Uncertainty can be intimidating. Not knowing what’s going to happen is often scary. You feel like you’re free-falling through life. Maybe your uncertainty is financial. “How am I going to pay the bills? What if I lose my job?” Maybe your uncertainty is relational. “What if my spouse leaves me in death or through divorce? Or what if the relationship with one of my children deteriorates?” Human relationships can sometimes be extremely volatile and uncertain. Maybe you have physical uncertainty because of a medical malady. “Will the surgery go well? Will I get my range of motion back? Will I ever be able to function normally again?”
Whether the trouble is financial, relational, or physical, uncertain situations can easily bring about emotional and mental instability. How then should we respond so we face these uncertain times with STRENGTH instead of instability? Allow me to give you three biblical thoughts.
First, remember that uncertainty by definition implies an absence of knowledge. You’re saying, “I don’t know financially; I don’t know relationally; I don’t know physically.” Because so much is unknown, the first thing to do in a situation of uncertainty is firm up what you do know. As best as you can, establish the facts, the “knowns,” of your situation.
In every uncertain situation there are things that you can be certain of. Take time to write those things down. When you firm up what you DO KNOW, this will help you to stop focusing on all the threatening possibilities of what you DON’T KNOW. For example, you might counsel yourself, “I don’t know where I’m going to get the large amount of money I need, but I DO KNOW that I have this smaller amount of money.” Or you might say, “I don’t know if that relationship is going to work out, but I DO KNOW this other person over here has been my faithful friend.” Whatever information you’re certain about, write down what you do know.
As you start reflecting on the things you know about your specific situation, be sure to write down the things that you KNOW about God. Here are some examples. I KNOW that He will never leave me nor forsake me. I KNOW that He is all powerful. I KNOW that He is all-knowing, and thus He knows what I don’t know. I know that I am His child and that He is Jehovah-Jireh, my Provider.
After you firm up what you know, second you should identify your responsibilities in that uncertain situation.
Ask yourself, “What are my responsibilities before God in this situation?” The situation may be uncertain, but you know you’re a husband or maybe a wife. Based on that role you have, what are your biblical responsibilities in this uncertain circumstance? Whether you’re the parent, the spouse, the employee, the employer, or the child, your role carries with it certain responsibilities. The Bible is the guidebook that explains our responsibilities within our specific roles.
At this point where you have written down what you know, and you have determined what you are responsible for. third, you should establish your course of action. Map it out.
You can think through it this way: “I know what I’m responsible to do, but how am I going to do it?” In other words, what is your course of action? Again, make sure the answers to this third set of questions is in writing. If these things are written down, you can identify what you’re going to do first, second, third, and so on, and as you accomplish these things, you can cross them off of your list.
As you start crossing these things off, you’ll be flooded with endorphins and gain a feeling of accomplishment. You will feel less and less uncertain as you cross each additional thing off the list. You will feel more and more in control of your life and your circumstances. Eventually, you can get to a point where the uncertain aspects of your situation will feel much less intimidating. You will have a sense of conquering your circumstance instead of feeling overwhelmed by it like you were previously.
In conclusion, in the midst of an uncertain circumstance, remember to control what you can control; you can control yourself. There will be financial things that are beyond our control. Relational things are sometimes up to others. Sometimes physical things befall us because we live in a fallen world. But remember to control what you can control, your own behavior.
If you’ll do these three Bible-based things, God will grant you the ability to be strong in uncertainty. He’ll enable you to have strength for your life.
The above article was written by James C. Johnson. He is the pastor of NorthStone Baptist Church in Pensacola, FL. To offer him your feedback, comment below or email us at email@example.com.
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