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    Clough's Avatar
    Clough Posts: 26,677, Reputation: 1649
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    #1

    Apr 23, 2010, 10:42 PM
    Relying on God and Thinking About the Future. Should We Worry About the Future?
    Hi, All!

    Okay. So the present moment is all that we have. In an instant it's gone. And, then another moment arrives. To me, we really don't have any control. Sure, we have the freedom to choose, but God is the one in charge.

    Is there any point to worrying about the next day if we truly believe that God has a plan and is going to take care of us?

    I would appreciate your thoughts and advice concerning that.

    I'm really working on myself; trying to get out of my selfishness and just let God take control.

    However, that's really a tough thing to do!

    I'm really trying to learn what the Word of God has to say about that...

    Thanks!
    TUT317's Avatar
    TUT317 Posts: 657, Reputation: 76
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    #2

    Apr 24, 2010, 03:22 AM
    Quote Originally Posted by Clough View Post
    Hi, All!

    Okay. So the present moment is all that we have. In an instant it's gone. And, then another moment arrives. To me, we really don't have any control. Sure, we have the freedom to choose, but God is the one in charge.

    Is there any point to worrying about the next day if we truly believe that God has a plan and is going to take care of us?

    I would appreciate your thoughts and advice concerning that.

    I'm really working on myself; trying to get out of my selfishness and just let God take control.

    However, that's really a tough thing to do!

    I'm really trying to learn what the Word of God has to say about that...

    Thanks!

    Hi Clough,

    Good question. I wish I knew the answer.

    Determinism is the view that God determines all human action. There is no free will. This is an extreme formulation which most people would reject in favour of a combination of determinism and free will. This is subject to volumes of debate but I would say that most people believe that God does not assert his power over individual free will. This idea falls in line with a type of compatibility theory.

    This is not my position. I go along with Spinoza because I am a strong determinist. Others would disagree with this position. Spinoza says that no one acts out of inclination or chance; all action is determined by past experience and by the state of the laws of nature at that moment in time.

    In this regard it makes sense for Spinoza to say that nothing is good or bad in itself, but only in relation to someone or something. This really amounts to saying that things change for good or bad depending on how events unfold. We don't have control over these events.

    It is possible that we feel selfish because things are going well at the moment. We may have a different attitude if things change for the worse. Are we to live out lives going from one extreme to the other depending upon circumstances?

    Spinoza's philosophy can be seen as a possible guidance which provides the opportunity for people to try and avoid fear, anxiety and unhappiness by not becoming slaves to our emotions. Easier said than done.

    I guess Spinoza is saying that we need to become consistent with our emotions. We need to accept that we cannot control. Events will unfold with or without us. We need to deal with the things that confronts us. Again, easier said than done.

    Regards

    Tut
    450donn's Avatar
    450donn Posts: 1,821, Reputation: 239
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    #3

    Apr 24, 2010, 06:59 AM

    There is no reason to worry about the things you cannot do anything about. God has a plan and while he has told us his plans for the future, he has NOT told us the timing. So why worry about it as long as you are following God you are secure in where you will be at the end of all this.
    Now if you are asking about day to day living issues? That is a different story, sort of.
    God is still in control, so why worry about it?
    If I were to give you our entire story for the last 30 months you would not believe how we could not help but be on drugs, but we aren't. We had total peace during the whole time.
    Clough's Avatar
    Clough Posts: 26,677, Reputation: 1649
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    #4

    Apr 24, 2010, 09:04 AM
    Quote Originally Posted by TUT317 View Post
    Hi Clough,

    Good question. I wish I knew the answer.

    Determinism is the view that God determines all human action. There is no free will. This is an extreme formulation which most people would reject in favour of a combination of determinism and free will. This is subject to volumes of debate but I would say that most people believe that God does not assert his power over individual free will. This idea falls in line with a type of compatibility theory.

    This is not my position. I go along with Spinoza because I am a strong determinist. Others would disagree with this position. Spinoza says that no one acts out of inclination or chance; all action is determined by past experience and by the state of the laws of nature at that moment in time.

    In this regard it makes sense for Spinoza to say that nothing is good or bad in itself, but only in relation to someone or something. This really amounts to saying that things change for good or bad depending on how events unfold. We don't have control over these events.

