Does God know the long run and does he tell us it?
Throughout the Bible, God speaks about the future. In the book of Isaiah, God speaks about Jesus in chapters 52 and 53. In the Book of Revelation, the Bible speaks about how Jesus comes back and how the enemy is destroyed forever. Most of our eyes are looking in the future, but sometimes the search for the future is misleading.
Our search for the future can lead us to get lost in a sea of secrets. Our search for something other than God is a storm we don't want to go into. For this reason, let us trust that God will reveal His plan to us as He wants and that the future is entirely in God's hands.
The bitterness of our hearts
Now the word of the Lord came to Jonah, the son of Amittai, and said: Get up, go to Nineveh, this great city, and shout against it! for their wickedness has come up before me. “But Jonah rose to flee to Tarsis from the presence of the Lord. He went down to Joppa and found a ship that was going to Tarsis. So he paid the fare and went in to go with them from the presence of the Lord to Tarsis (Jonah 1: 1-3).
Jonah fled from what God had commanded him to do. He was so filled with bitterness and anger at how Nineveh treated the Israelites (Nahum and Jonah 3). In Jonah 4 Jonah knew that God would be merciful and full of infallible love for Nineveh. How did Jonah know that God would react like this?
If Jonah, a servant and child of God, searched and persecuted God so that God revealed Jonah to his nature, no one can be sure how God will reveal his plans and qualities to us, it is really a mystery. It is a good secret to search because God wants us to search for him.
And those who know your name trust you because you, O Lord, have not abandoned those who are looking for you (Psalm 9:10).
If we continue reading Jonah chapters 4: 5-7, we see that God gives a physical example of why God didn't destroy Nineveh at that time:
Jonah left the city and sat east of it. He took refuge there and sat in his shadow to see what would happen to the city. Then the Lord God appointed a plant and it grew up to provide shade over Jonah's head and relieve his discomfort. Jonah was very happy with the plant. When dawn came the next day, God appointed a worm to attack and wither the plant.
Jonah was furious and bitter that he wanted to die. Perhaps he was so angry because his people in northern Israel were destroyed and God saved the people who destroyed this part of Israel. But God later explains that Jonah has no right to be angry with him for saving Nineveh.
God knew and felt sorry for Nineveh because he created and cared for them (Jonah 4:10). Perhaps God will let us know some details of His future plans, and He will only reveal what He wants us to know. If we knew everything like God, how could we deal with the breadth of this knowledge?
"Because my thoughts are not your thoughts, and your ways are not my ways," explains the Lord. "For as the sky is higher than the earth, so my ways are higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts" (Isaiah 55: 8-9).
Our suffering and our future
Because I think that the sufferings of that time are not worthy of being compared to the glory that is to be revealed in us (Romans 8:18).
It was my last year in my bachelor's career and I was extremely stressed. I don't think I've ever had so much pressure before. I took more credit hours than I could handle and a class that I wished I had never attended. I know that I am not the only student who has experienced this.
But I remember sitting on the carpet of my room, looking for and praying to God. This was a strange experience because I never thought that what God warned me about could happen. I felt in my mind that I was going to get sick. I remember saying to God I would be so angry with him if he would allow it.
Well, I got sick this winter – for almost three months. My stress became my enemy and my future never looked so bleak. My suffering became my future and seemed to rule my life before me. But I struggled through with God and learned that even though it happened to me, it didn't define me or my future. It is God who always determines my future.
The Bible says in Romans 8:25 that we "eagerly hope and wait with perseverance". We wait and insist that God redeems us in hope of our heavenly bodies (Romans 8:23). Our future can be joyful and difficult (2 Timothy 3: 1).
Our future is full of hope because our hope is only for Christ. So let's not have the bitterness of the past in our hearts and let this part of our life determine our future. Let us leave all our stress to God who will take it so lovingly from us.
A closing prayer
Father, thank you for everything you have done in our life and what you will do in our future. I pray that we look for you first, Father God, and that our ears listen to your voice. I pray that everyone who is concerned about their future will give everything to God. God, you know our future and the plans that are for all of us. I pray that we all trust that you will lead our lives in your hands. In Jesus name, amen.
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Rebecca Gordon has a bachelor's degree in psychology and is engaged to a wonderful man named Joseph. Your favorite season is spring because of the many flowers it produces. She loves going to the beach, hiking and exploring new places. She loves God with all her heart and will serve him every day of her life. She has a blog site and plans to do her Masters in Biblical counseling.