Lesson 194 “I place the future in the hands of God.”
Todayʹs idea takes another step toward quick salvation, and a giant stride it is indeed! So great the distance is that it encompasses, it sets you down just short of Heaven, with the goal in sight and obstacles behind. Your foot has reached the lawns that welcome you to Heavenʹs gate; the quiet place of peace where you await with certainty the final step of God. How far are we progressing now from earth! How close are we approaching to our goal! How short the journey still to be pursued!
Accept todayʹs idea, and you have passed all anxiety, all pits of hell, all blackness of depression, thoughts of sin, and devastation brought about by guilt. Accept todayʹs idea, and you have released the world from all imprisonment by loosening the heavy chains that locked the door to freedom on it. You are saved, and your salvation thus becomes the gift you give the world because you have received.
In no one instant is depression felt, or pain experienced, or loss perceived. In no one instant sorrow can be set upon a throne and worshipped faithfully. In no one instant can one even die. And so each instant given unto God in passing, with the next one given Him already, is a time of your release from sadness, pain, and even death itself.
God holds your future as He holds your past and present. They are one to Him, and so they should be one to you. Yet in this world the temporal progression still seems real. And so you are not asked to understand the lack of sequence really found in time. You are but asked to let the future go, and place it in Godʹs hands. And you will see by your experience that you have laid the past and present in His hands as well, because the past will punish you no more, and future dread will now be meaningless.
Release the future. For the past is gone, and what is present, freed from its bequest of grief and misery, of pain and loss, becomes the instant in which time escapes the bondage of illusions where it runs its pitiless, inevitable course. Then is each instant, which was slave to time, transformed into a holy instant when the light that was kept hidden in Godʹs Son is freed to bless the world. Now is he free, and all his glory shines upon a world made free with him, to share his holiness.
If you can see the lesson for today as the deliverance it really is, you will not hesitate to give as much consistent effort as you can to make it be a part of you. As it becomes a thought which rules your mind, a habit in your problem‐solving repertoire, a way of quick reaction to temptation, you extend your learning to the world. And as you learn to see salvation in all things, so will the world perceive that it is saved.
What worry can beset the one who gives his future to the loving hands of God? What can he suffer? What can cause him pain, or bring experience of loss to him? What can he fear? And what can he regard except with love? For he who has escaped all fear of future pain has found his way to present peace, and certainty of care the world can never threaten. He is sure that his perception may be faulty, but will never lack correction. He is free to choose again when he has been deceived; to change his mind when he has made mistakes.
Place, then, your future in the hands of God. For thus you call the memory of Him to come again, replacing all your thoughts of sin and evil with the truth of love. Think you the world could fail to gain thereby, and every living creature not respond with healed perception? Who entrusts himself to God has also placed the world within the Hands to which he has himself appealed for comfort and security. He lays aside the sick illusions of the world along with his, and offers peace to both.
Now are we saved indeed. For in Godʹs hands we rest untroubled, sure that only good can come to us. If we forget, we will be gently reassured. If we accept an unforgiving thought, it will be seen replaced by loveʹs reflection. And if we are tempted to attack, we will appeal to Him Who guards our rest to make the choice for us that leaves temptation far behind. No longer is the world our enemy, for we have chosen that we be its friends.