    It is possible that we feel selfish because things are going well at the moment. We may have a different attitude if things change for the worse. Are we to live out lives going from one extreme to the other depending upon circumstances?

    Spinoza's philosophy can be seen as a possible guidance which provides the opportunity for people to try and avoid fear, anxiety and unhappiness by not becoming slaves to our emotions. Easier said than done.

    I guess Spinoza is saying that we need to become consistent with our emotions. We need to accept that we cannot control. Events will unfold with or without us. We need to deal with the things that confronts us. Again, easier said than done.

    Regards

    Tut
    Hi, Tut!

    I like your answer from the philosophical perspective. And, I greatly enjoy phylosophy! However, I was looking for answers in the Christian sense as outlined in the Word as presented by God in the Holy Bible. Straight-up and fundamental.

    Was not looking for some type of phylosophycal debate. Just straight answers. I am a very troubled person in my life right now.

    If a debate happens on this thread, or it veers off-topic, then I'll ask that the thread either be closed or deleted immediately.

    Thanks!
    Clough's Avatar
    Clough Posts: 26,677, Reputation: 1649
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    #5

    Apr 24, 2010, 09:06 AM
    Quote Originally Posted by 450donn View Post
    There is no reason to worry about the things you cannot do anything about. God has a plan and while he has told us his plans for the future, he has NOT told us the timing. So why worry about it as long as you are following God you are secure in where you will be at the end of all this.
    Now if you are asking about day to day living issues? That is a different story, sort of.
    God is still in control, so why worry about it?
    If I were to give you our entire story for the last 30 months you would not believe how we could not help but be on drugs, but we aren't. We had total peace during the whole time.
    I am now working everyday, asking for God to guide my ways...

    Thanks!
    dwashbur's Avatar
    dwashbur Posts: 1,157, Reputation: 174
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    #6

    Apr 24, 2010, 10:37 AM
    Quote Originally Posted by Clough View Post
    I am now working everyday, asking for God to guide my ways...

    Thanks!
    I'm in a position of some turmoil right now. We just moved, but at the same time we lost our income due to an injury that required surgery. So for the next few months I have no idea what's going to happen. The Bible is sort of equivocal on the subject, because on the one hand it says that God takes care of sparrows and we're worth much more than they are, but on the other hand it says we're responsible for our actions etc. So a good approach, at least for me, is to make my plans, move ahead with them, but always leave some wiggle room in case God has a different idea.

    As for God taking care of us, ages ago I decided that my life verses in that area are Proverbs 30:7-9. So far, he's been faithful to answer that prayer (especially the part about not giving me wealth!).

    If you have some time to read, Garry Friesen's book Decision Making and the Will of God is the best treatment of the topic I've ever seen.
    sohotitsscary's Avatar
    sohotitsscary Posts: 91, Reputation: 5
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    #7

    Apr 24, 2010, 10:50 AM

    God just lays it out for us to play it out, he is the guide we need he not going to hold your hand for it all but he will always have a hand out for us to hold on to :)
    jakester's Avatar
    jakester Posts: 582, Reputation: 165
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    #8

    Apr 24, 2010, 01:05 PM

    Clough - man, this is a difficult subject to deal with because as I see it, there are layers to what you are asking.

    First off, I'm going to hang it right out there and suggest to you that worry or anxiety in of itself isn't evil. Jesus was extremely anxious in the face of his impending death while in the garden. If God were to rebuke Jesus for being worried in the face of an incredible death such as his, I don't think I'd be interested in that kind of God. Worry is sometimes the most rational thing we can do as human beings. Imagine yourself being a hostage to the Taliban. They are interrogating you and stand over you with machetes. I'd love to see one Christian who wouldn't be worried and if I could take the one I find's blood pressure and see that it was normal, I'd like to know whether that person was insane or not. You get my point.

    Secondly, to me I think the statement Jesus makes about not worrying has more to do with an invitation to repent and receive eternal life than it does with a mere proposition for good, Christian living. Consider the following in Matthew 6:

    31“Therefore do not be anxious, saying, 'What shall we eat?' or 'What shall we drink?' or 'What shall we wear?' 32 For the Gentiles seek after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them all. 33 But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.”

