DayBreaks for 11/27/17: An Unpredictable Future?
From the DayBreaks archive, November 2007:
How would you describe the future? You might describe certain things that you want or hope to have happen in the future, but my guess is that at some point you’d couch your description in terms like, “If I could, I would…”. I am always amazed at how many of the supermarket tabloids have covers that relate to some prediction of the future by people like Nostradamus, or some modern-day “psychic”. There is something in us that would like (we think) to be able to predict or know what the future holds. I think that we’re actually far better off not knowing myself.
When I speak of an unpredictable future, I am not talking about one that is unstable…just one that can’t be very well predicted by human experience. As humans, we just don’t have the requisite knowledge or skill to be able to predict with any degree of certainty what will take place. And that’s especially true because to some extent, our “possible” futures are based on our past and present experiences. But what happens when something totally out of the realm of human experience intervenes?
In his book, Theology of Hope, Jurgen Moltmann mused on the topic of the future and what God’s promises mean related to the future: “A promise is a declaration which announces the coming of a reality that does not yet exist. Thus promise sets man’s heart on a future history in which the fulfilling of the promise is to be expected. If it is a case of a divine promise, then that indicates that the expected future does not have to develop within the framework of the possibilities inherent in the present, but arises from that which is possible to the God of the promise. This can also be something which by the standard of present experience appears impossible.”
The future towards which we move cannot be predicted by any human, no matter how wise he or she may be. It takes One who is not only all-wise, but all-powerful, to control the events so that the future finds it’s fulfillment for which it was planned. Certainly, in Genesis when God makes his initial promises to humanity, he was declaring a reality that, at least in time, did not yet exist. The future is not dependent on the experiences of your life, or of all our lives put together. It is dependent only on the God who made and formed the promise and who shapes the future to His liking.
What does the future hold? I can’t predict it…but that doesn’t mean it isn’t predictable. With God, all things are possible. We think of Him interacting with the world as we know and experience it, but that is at least limited, if not false, theology.
You don’t need to consult actuarial tables to know what the future holds. They can’t tell you. God can. And He does tell us another thing about the future: we don’t have to worry about it because it’s in His perfectly capable hands!
PRAYER: Thank you, Lord God Almighty, that you hold not only the future of the universe and the world but of each and every one of us who have put our trust in Christ, in your hands. May we sleep well tonight knowing You are in control! In Jesus’ name, Amen.
Copyright by 2017 by Galen C. Dalrymple.