Looking Beyond the Unknown (Hebrews 11:8)

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Life is filled with uncertainty. We don’t know what the next 24 hours will bring. It’s an uncharted course that may include great blessing or tragic loss. Because the future is unknown, it fills many people with fearmaking each new day and circumstances a struggle.

Fear of the unknown has often kept man from moving forward. In the early Middle Ages, for example, European sailors would not sail very far south. They believed that the middle of the earth was ringed with fire, because the farther south they traveled the hotter it became. The same kind of fear kept men from exploring the Atlantic Ocean. A chart that was drawn sometime in the Middle Ages has a painting of a ship turning back into the Mediterranean Sea from the Straits of Gibraltar. Above it appears the Latin phrase Ne Plus Ultra, which means “Nothing more beyond.” Fear of the unknown kept explorers from crossing the Atlantic until Columbus and Ponce De Leon decided to test the horizon.

Fear of the unknown may keep us from making spiritual progress as well. We are afraid of what our neighbor will say if we witness to him. We don’t know how the students will respond if we teach a class. We’re not sure we can pay the bills if we increase our giving. But we must not be afraid to take that step of faith. Like Abraham, who left his homeland for an unknown destination, we can overcome uncertainty by trusting God. He sees beyond the unknown. – David C. Egner

Faith looks beyond the shadow

Of dread and doubt and fear

And finds the Savior waiting

And always standing hear. – French

Those who fear the future are likely to fumble the present.

  • June 10, 1988, Our Daily Bread