    Now, I only quoted 3 verses, but the entire context is one that is richly redemptive in nature. See all of the admonitions Jesus lays out:

    1) Pray with sincerity vs praying out of hypocrisy
    2) Forgive others and God will forgive you
    3) Lay up treasures in heaven vs treasures on earth
    4) Choose one master – money or God... but you cannot serve both.

    Jesus is altogether making the case to be a real, genuine follower of God, not one who pretends to be. A real child of God is forgiving, not unmerciful. A real child of God prays to God out of sincerity, not to impress others. A real child of God is concerned with a life built for the kingdom of God, not a life built upon earth. A real child of God is one who sees that God is the one who holds his life in his hand, not one who feels his own life is totally dependent upon his own control. To be anxious for your life the way Jesus means it (in my estimation) is to really believe that God is either not there at all or is not good. But Jesus says that it comes down to our priority of life. What is it that we really want? Do we want eternal life or just bread? Life in the Kingdom of Heaven or J Crew jeans? It's absurd, I know, but isn't that what Jesus is trying to say?

    Let me try to tie together what I have said with something else. I have tried to argue that ultimately we must not worry only about things in this life. Jesus' words are more about seeing our need for the mercy of God rather than just food alone. Yes, we need food and clothing, etc. but not nearly as bad as we need mercy. We have to have eyes to see that our biggest need in this life isn't whether I get the job I need or not but whether in the end God will be merciful to me or not.

    Beyond that, life in this world is coming to grips with that reality. What are you worried for? Are you worried for a job? Are you worried for a bill that is due? Are you worried for a child who is sick? Whatever your circumstances, sometimes those worries are good because it means that you take things seriously enough to care. But the helplessness that you feel may be useful in the hands of God to make you see that “man does not live off bread alone, but by every word that proceeds out of the hand of God.” Maybe you are alive to that reality a little more through this.

    To me, I am always struck by what the Apostle Paul once said:
    “I know how to be brought low, and I know how to abound. In any and every circumstance, I have learned of facing plenty and hunger, abundance and need. I can do all things through him who strengthens me.”

    In the face of the joys and adversities of life, Paul is saying that it is God who was instructing him in all of those things. God brought him low and raised him up. God fed him and made him go hungry; God gave him abundance and robbed him of everything. But whatever it was that God gave to Paul, God allowed him to be remain steadfast. In the blessings, he didn't lose perspective and get big-headed…he recognized the good hand of God upon him. In the times when he lacked, he didn't lose sight of the goodness of God. Only the Spirit of God can allow Paul to do both. May we all experience the same grace and wisdom of God in our lives, too.

    What are your thoughts, Clough? I would love to hear them.
    classyT's Avatar
    classyT Posts: 1,556, Reputation: 214
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    #9

    Apr 24, 2010, 04:03 PM

    Actually, I believe worry is a sin. It is the sin of unbelief. Whether it is worrying about your family, finances, health... it doesn't matter. The underlying cause of worry is unbelief. AND unfortunately I do it way too much.

    Jesus told us not to worry. He actually said it does absolutely nothing for us. It doesn't make ANY situation better.

    For ME worrying is like a torment. I HATE it. I actually can make myself sick.

    The Apostle Paul says: Phillippians 4:6-7
    Don't worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done
    Then you will experience God's peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus.

    I don't mean to throw scriptures all the time but sometimes we need to get those scriptures out concerning worry and read them and REMIND ourselves of what the LORD has said. And always pray for help!! The Lord remembers we are just dust and he takes pity on us. He loves us so much. :) If only we understood how much.

    I have to encourage myself in Lord and also when I am tempted to worry... I go back in my mind and recount all the things I previously worried about and how HE helped me through and worked it all out. I am always amazed and it renews my trust and faith. It is good to keep a journal even so you don't forget.
    dwashbur's Avatar
    dwashbur Posts: 1,157, Reputation: 174
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    #10

    Apr 24, 2010, 07:23 PM
    Quote Originally Posted by classyT View Post
    Actually, I believe worry is a sin. It is the sin of unbelief. Whether it is worrying about your family, finances, health....it doesn't matter. The underlying cause of worry is unbelief. AND unfortunatley I do it way too much.

