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For everyone born of God overcomes the world. This is the victory that has overcome the world, even our faith. —1 John 5:4

Fear of what the future holds in store begins in childhood: we discover that our parents and friends may disappoint us or even reject us; we learn that illness or accidents may happen suddenly and that people we love die; we learn that we do not always succeed and begin to fear failure.

Yet wondering what the future holds in store does not end with our childhood. As adults, we know that life is filled with uncertainty and that even within the short span of twenty-four hours something can happen that will change our lives forever. Furthermore, none of us know when death will call us to stand before our Maker and account for the way we have lived.

I think we can define maturity as "learning to face the unexpected." Now if ever a person had to face the unexpected, it was John. So we will find it instructive to see how he faced his uncertain and uncompromising future on the island of Patmos.

How was he able to cope? John knew that faith was important. "Everyone born of God overcomes the world. This is the victory that has overcome the world, even our faith" (1 John 5:4). This gives you an idea of how John felt and how much he trusted in the Lord.

When you become a Christian, you may face the future without fear. John could face the unexpected because he was "in the Spirit." You may ask, "When will the Spirit of the Lord come on me?" The answer is simple: the Holy Spirit has already come, because Jesus said, "The words I have spoken to you are spirit and they are life" (John 6:63). He has come in God's Word with the best news you will ever hear: God has taken on your case and invites you to receive Jesus as your Savior.

Excerpted from A Vision of Jesus (Christian Focus Publications Ltd., 1999).

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