The Good News - Home

The Mirage of Certainty

by David A. DePra

     A mirage is something we think we see, but which really isn't

there. And a mirage can be either positive or negative. Some

people see what they WANT to see. Others see what they FEAR

to see. Either way, the mirage exists only in the mind. It is real only

because I BELIEVE it is real.

     So, in this life we create lots of mirages. False gods, vain

imaginations, and crazy complexes. There are some people,

even some Christians, who live in a world created entirely by their

imagination and intellect. They have little contact with reality.


     One of the biggest mirages in this life is that of CERTAINTY. If

there is one thing we crave it is that: To be certain. If we can just

know that this or that is certain, then we can take security in it. We

can know what the rules are and how to play by them. And we can

achieve the desired result most of the time.

     There are many things in this life which seem to offer a sense of

certainty and security. Chief among them is money. You can deny

it all you want, but if you have lots of money, you DO feel secure and

certain. If you don't have enough money, you probably never feel

certain about much. Money is the key to security without God in this


     There are many other things which can give us a sense of

certainty. Good looks, family, possessions, and health. None of

these things are wrong, in and of themselves. But if they are making

us feel certain about life, and secure in ourselves, then we have put

our faith in them. We are placing our faith in a mirage. Our money

may be real. But the security we think it provides is a mirage. It is

not real -- no matter how much we FEEL like it is real.

     The sobering Truth is, if your security is in money or possessions,

you are serving mammon. But if your insecurity is due to a lack of

money or possessions, you are likewise serving mammon. The

point is, when mammon governs -- not only what I do -- but my

attitude and perspective towards life -- then IT is my master. I am

serving it instead of God.


     This is going to seem like a radical statement. It is going to clash

with every impulse we have toward our living. And it is going to

disturb some of us. Yet it is a principle which is completely true: If I

am certain about anything in this life, I am deceived. I am believing

and trusting in a MIRAGE.

     What? How can this be so? It is so because God says it is so.

And He says it is so because it is the Truth. The most wealthy man

on the planet has NO security in his wealth. It can vanish in a

moment. And at best, he is someday going to leave it all behind.

     People generally do not think about their own mortality. Death is

something that happens to someone else. But do you realize that

the day of your death is something you WILL face? It probably now

seems far off, or perhaps, foggy and unreal. Not something you

expect will happen soon. But the time ahead is going to pass just

as fast as did the time behind. You WILL get to that day. You WILL

die. Eventually, the day of your death is going to be TODAY.

     Now ask: Suppose my faith is in my possessions? What

happens once I am separated from my possessions by death?

Where happens to my so-called faith? Well, it vanishes. It dies.

And I am left with nothing.

     Herein we see a startling Truth: God says that 'faith, hope, and

love, these three abide." (I Cor. 13:13) Everything else passes

away. Therefore, when we die, it will be what there is of faith, hope,

and love IN US that will constitute our life and relationship with God

in the eternal ages.

     But again: What if I don't have any faith, hope, or love? What if

my faith has been in this life, and what if it is this life that I have

loved? Then what happens? Well, we won't possess much

spiritually, because we never allowed God to possess us. We will

have given away all that God freely gives us in Jesus Christ.

     Yet we need not face such a terrible reality. Instead, we can

place our faith in the ONLY certainty: God. Then when we die, the

object of our faith will not be left behind. The thing around which we

have wrapped our faith will not be separated from us by death. To

the contrary, we will go to meet Him! We will enter into an

unimaginably greater union with Him. We will see Him face to face.

     The Bible tells us, over and over again, the futility of placing our

faith in anything or anyone other than God:

Go to now, ye that say, To day or to morrow we will go into such a

city, and continue there a year, and buy and sell, and get gain:

Whereas ye know not what shall be on the morrow. For what is your

life? It is even a vapour, that appeareth for a little time, and then

vanishes away. For that ye ought to say, If the Lord will, we shall

live, and do this, or that. (James 4:13-15)

     See also Matthew 6:19-33 and 7:26-27. Not to mention most of

the Psalms and Proverbs. Throughout is one theme: Certainty in

anything but God is faith in a mirage. No exceptions.

UNcertainty is God's Goal!

     Incredibly, God wants us UNcertain about most everything BUT

Himself. That doesn't mean that we are to live in a state of

paranoia or fear. No. That's because instead of certainty in our

mirage, God wants to bring us into certainty about Himself. And

once we get there, fear disappears. We will have our faith in the

only Person who IS certain.

     Now, how do we suppose God is going to get us to the point

where we place all of our faith in Him? Well, one way is to show us

His great faithfulness. That is the positive side. But God must also

set us free from this life by showing us the fallacy of putting our faith

in it. That is the negative side, for it may result in much disruption

and upheaval. But it is really God showing us the Truth.

     Has God every disturbed your life? I mean, your very security?

Well, there may be any number of reasons why God is doing this,

but it may be that He is setting us free from serving mammon. It may

be that He is showing us that our faith has been in a mirage.

     The Christian life is a walk of faith. That means that we must often

walk in uncertainty about everything except God. And while this can

be quite stressful to our natural minds, it can become a great

blessing and freedom if we will persevere in it and let God have His

way with us.

Certainty in God

     Jesus said, "Where your treasure is, there will your heart be."

Note that: Whatever is a treasure to you will have your heart. Even

if it really ISN'T a treasure. If you THINK it is, it will have your heart.

It is quite possible to give your heart and your faith away to a


     Thankfully, we don't have to sit down and try to figure out what is

a mirage and what is not. Jesus told us that EVERYTHING in which

we might put our faith and certainty -- except GOD -- is going to let us

down. It will, in the long run, prove to be a mirage -- as far as giving

us the certainty we thought it held. Only God is worthy of our trust.

In Him alone can we be certain.

The Good News - Home

Hit Counter