    Jesus told us not to worry. He actually said it does absolutely nothing for us. It doesn't make ANY situation better.
    I agree that it doesn't help, and I agree that you do it too much - I mean, I do it too much :D But I don't consider it a sin. It is, however, a waste of time and energy. James has the right idea:

    13 Now listen, you who say, “Today or tomorrow we will go to this or that city, spend a year there, carry on business and make money.” 14 Why, you do not even know what will happen tomorrow. What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes. 15 Instead, you ought to say, “If it is the Lord’s will, we will live and do this or that.” (Jas 4:13)

    Now, if I can just get a handle on doing that consistently...
    classyT's Avatar
    classyT Posts: 1,556, Reputation: 214
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    #11

    Apr 24, 2010, 09:04 PM

    Dave, ( buddy ol pal)
    Worry is because of mistrust or not believing that God will do what he says:
    Take a look at what happened to the 12 that were sent to check out the promised land. 10 came back scareTa death, said they were mere "grasshoppers" compared to the "GIANTS".This unbelief from the 10 caused worry and doubt for the children of Israel. But GOD told had ALREADY TOLD them to go and take it. Kind of funny I don't recall the names of the 10 " worry warts"... but I DO recall the names of the 2 that believed God... Caleb and Joshua. They came back with the mentality of "let's roll". Unfortunately... the majority made a huge impact. Worry, fear and unbelief kept ALL of them in the wilderness for another 40 years.

    AND... unbelief is the ONLY thing the Lord can't work with. You are not believing God when you are wringing your hands with doubt.

    Why do we worry? Seriously,. THINK about it? It is because we really do not completely BELIEVE God at HIS word. IS it forgiveable?. YES!. but it is none the less a sin. God sets before us Life and death and says... CHOOSE life. WORRY is NOT choosing life. It is closing your eyes, PICKING LIFE and hoping and sweating, doubting you picked it right. You don't really believe GOD.

    For without faith it is IMPOSSIBLE to please God. Worry is the exact opposite of faith.

    The LORD JESUS never ever worried. How can the God of the Universe, who IS the Alpha and the Omega worry? IMPOSSIBLE! Why? It is mistrust in GOD. He was however, under a STESS NO human ever has nor will be. ( he sweated great drops of blood.. check it out in the world of medicine) Why?. Because he knew he'd be crucified?. NO WAY!. but because he KNEW he'd be made SIN for us. We will NEVER know what that even means. He wasn't worried... he wasn't fearful... HE was fully man and fully God and he UNDERSTOOD what that meant. We can NEVER comprehend it.

    sorry... got a bit of topic... but heck at least you can't say I'm not passionate about it. Worry and unbelief are COUSINS at best. Check it out: But the fearful, and UBELIEVING, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers, and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire... Revelation 21:8

    Now having quoted that verse I am in NO way implying that someone who worries ( LIKE ME) is going to the lake of fire... BUT I am saying that worry is a type of unbelief. We should take it more SERIOUS.. it isn't OK .It isn't just the normal thing to do. WE ( Christians) have JESUS!! AND the LORD himself told us NOT to. If he says don't do it then it IS a sin. He offers US HIS peace which passes understanding instead. How COOL is THAT?? ( I set before you life and death) choose HIS PEACE it is LIFE. Ever heard of anyone peacing themselves to death? NO. sorry that's the way I see it.

    BTW.. I haven't arrived... I'm still a work in process. But I call a spade a spade.
    Clough's Avatar
    Clough Posts: 26,677, Reputation: 1649
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    #12

    Apr 24, 2010, 09:36 PM
    Hey, Everyone!

    I asked the original question about in the personal sense. Not about wars, groups of people, etc.

    Please don't get into some very involved and complicated exegesis as to what it's about. It really was just a personal question. That was the intent of this thread.

    It was meant for personal reflection, not a debate as to what is the right way or wrong way.

    I don't understand everything there is about it Biblically, but would really just like to keep it simple and from the heart, not so much from the mind.

    Sure, we do need to think about it. But, thinking too much has gotten many a person in trouble with God.

    God doesn't ask us to understand everything, but to have faith!

    Peace Be With You!

    Thanks!
    dwashbur's Avatar
    dwashbur Posts: 1,157, Reputation: 174
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    #13

    Apr 24, 2010, 10:17 PM
    Quote Originally Posted by Clough View Post
    Hey, Everyone!

