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How much would you pay to know your future?!

June 26, 2011

I think one of the biggest realities of life is uncertainty, but it’s also one of things we find hardest; we hate not knowing about the future. I got thinking about this, because I feel a little like I’m surrounded by uncertainty, as my job is temporary and I don’t know when Mike and I will be able to afford to get married! So, the other day I started thinking about uncertainty and the future…and I came to see why it actually could be a good thing that we don’t know!

So, firstly, why don’t we like the uncertainty about the future?

I think it is largely because we like to be in control, we like to prepare, we like to be able to make plans and we don’t like being caught out. Just think about how many things we pack for our holidays ‘just in case?!’ I think that we find comfort in being able to look ahead, know what will happen and being able to plan for things, but the truth is whilst we like to feel like we’re in control…we’re actually not! Not knowing the future, therefore, may actually be a good thing, because it reminds us that there is someone bigger than ourselves, that we are not in charge of the universe, that there is actually someone who is in charge of everything and who knows the future –

[God’s] eyes saw my unformed body;
all the days ordained for me were written in [God’s] book
before one of them came to be. Psalm 139:16

Therefore, not knowing the future reminds us to trust God, the one who knows us and loves us…I think it’s very easy to say ‘oh yes, I trust in God and His goodness’ when you have your little plans, when you think you know what’s going to happen. But whether you really trust God is shown in what happens when things don’t happen according to your plan, or when we realise we don’t know what will happen in the future. It’s at times like these that we find out whether we are really trusting in God’s unchanging character or not!

Having said that we can be frustrated because we don’t know the future – I think that part of this comes from our focus being on the wrong things, for example, often we want to know what job we’ll have, who we’ll marry or where we’ll live. But, those aren’t the most important things about life. The Bible actually tells us a lot about the most important things about the future i.e. what will happen at the end of time and that by trusting in Jesus, and thus knowing God, will mean that He will save us from his rightful judgement! God wants us to have a relationship with Him, that’s why he doesn’t just send us an individual plan detailing our whole life, because then, knowing us, we’d probably trust the detailed plan and not the planner!

‘In fact, the reality that God is in control of my days and that I don’t know his plans means that I can only respond to this in light of God’s character – trusting in the promises he makes about my life, death and eternal life, so that I need not fear tomorrow, nor be anxious about it’ The Briefing, issue 376/7, page 8

Finally, could we actually handle knowing the future?! I think God is gracious in not telling us the individual details of our lives – can you imagine finding out what was going to happen over the next 10 years, 5 years or even year?! Great if it’s all rosy, of course, but in this fallen world, life is rarely, if ever, all a bed of a roses! What if it contained our worst nightmare? What if you knew that a tragedy was going to happen years before it did, would it not mean that you’d be grieving for those years before hand too? We want to be like God (which is the basis of all our sin), BUT we don’t have the capacity for it! Our minds are too small to comprehend, cope with and not be affected by knowing the future…as Scott Newling outlines in the Briefing;

It’s God’s grace to us that we don’t know [the future]…It allows us to trust Him without knowing things beyond our ability to bear.  The Briefing, issue 376/7, page 8

I think to some extent the phrase ignorance is bliss rings true; it is hard enough to deal with the difficult and heart-breaking aspects of life when they happen, but to try to live a life in anticipation of them would be even more debilitating and heart-breaking. So, through this I have a new found appreciation of God’s goodness and love, who doesn’t give us what we want, but gives us what’s best for us by telling us what we can handle. God tells us enough for us to be able to trust Him and thus, provides us with what we need for each situation and is with us every step of the way. In the words of the great hymn ‘This life I live is not my own‘:

I cannot know what lies ahead,
But know that [God] has gone before…

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10 Comments leave one →
  1. June 26, 2011 8:31 pm

    Ignorance is bliss. I would not want to know the future.
    But to a major extent we determine our future by the choices we make today. Succumb to a temptation to rob or steal and jail may be your future.
    Give a neighbour a helping hand today, you may have a friend in life, who may help you out in the future when you need it.

    And then we can use our instinct, intuition to ‘divine’ the future outcome of difficult situations we face now.

  2. June 28, 2011 4:35 pm

    I beleive God doesn’t tell us our future for our own protection! Would you live more for Him knowing that you had months to live or years??? Shouldn’t we live each day unto Him knowing the possibility that it may be our last???

    (P.S. There’s never a ‘good time’ to get married…or ‘enough’ money — BUT —- God is faithful to provide for your needs. Signed Lisa who’s been married for almost 17 years and doesn’t have ‘enough’ money, but, has everything she needs !!!)

  3. October 26, 2011 6:37 pm

    Powerful and timely message in light of the vast uncertainty in our trouble world.
    I don’t know what the future holds,
    but I do know who holds the future,
    and that’s all I need to know.

  4. October 26, 2011 8:15 pm

    I would not want to know the future, I go where God takes me 🙂

  5. October 26, 2011 11:05 pm

    I really needed this reminder today. I agree with the post in full and the comments. I am a control freak at times so I have to continually remind myself to let go and Let God. Blessings to all.

    http://lyricfire.typepad.com/lyric-fire/2011/10/lyric-fire-look-at-my-fabulous-life-episode-10-.html

    • October 27, 2011 1:11 pm

      Thanks Tameka, trusting God can certainly be difficult, blessings to you!

  6. October 26, 2011 11:41 pm

    Trusting the detailed plan and not the planner . . . loved these wonderful words of wisdom! Knowing the future would, indeed, lead to this sad state of affairs.

    I am resolved to take one day at a time, knowing that God’s will is best for me. I seek it, I listen for His word, I trust. I don’t do it perfectly. I get distracted, frustrated at times when things seem to not be going my way. But, that’s just it: my way is not the highway God wants me to trod.

    So, I resolve to trust more in His wisdom, His will.

    Control is so overrated! 🙂

    Thanks, Mike, for another fabulous post. May all God’s blessings for you now and in your future be fruitful!

    • October 27, 2011 1:13 pm

      Thanks Martha, great thoughts and well expressed! Well done for handing over your life to God, keep trusting! Blessings!

  7. October 27, 2011 9:17 am

    To me uncertainty is one of the exciting things about life. Everything is possible, we can achieve, be, do anything we want, we just have to have belief and focus, being prepared to take action, and hold our faith.

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