared that they would die too soon. Now they fear that they will die too late--they will have outlived their assets and will spend their last years in poverty. The future can be scary. I am reminded of something author Kurt Vonnegut once told a university graduating class about his lifelong philosophy. "Regardless of how bad things are today," he believes, "they will be worse tomorrow." There are many who share Vonnegut's view. And, perhaps, with good reason. Humanity is presently spewing nearly a billion tons of pollutants into the Earth's atmospheric envelope every year. In Africa 29 trees are being cut down for every one planted.

Hope mixed with fear. What else can you say about the future? A lot if we open our Bibles. Hopes appears in the Bible 149 times. I have good news for you concerning that mixture of hope and fear that we all feel with regard to the future: Hope wins. Hope wins. Carve it in granite, etch it in stone. Hope wins. Because God wins. Nothing in this world is surer. When your children ask about the future, teach them to sing those words that have inspired millions, "This is my Father's world, Oh, let me n'er forget that though the wrong is oft so strong, God is the ruler yet."

Dear God, protect me from fear, as I put my hope in you. In Jesus' name, Amen.

Ron Newhouse

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