    I asked the original question about in the personal sense. Not about wars, groups of people, etc.

    Please don't get into some very involved and complicated exegesis as to what it's about. It really was just a personal question. That was the intent of this thread.

    It was meant for personal reflection, not a debate as to what is the right way or wrong way.

    I don't understand everything there is about it Biblically, but would really just like to keep it simple and from the heart, not so much from the mind.

    Sure, we do need to think about it. But, thinking too much has gotten many a person in trouble with God.

    God doesn't ask us to understand everything, but to have faith!

    Peace Be With You!

    Thanks!
    Howdy,
    Classy and I have been going back and forth like this ever since I joined this board, and trust me, it's all in fun. Hopefully we've given you some answers, or at least some places to start looking for answers, in the process.
    Clough's Avatar
    Clough Posts: 26,677, Reputation: 1649
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    #14

    Apr 24, 2010, 10:34 PM
    I'm a simple-minded person...
    arcura's Avatar
    arcura Posts: 3,773, Reputation: 191
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    #15

    Apr 24, 2010, 11:21 PM

    Clough,
    I go along with the prayer of St. Teresa of Avila on that...
    "Never worry, never fear. All things are passing. Only God matters."
    Peace and kindness,
    Fred
    Clough's Avatar
    Clough Posts: 26,677, Reputation: 1649
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    #16

    Apr 24, 2010, 11:28 PM
    That's the best answer yet, arcura! :)

    I can understand it without being confused because of too much information and having to work a lot to figure out exactly what's being said!

    Thanks!
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    arcura Posts: 3,773, Reputation: 191
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    #17

    Apr 24, 2010, 11:36 PM

    Clough,
    I glad that it was helpful.
    God bless you and your efforts,
    Fred
    I Newton's Avatar
    I Newton Posts: 110, Reputation: 8
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    #18

    Apr 25, 2010, 05:45 AM

    The Bible was written to inform us of our future and to keep on the look out for the signs of what is going to happen.

    Should we "worry"? Not "worry" as such. But we do have to keep our mind on it and take note as the future unfolds.

    Knowing the future allows us to build faith in what God tells us as it all unfolds before us.

    If you do not know what signs he has given us you will not know if what he told us is happening.

    If you do not know the signs you just continue on as if it means nothing.

    Those that do not know the signs, do not know what the future holds and will not be part of God's great plan.

    Imagine those that did not know the signs before the great flood !

    If you do not know the signs, you will be washed away.

    Keep your eyes on the future and keep testing that you know what the future holds
    Clough's Avatar
    Clough Posts: 26,677, Reputation: 1649
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    #19

    Apr 25, 2010, 12:10 PM
    Quote Originally Posted by I Newton View Post
    The Bible was written to inform us of our future and to keep on the look out for the signs of what is going to happen.

    Should we "worry"? Not "worry" as such. but we do have to keep our mind on it and take note as the future unfolds.

    Knowing the future allows us to build faith in what God tells us as it all unfolds before us.

    If you do not know what signs he has given us you will not know if what he told us is happening.

    If you do not know the signs you just continue on as if it means nothing.

    Those that do not know the signs, do not know what the future holds and will not be part of God's great plan.

    Imagine those that did not know the signs befoer the great flood !

    If you do not know the signs, you will be washed away.

    Keep your eyes on the future and keep testing that you know what the future holds
    Hi, I Newton!

    Worry (or, not to worry) day by day? That was basically the original question.

    The furture? That's in the hands of God. Sure, we need to be prepared, every moment.

    But, what about the worrying, day by day? What mindset should we have concerning that, if we already walk in the Light and Love of God on a daily basis?

    Thanks!
    Carl17's Avatar
    Carl17 Posts: 66, Reputation: 9
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    #20

    Apr 25, 2010, 12:14 PM

    I believe that worrying is the root of all evil.

    Let me explain.

    Think about worrying. What's the first thing that pops into your head? Stress. Worrying and stress I think are closely related. By worrying about things you stress yourself out, so I believe that you should be as care-free as posibble, and not worry about what will happen. I'm not saying live out every day with no plan, there is a difference between planning, and worrying.

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