This suggests another reason why possibly you hate to think about the future. Not only are you conscious of want of any preparedness for it, but you do not see how it can be much better with you. You have, in a word, lost confidence in God—have no faith in His good-will to you. You think of Him—if you think of Him at all—as one who watches you with a jealous or angry eye; who has no wish that you should be better or happier than you are; or who, if He can save you, will not; or who, if He will, offers to do so only on such hard and impossible terms as to make it practically the same as if there was no salvation for you. In one word, you suspect God hates you, or at least is indifferent to you—if, indeed, He knows anything at all about you, which you are not quite sure of! It is very shocking to write such things: but it is much more shocking that any one should think or believe such things; for he who so thinks and believes is as yet profoundly ignorant of God. What is called God, is as unlike Him who is the living and true God as is any hideous idol in a heathen temple. But this ignorance breeds fear—and fear, hate—and hate increases the fear, until the future, in which this God must be met, is put away as a horrible thing, or never thought of at all.
But, my brother, why should you thus think of God, and so fear to think of the future? Read only what the Bible says of Him, and learn what true Christians know of Him, and listen honestly to how your own conscience responds to all you hear about Him, and then consider whether you can conceive of one more glorious in his character, or more worthy of your love. Peruse the history of Jesus Christ, and tell me anything He ever said or did calculated to fill your heart with fear or hate towards Him,—and remember, that he who sees Him sees the Father. Think of all Jesus suffered as our atoning Saviour, and all “to bring us to God.” Think of all God has promised to those who will only trust Him through Jesus,—the pardon of all sin, and the gift of a new heart; with everything which can do them good, or make them happy; and say, How can this make you dislike God? Think of all He has given you since you were born,—friends and relations, health of body, powers of mind, much time, many happy days, innumerable mercies and sources of enjoyment; think how liberally, ungrudgingly, He has opened His hand; think what patience, forbearance,