In high school, I had a project for one of my classes where we had to select stocks on the stock market and invest a set amount of dollars. You’d track their performance over the course of the class and see how you did at the end of the semester. I don’t remember which stocks I selected, but I remember that I found a loophole. I picked the stocks when the assignment was due instead of when the assignment was given. I clicked through some reports and chose the highest performing stocks over the time period. I filled out my investment report and with the small initial investment, my make-believe portfolio had seen tremendous returns. It’s easy to plan for the future if you know the outcome.
It kind of felt like I had the sports almanac from the movie Back to the Future. In the trilogy, one of Marty McFly’s temptations is to use his time traveling for personal gain. Doc Brown chides him, and ultimately the sports almanac is used by the villain, Biff Tannen, for his own nefarious purposes, ruining Marty’s life until he and the Doc time travel backward and forward to save the day. The past affects the future and the future affects the past. If you knew the outcome of every event, it’d sure make it easier to plan.
We may not know everything which will come our way, but there’s one particular event that I believe can give the disciple of Jesus tremendous hope—hope we can share. It’s God’s promise that he will return and make all things new. This promise is found in Revelation 21, where God says all kinds of amazing and beautiful promises, and then flat out states: “Behold, I am making all things new.”
You see, Marty wanted to use his knowledge of the future for his own personal gain. Most people want to use their knowledge of the future for whatever they need, but Jesus’s followers use this prophetic knowledge, the “all things new” knowledge, for the benefit of others. Why would we withhold it? What are we gaining?
The truth about our problem lies within our chapter of love:
“For we know in part and we prophesy in part, but when the perfect comes, the partial will pass away.”
Paul shares how our love is far from complete.
Our love is a work in progress.
Right now, stuck in sin and suffering, we do not know the fullness of the time to come, and all that it means to dwell with God. We keep it to ourselves because we don’t know everything, but we don’t need to know everything. We keep it to ourselves because we don’t even understand it ourselves. But right now, today, we can see the future with eyes of faith and share the hope God gives us. We can look forward with anticipation and hope for that perfect future when the partial passes away.
He is completing our love, just as He’s completing us every day until THAT day.
You are a blessed, wonderful work in progress, and so is your love.
Go, love brave.
I like to sound knowledgeable, and just like Paul and his thorn in the flesh, this problem will bite me in the butt every time. I pass up opportunity after opportunity to love, so that I can sound smart, or with it, whatever that even means. The best response I know when people start talking about things I don’t know about is, “Tell me more.” Matt’s post reminds me to also say, “What does God say about that?” Our culture is obsessed with armageddon, The End, and all kinds of jumbo about the end times, but we can learn about what God says, reflect on what we know and don’t together, and love well in the meantime until that day of completion.