Let me begin by mentioning that I am not yet unbothered by the uncertainties of life. I do not have this all figured out, but in efforts to achieve peace, I’ve decided share about my journey.
I’m unsure what God is doing in my life. There are things I thought He showed me about my future that I’ve begun to question. Lately I’ve been experiencing doubt, fear, discouragement, confusion, and lots of “what if’s”. I went from being confident about what’s next, to wondering if I heard God wrong. I’m desperately trying to find the balance between keeping the faith while also taking heed to wisdom. Attempting to trust God, but afraid of getting His will wrong all at the same time. How long do I wait before waiting becomes mere foolishness? How long do I hold on to a dream that He may not have ever even given me? How do I move forward without knowing which way to go? Does letting go mean I don’t trust God enough, and instead have allowed doubt to consume me? Would holding tight indicate that I’m actually afraid to let go? Is God testing my faith to see if I can endure? Or is it simply not the right time so He wants me to sit still and focus on Him while He works it all out?
So many questions. So many possibilities. Each of our situations are different, so the answers will vary. But one thing that has been made clear to me is that I’m expending my energy in the wrong direction. While I can and have been seeking God’s answers and wisdom for these questions, I believe He’s giving me a new understanding of what it means to focus on Him. Rather than directly answering my questions, I feel that He wants me to shift my attention away from my circumstances and onto Him instead. He’s teaching me to really dwell in His presence. Giving me a new perspective of seeking Him first. Have you ever heard someone say “hold on to the ‘promises of God'”? One thing that has been helping me through this moment of confusion is identifying the unwavering promises of God that can be found all throughout scripture. Here are just a few (and there are so many more):
“For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.” – John 3:16
“It is the Lord who goes before you. He will be with you; he will not leave you or forsake you. Do not fear or be dismayed.” – Deuteronomy 31:8
“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Then you will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.” Jeremiah 29:11-13
“If you declare with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.” Romans 10:9
“In all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” Romans 8:37-39
“But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” Romans 5:8
“And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose.” Romans 8:28
“Therefore if the Son makes you free, you shall be free indeed.” John 8:36
These promises never change. Even when we look at some of the promises that He made to individuals in the Bible – same God back then, same God right now. Because I’m in a place of discerning if I heard God correctly or not, it is comforting to know what He has already promised to us as His sons and daughters. His word is true! Also, He absolutely does make personal covenants with His people, but as a growing Christian, becoming more confident in recognizing how He speaks to me, I’ll be the first to admit that I don’t always trust myself. I’m still learning to know when He’s speaking vs. when it’s my own thought. I always pray “God you know the desires of my heart, but ultimately, I want what You want for me”. My knowledge only goes so far. My understanding is limited. I could have heard Him correctly, but it might look different than I expected. His word tells us to trust Him will all of our hearts and lean not on our own understanding. Our hearts are deceitful. We are often distracted by emotions, fleshly desires, the ways of the world, the opinions of others, and our own cluttered thoughts. We are tasked with filtering through all of that and more, so there is nothing wiser for us to do than seek His word for His truths, His wisdom, and His guidance.
Meditating on His promises and downloading them into my heart has not only begun to calm my anxious thoughts, but it is also strengthening my relationship with Him. Making note of His promises helps to deepen my knowledge of who He really is. I’m getting a better idea of His character, His love for us, the way He thinks about us and more. Further, as I’m growing in my knowledge of Him, the more I desire to run to Him with everything. I recently wrote a post about how He cares for us, and the more I understand that and find it to be true, the more grateful I become. He is not a far off God; He is right here with us. This is why worship has been so powerful for me during these moments of uncertainty. Our worrisome thoughts may get loud sometimes, but allow your worship to be louder. Write about who God is. Sing to Him. Dance for Him. Shout to Him. And if you can’t do any of those, let your worship music minister to you and speak what your mouth can’t in that moment.
