Devotionals

How to Deal with Times of Uncertainty

5 Mins read

All of us have faced times of uncertainty. When the doctor comes into the office and says he wants to do more tests, we don’t really know what’s happening next. When the boss walks in and says that she’s cutting back on hours to save the budget, you’re left wondering how you’re going to pay your bills. Our response to uncertainty speaks to our faith and can often impact the results of our uncertain situation.

Dealing with uncertainty is one of the most complicated aspects of life. As humans, we have a natural inclination to what to control as much as we can possibly control. Even if we don’t have control of a given situation, we like to at least have some knowledge about what is going on and what’s going to happen next. Unfortunately, that’s not always possible. Not only do we all face situations that are far beyond our own control, but we also deal with things in our every day lives that leave us wondering what’s going to happen next. We rarely get to see the end of the story while we’re still living out the middle chapters.

Humans are innately born with a “fight or flight” mentality. When faced with something that scares us, we generally make a decision about standing up to the opposition in front of us or running away from it. Uncertainty is no different. When we don’t know what’s coming next, we generally decide between combating anything that frightens us, or we run in fear.

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What if we didn’t treat uncertainty like one of the worst things in the world? What if, instead of running from uncertainty, we found rest in the midst of it? What if, instead of combating uncertainty, we simply stood still and allowed the truths that we know of God’s Word to comfort us in the middle of it.

When dealing with uncertainty and the fear, frustration, and anger that it can cause is certainty. That may sound elementary, perhaps it’s even a bit too simplistic for you. However, when you find certainty in the midst of uncertainty, you can experience the kind of peace that God wants for His people. If you’re facing uncertainty, keep reading. The answer may be closer than you think.

Be Certain that God is With You
Isaiah 41:10 (ESV)

Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.

Psalm 56:3 (ESV)
When I am afraid, I put my trust in you.

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One of the most painful parts of uncertainty is the feeling that you’re completely alone. Isolation is never easy, and when you find yourself scrambling for some kind of truth, some kind of stability, it’s easy to fall into the trap of feeling like no one else understands what’s going on with you.

It seems like negativity is everywhere that we look. You turn on the news, watch TV, listen to the radio, or scroll through social media, and it feels like you’re being flooded by negativity. With so many questions about what’s going to happen next, it’s easy to assume that you’re on your own little island.

According to Scripture, even when you feel completely alone, you’re not. If friends have walked away from you and family has forsaken you, understand that God is still with you in the middle of the uncertainty. God told the prophet Isaiah that he could evade fear because God was with Him and He would be his source of strength. He would help Isaiah, and He would uphold him.

Uncertainty can make it feel like the rug is being pulled out from under you, but that’s not the case. If you feel like you’re slipping on the uneven grounds of uncertainty, allow God to hold you up just like He said He would do for Isaiah.

Be Certain That You Don’t Have to Feed Into It
John 14:27 (ESV)

Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid.

Psalm 94:19 (ESV)
When the cares of my heart are many, your consolations cheer my soul.

There are some cases where there is nothing you can do about the uncertainty surrounding you. In the examples we discussed earlier, there’s very little you can do to control the unknown. You can’t find any answers when the doctor’s report comes back questionable. There isn’t a lot you can do if you find out that your employer is downsizing the company and your position isn’t going to exist in 30 days. However, there are other cases where we can determine how much uncertainty we allow into our lives.

In the age of technology that we currently live in, we are inundated with news on every hand. Decades ago, our parents and grandparents had to wait to read the newspaper, or perhaps watch the evening news. Now, we live in a society where we are more informed than ever. While it’s been said that knowledge is power, it’s easy to argue that this increase in the amount of information we have is robbing us of our peace.

Being certain about the amount of unknowns that you let into your life isn’t about burying your head in the sand and acting like nothing is wrong. However, it is up to you to decide how much time you spend dwelling on the negativity that goes on around you. Do you spend all of your free time on social media, reading the latest in a long stream of negative news?

Again, there are some things that you can’t do anything about. On that level, uncertainty is unavoidable. However, you can be certain of the fact that you don’t have to spend all of your free time allowing yourself to be flooded with negativity.

You Can Be Certain of What’s Happening in the Present
Psalm 46:1 (ESV)
God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.

Matthew 6:34 (ESV)
“Therefore do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.”

Finally, you can be certain of what’s happening now. According to David, a man who faced plenty of uncertainty in his own life, God is a very present help. Focus on the word “present” in that statement. That means God is the help that you need in the present. If you don’t think that statement does anything about tomorrow, think again. It means that God will be just as present in your uncertain tomorrow as He is in your today.

Similarly, Jesus said that we shouldn’t live our lives in constant fear of the future. If we do, we run the risk of missing out on all of the joys of the present. Wouldn’t it be tragic to miss out on God’s present blessings because you’re worried about tomorrow’s problems? Christ made it clear, tomorrow will present its own set of worries. Tomorrow will come with its own set of problems. However, we are not called to live in fear of tomorrow. Instead, we can live in faith today.

The only certainty that we have is the present. None of us are promised another tomorrow, which means it’s even more tragic when you live your entire life in the fear of something that you may never see. Don’t run from uncertainty. In the same vein, you don’t have to lash out in anger and frustration about it. Instead, trust God in the present.

A Closing Prayer:
Father, You know how much I hate uncertainty. However, I know that You have a plan for my future and that You are actively engaged in my present. Help me to focus on the things that I know today and the fact that You are with me. Remind me to not fear what is unknown to me, because it’s all already known to You. In Christ’s name I ask these favors, Amen.

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