Uncertainty - I shall not be Shaken
As the sun brightens with every new dawn, our view of what the day will bring can dim. We often cannot see what the coming hours hold for us. Sure, we can fill our calendar down to every quarter hour, and our own intuition may sneak glimpses of what lies ahead. But when we strain to look beyond our immediate next few steps, the view never quite comes into focus as clear as we would like. The sun’s rays stop just short of what’s hidden on our path ahead.
Try as we might, we simply cannot predict what tomorrow will bring — let alone the next few moments. Uncertainty is certain. Or at least, so it seems to creatures like us.
You make known to me the path of life; in your presence there is fullness of joy; at your right hand are pleasures forevermore. (Psalm 16:11)
Real confidence is in rare supply. Playing it cool is one thing. It’s easy to straighten your shoulders, arch your back, stick out your chest, and talk tough. But genuine emotional confidence and security of soul is hard to find.
The Bible speaks some brutally honest words for the surety of our uncertainty. When Jesus addresses covetousness and greed in Luke 12:13–21, he directs our attention to the insecurity of our lives. In our Saviour’s parable, the rich man firmly believes he knows what’s best for his future. He fools himself into thinking he has his act together and that he has only clear sailing ahead: “Soul, you have ample goods laid up for many years; relax, eat, drink, be merry” (Luke 12:19). In other words, “I’ve made it. I can do what I want. I’ve got nothing to worry about.”
“But God said to him, ‘Fool! This night your soul is required of you, and the things you have prepared, whose will they be?’” (Luke 12:20). This rich man’s surplus of cash lured him into a deadly complacency. And that self-satisfaction caused him to forget that God never guarantees tomorrow. In the end, his nest egg amounted to nothing because he was “not rich toward God” (Luke 12:21).
Wealth may foot the bill for a mountain of toys and treats, but even the fattest portfolio can never buy more time. Uncertainty is certain, even when you think you have enough to cover life’s contingencies.
God saves us from harm by being both our safest refuge and our trusted counsellor. “In you I take refuge” (Psalm 16:1). There is no safer place to hide than in the arms of the omnipotent God. “I bless the Lord who gives me counsel” (Psalm 16:7). Not only does he protect from without, but he provides wisdom from within through the leading of his Spirit.
God is able to save us from the fears that threaten us, not only by intervening to guard us from harm’s way, but also by guiding us out of trouble. Knowing God as our Saviour — both as refuge and counsellor — inspires confidence that, come what may, we have a resource beyond compare. But he is not only our utterly reliable Saviour. He is also our sovereign Lord.
At first, it may not seem comforting to discover he is in control — when your life is difficult, for instance. But if we know ourselves to be God’s, and God to be ours, then such knowledge is remarkably stabilising. It doesn’t mean that we will not walk through measures of pain or defeat, but it does mean that we are assured a final victory. It doesn’t mean we take every battle, but it does mean that we will most certainly win the war.
“God rules over our lives, not just in the big picture, but in all the little details.”
We may never have the ability to see past our present moment, but we now belong in the kingdom whose Lord designs every second and stands with us at every step. From one perspective, uncertainty may still seem certain. But for all who lay their lives before King Jesus, uncertainty is just an illusion, a vapour that can cloud our vision for a little while, but then vanishes.
And so we can face every twist and turn in life, every foe and every failure, knowing that Jesus’ kingdom is unshakeable. We can find hope in the seeming instability of our lives and know that our Father is well pleased to give us that very kingdom, in all its durability and permanence. We can find joy in whatever tumult this day brings because Jesus Christ is the stability of our times, today and every day.
Faith and Uncertainty - John Habgood
Christian Uncertainties - Monica Furlong
You Are Never Alone - Max Lucado
Overcoming Confusion - Briggs Alice Briggs
Faith (Embracing Life in all its Uncertainty) - Tim Costello
Shelter in God - Dr. David Jeremiah