By Topic

Uncertainty

Thursday

March 30, 2017

Neutral Ground

Read

Hebrews 11:1, “Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see”.
Romans 5:3-4, “Not only that, but we also rejoice in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. And hope does not disappoint us, because God has poured out His love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit…”

Think

Have you ever prayed for something repeatedly, yet it never seems to happen? Feeling as if God simply won’t provide the answer leads us to doubt. We think, “Am I praying wrong?” “Am I being punished?” “Maybe I’m not ‘spiritual’ enough!” Then our doubt begins to shift towards God. We start blaming Him when we can’t find the answer to the unfortunate or unfair predicaments in our lives. Not identifying the root cause of our doubt can be detrimental in every way. We dance with disappointment, bind ourselves to bitterness, and parade around in pity. But we have a choice; we can allow doubt to defeat our faith or to defend it. As Christ followers, we’ve all had bouts with doubt, because faith is believing in what we cannot see. So, believe it or not—pun intended—the interesting thing about doubt is that it’s not always a bad thing. In fact, sometimes it works to our advantage.

Many people think that doubt is the opposite of faith, but it’s not! Unbelief is the opposite of faith. Doubt is neutral, positioned directly in the middle of these two polar opposites. As if on icy ground, our skepticism or uncertainty causes us to slide back and forth landing closer to one or the other. For example, C.S. Lewis greatly struggled with over-intellectualizing his faith setting him on a path to atheism. Eventually, though, his quest for truth led him back to God, and he became the most prolific Christian mind of the twentieth century. So let’s doubt our doubts and seek God’s truth. Remember, He is the one and only living God, Who is and was, and is still to come. Therefore, when we walk by faith, trusting in what we cannot see, we will soar to new heights of understanding both here and in the hereafter.

Pray

Father God, thank You for Your grace and compassion. I know that Your promises are faithful and true. Help me to persevere through doubt and to reach new levels of understanding. In Jesus’ name I pray, Amen.

Act

Read the Bible’s “Hall of Faith” in Hebrews chapter 11 as a reminder of God’s faithfulness and how He loves to use ordinary people to accomplish the extraordinary.

 

Monday

March 27, 2017

In the Face of Doubt

Read

Matthew 11:2-3, “When John, who was in prison, heard about the deeds of the Messiah, he sent his disciples to ask Him, ‘Are You the one who is to come, or should we expect someone else?'"

Think

If we have lived any length of time, we have probably experienced some sort of disorientation—a life event that pushes us out of our comfort zone and into the unsettledness of the unknown. It’s a place of doubt, in which we can quickly come to the conclusion that nothing makes sense.

This is the exact place that John the Baptist found himself. He had been certain of his purpose, preparing the way for the Messiah. Then he experienced a life-jolting moment for speaking out against the king. Suddenly, he began to doubt if Jesus—his own cousin—was the Messiah in the face of imprisonment and death. None of us have likely ever been in such a mind-blowing situation. It's hard to even fathom how hurt and confused he must have felt. So, let's keep this in mind the next we are questioning if God is really at work in our lives! 

Pray

Father God, thank You for letting me doubt my doubts, and in the midst of them, let my trust and faith in You grow stronger.

Act

Spend some time meditating on your doubts. Journal questions involving them, and allow God to speak into your heart within moments of rest and reflection.

 

Friday

November 7, 2014

Scenario Sickness

Read

“Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself.” Matthew 6:34

Think

So often, what we fear in life are things that will never even happen. We convince ourselves that the worst of a situation will occur, without any real basis for our fear. It’s what we call “scenario sickness”. But God doesn’t want us to live with scenario sickness.

Whatever you are fearful of, remind yourself that God has your life in His hands. You don’t need to live with a “what if” mindset. Instead, learn to lean fully on God and rely on His strength to enjoy and be thankful for “what is” in your life!

