It’s only natural to grieve for your descendants and young people in general today because of the way the world is turning against God. The global uncertainties appear more dangerous than ever before. The days ahead do look bleak. You worry because you love the future generation, and you hate to ponder their possible plight. But is that the way to think about the future that God oversees?
Rather than worrying and complaining about the world they are to live in, we would do better to spend our time contemplating what God is going to do about it. Interestingly, St. Augustine (fourth century) had this advice to Christians who worry about the future world.
“Our holy scriptures themselves do not promise us peace, security and repose, but tribulations and distress, the gospel is not silent about scandals; but ‘he who perseveres to the end will be saved.’ What good has this life of ours ever been, from the time of the first man, from when he deserved death and received the curse, that curse from which Christ our Lord delivered us? So we must not complain, brothers, ‘as some of them complained…’”
His advice is fitting for 2021. As I think about the world that my grandchildren will grow up in, I remember that God is the one that designed them and chose them to be born at this time and place. Acts 17:26 says: “From one man he made all the nations, that they should inhabit the whole earth; and he marked out their appointed times in history and the boundaries of their lands.” Rather than become anxious for the future of the next generation, I want to build into them the confidence that God alone designed their lives to be lived at this time in history and in the land they will exist.
I heard someone say that anxiety is the psychological space between our hearts and God. On this subject, that statement cannot be truer. We can only do what we can do for the next generation. We may not be here to help them through their storms. We are limited in our power and influence. However, God will be there. He promises to be there for any who cry to Him.
Rather than worry or complain about the state of the world, we become firmer in our commitment to know God and make Him known for He alone is the One who is there to fight for them. As Isaiah 49:25-26 states: “But this is what the Lord says: “Yes, captives will be taken from warriors, and plunder retrieved from the fierce; I will contend with those who contend with you, and your children I will save. I will make your oppressors eat their own flesh; they will be drunk on their own blood, as with wine. Then all mankind will know that I, the Lord, am your Savior, your Redeemer, the Mighty One of Jacob.”
It’s a gory thought from scripture, but it’s a gory world in which the next generation must learn to love God. I’m grateful our God is a great enough God to be great in every generation.