[forthright] Facing A Foggy Future

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From: Forthright Magazine <forthrightmag@...>
Date: Wed, 9 Mar 2011 06:49:42 -0800 (PST)
Forthright Magazine
http://www.forthright.net
Straight to the Cross

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COLUMN: HANDS-ON FAITH

Facing A Foggy Future
 by Barry Newton

The details of our future, even what lies just around
the corner, are many: How long will my employment
situation remain the same? What about health, finances,
and family relationships? The list can go on and on.

While at times we might feel like the master of our
destiny or a hapless cork caught in a storm swept sea,
by peering into Paul's imprisonment we discover our
grasp upon controlling our future is neither. In fact,
his prison letter to the Philippian church can teach us
about living on the edge of a foggy future.

Wearing Roman shackles, Paul certainly was not the
master of his circumstances. Would tomorrow herald
exoneration and freedom from captivity or would the
government take his life? Yet Paul could exude a
confidence about the future which provided him with
peace in the present.

Our situation may not be as dramatic as his, but the
fundamental question is the same. What will tomorrow
bring?

The key for managing the future involves possessing
something which can be relied upon tomorrow. Many
people try to build a tomorrow by reducing their risk
and creating a reliable foundation through insurance
companies and investment firms. While the track record
of such institutions has tended to be reliable, we have
also seen there is no guarantee.

Paul's future planning pierced even beyond the grave.
He looked to Christ crucified and risen again.
Regardless whether he lived or died, he would win.

Furthermore, even though there was no guarantee about
what awaited him, Paul felt confident he would be
released. Why? There were Christians praying for him
and Christ's Spirit could impact what would happen.

While at times we might be deluded into confidently
perceiving ourselves controlling tomorrow, a sudden car
wreck, a health crisis or economic upheaval suddenly
exposes our weakness. On the other hand, because of
Christ, neither do we face the future with uncertainty.
We can know whose we are and where our destiny lies. In
this there is peace.

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