Pray

Thank God for the fact that He is in control. When things seem to be out of control and fear of the unknown starts to creep in, admit to God your need for His guiding hand.

Act

Memorize today’s verse. Use it as a source of strength in times of doubt, worry, and fear of what might be.

 

Friday

October 24, 2014

Pushing the chips to the center

Read

“I know all the things you do, that you are neither hot nor cold. I wish that you were one or the other!  But since you are like lukewarm water, neither hot nor cold, I will spit you out of my mouth!” Revelation 3:15-16

Think

What do milk, coffee, a bath and steak all have in common? They are unpleasant when they are lukewarm. In fact, they are downright gross. Think about it; we want hot coffee, a steaming bath, a steak right off the grill or ice cold milk (preferably with a cookie fresh from the oven).

In the verse above we see that God feels the same way about us and our faith.  God does not “do” tepid – He loathes it.  God wants us to be “all in” for Him – in our relationship, in our finances, in everything  we do.  He doesn’t want us to casually throw chips at Him, He wants us to push our chips to the center of the table and go “all in” for Him.

Are you living an “all in” life or are you lukewarm? Have you pushed your chips to the middle of the table and bet on God or are you casually tossing them in?

Pray

Thank God that you can trust Him will all that you have.  Ask Him to show you areas in which you are lukewarm in your faith and ask for direction on how to go “all in.”

Act

Write down the areas God reveals to you and make a change in those areas today! Stay accountable to someone you trust.

 

Friday

October 10, 2014

Risk The Possibility Of Failing

Read

“Since the spies were in the land for forty days, you must wander in the wilderness for forty years- a year for each day, bearing the burden of your sins. I will teach what it means to reject me. I, Jehovah, have spoken. Every one of you who has conspired against me shall die here in the wilderness.” Numbers 14:34-35

Think

The thought of failing can be scary. This fear can incapacitate us to the point that we are complacent with the lack of risks we take in our lives. If you don’t do anything, you are always assured of one thing – failure. You have to try. Try new things; get out of your rut. God wants us to risk the possibility of failing. How are you taking risks? Are you learning and growing through failure?

God instructed the Israelites ten times regarding the Promise Land, but still they rejected him out of fear of failure. God is patient, but his patience for them ran out. God is patient with us when He offers His gift of salvation, but once again we do not have the luxury of knowing how long that patience will last. Have you accepted God’s challenge to take risks? Or are you still living a life of fear?

Pray

Thank God for His patience. Ask Him to show you areas in your life that you have been fearful and how you can begin living a life of faith!

Act

Do a risk assessment of your life. Write down the areas that God has shown His faithfulness when you have taken risks. Also write down two areas where you need to take a risk and what those risks are.

Tuesday

October 7, 2014

Risk Facing the Unknown

Read

“At the end of forty days they returned from exploring the land. They came back to Moses and Aaron and the whole Israelite community at Kadesh in the Desert of Paran. There they reported to them and to the whole assembly and showed them the fruit of the land.” Numbers 13: 25-26

Think

In the United States alone, over $119 billon dollars are lost each year in the gambling industry. But what does it mean to gamble? It’s taking a risk to achieve a desired result. But there’s no such thing as a risk without a certain level of uncertainty.

To risk facing the unknown is hard. As humans, we think we need the answer to every question and to know and understand everything.  But God is certain in our uncertainty and will lead us in the direction He wants our life to go. For Moses and the Israelite people, the Promise Land was unknown. But Moses had faith to seek out what He knew by faith God had promised His people. Are you hedging your bets on God’s plan for your life? Or is uncertainty keeping you frozen in fear?

Pray

Thank God for His certainty in your life and name the areas specifically that you have recently seen Him prove Himself to be faithful. Ask Him to give you the confidence to follow Him into the unknown areas of your life.

Act

Where do you need to step out into the unknown of your life and take action? Is it starting a new career or asking forgiveness from someone where there has been conflict in the past?