When life is uncertain, our faith can often become thwarted by our lack of certainty in our circumstances. When we find security in our possessions and future, it can allow our faith to weaken and cause a lack of trust in God. Maybe you’re a planner, like me, and like to have your life all organized and planned out. You want certainty and security. Uncertainty of an unknown future causes you to become anxious and fearful of it’s unpredictability.
I have to admit that the times that I’ve seen my faith strengthen is when my life felt out of control and unpredictable. My life’s most uncertain moments were opportunities for me to rely on God for a faith that could only be refined through waiting, endurance and an unknown future.
While we may look to worldly possessions, relationships and pleasures for sustainability, in reality, none of us ever fully know what tomorrow holds. We may have everything we desire in life, but one day it could suddenly be taken from us. We could have reached the top and have great success in that perfect job position, but we quickly find that the things of this world are never secure. We may have planned our future out to the tiniest detail, but something can change in an instant, causing our plans to be shattered.
No matter how secure your future feels, life is always unpredictable. You could lose that job. You could lose that loved one. Friends could move away. Things could go wrong that were unplanned or unforeseen.
It can be extremely trying to find peace and live with a trust in God that no matter what the future holds, God will work things out. We may see God working in other’s lives and know He has provided for them, but we doubt that He will work this time for us.
The LORD himself goes before you and will be with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged.
Fear is crippling, especially when it involves uncertainty. When we don’t know what our future holds, it can strangle our trust. Fear can flood in fast, filling our minds with doubts of what could go wrong or how things have turned for the worst in the past. It’s only natural to relive those haunting memories from the past and become fearful that those same results will be definitive of our future.
When I’m in a dark place and in need of a rescue, I can allow my faith to weaken and deceive me into thinking that my life is too far gone from where I wished I would be. My expectations for my life have been shattered, leaving my faith in God tainted and me unwilling to think He can restore me and my future. I have to remember that my past doesn’t determine my future, but instead God is using my past to deepen my faith in Him, preparing me for what lies ahead.
A Bible character that comes to mind as a great example of having an unknown future is Joseph. After Joseph’s brothers threw him in a hole and sold him to be taken far away as a slave, I can imagine he felt incredible fear for his future. How could his comfortable life lead to something so drastically terrible? Even after he attained great success and a lofty status, his life quickly became shattered once again with the deception of Potiphar’s wife accusing him of immorality when he remained faithful to God.
I can imagine Joseph questioning what God was doing and becoming discouraged with where his life ended up. He had achieved the success he thought he deserved, only to be placed in prison again, falsely accused and his reputation destroyed. Joseph never stopped serving and remaining obedient to God. We never hear of him ever questioning God’s goodness or His plan. He trusted God with his future, no matter how hopeless it looked.
While Joseph was in prison God still used him to be a light and encouragement to the others who were also imprisoned. God helped Joseph interpret dreams, one including the cup bearer who was imprisoned and later was released. When pharaoh started having dreams, the cup bearer was reminded of Joseph and requested he help pharaoh interpret his dreams. Pharaoh was so impressed that he made Joseph second in command to rule over all of Egypt.
If Joseph hadn’t been sold into slavery, placed in prison and if he had been unwilling to serve God, he would have never been used by God to interpret the cup bearer’s dream. Instead, God used Joseph’s darkest moments to prepare him, allowing him to share God with more people than he ever could have if things occurred how Joseph planned. This new position later enabled Joseph to meet his brothers and offer forgiveness to them, allowing their relationship with him to be restored and God’s love to be displayed miraculously. What an amazing example of God’s provision and perfect plan!
For I am the LORD your God who takes hold of your right hand and says to you, Do not fear; I will help you.
We can see from Joseph’s life that when our life feels uncertain and our future looks hopeless, we can have hope that God is using every circumstance. No matter how impossible we think our situation appears, God is working and is doing something amazing, we may just not see it yet.
We may fear what is coming, but we can remember that just as God provided and led Joseph, He too will lead you every step of the way. We don’t have to fear because God’s got it. He has every moment planned out. Where you are is intentional. What you’re going through has purpose. It may not be easy, but the path that He leads us on is always shaping us into instruments for Him that is worth far more than an easy life.