Rather than ruminating on all of the “what if’s”, I’ve decided to let gratitude flow from my lips whenever I begin to worry. “Thank you God for going before me and working everything out as you see fit. Thank you for the fact that even if it isn’t what I wanted, it’ll be far greater than I could have imagined. Thank you for the fact that there is a purpose in your plans. Thank you for the lessons that this season is teaching me. Thank you for the healing and freedom that are in the works. Thank you for all that you’re doing, the seen and the unseen. THANK YOU!” This shifts my focus from being “me centered” to God-centered. This out pour of thanksgiving forces me to recognize that He is in control of my life. It reminds me that He is bigger than my circumstances. He again becomes the basis of my hope rather than putting my faith in people, places, material possessions or opportunities! Ultimately I want to live a life that glorifies Him. I want to be in His will. I want what He wants for me. So rather than remaining overwhelmed by the unknown, I’m choosing to remember who He is and the greater purpose of this life.
When I truly fall to my knees and surrender my agenda for His perfect plan, that uncertainty becomes a little less relevant. We have to be willing to say “Lord, use me as you see fit.” We have to be brave enough to say “Father, have your way, whatever that may be”. See, a part of the reason I’m struggling with fear and doubt is because there is already a plan that I’d like to see come to pass, and I’m unsure if it ever will. I’m unsure if it’s even supposed to. I could push for it and potentially end up off the path that God laid out for me, but that’s not what I want. The circumstances that God has prepared for me will far surpass the life I envisioned for myself. The journey may not be smooth sailing or easy, but it will be worth it. The sooner I come to terms with that, the sooner I’ll be free from worry, doubt, fear, and confusion. & the more I trust God in this way and allow Him to work without my interference, the more confidence I will have in enduring processes going forward.
One example that has continuously been coming to my mind is the journey of the Israelites. The story is long, but one moment I want to point out is after Moses led them out of Egypt, and God decided to take them the long way around the wilderness to the Promised Land rather than the shorter route where they may have been faced with war. First, God had a purpose for this detour. He did not want them to have to face war and then run back to Egypt. The Israelites were not aware of this purpose, but just because they were unaware, it didn’t mean that God didn’t know what He was doing. This is a great example of trusting God even when we don’t understand. Further, God showed Himself faithful to Moses and the Israelites multiple times before and after this – from the plagues that came upon Egypt, to Him guiding them through the wilderness as pillars of cloud and fire, to the parting of the Red Sea, and eventually leading them into the Promised Land. They still had great fear and doubt all throughout this journey, but God had a plan from the beginning, and He kept His word.
Food for thought: Moses never entered the Promised Land. He led the Israelites there but was not able to enter it himself. Do you all think Moses would have still said “Yes” to God had he known all that was to come in his life?
Moses may not have entered the Promised Land himself, but there was still great purpose on his life. He led the children of Israel out of Egypt, through the wilderness, and to the Promised Land. It was Moses who brought forth the Ten Commandments that God had spoken to Him. Moses was talked about all throughout the Old & New Testaments as well as being one of the most popular Biblical people that we talk about today. I say all this to say that we may be uncertain about futures, but God knows what He is doing. I also say all of this to say that often times, God has a greater purpose behind His plans than what we could have imagined. Sometimes His plans for our lives are bigger than us. He could relocate us so that we can influence a different community from the place we thought we wanted to be. He could connect you with a person you never expected because He knows that union will blossom into a ministry that advances His kingdom. He could delay the fulfillment of His promise to you because He needs to develop you first so that you can handle all that comes with the promise. He could allow you to go through a challenging season so that He can increase your endurance and teach you to trust Him in deeper ways.
It tends to be difficult to make sense of the process while we’re in it, but being consumed by the unknown won’t get us any closer to what we’re waiting on. We have to find a way to be unshaken by the storms around us. When we keep our eyes fixated on Jesus and His truth, we can have faith enough to “get out of the boat”. And when we remember who God is, we can sleep through raging waters and know that no matter what, He has our backs. I pray that this reassures you as you continue to push through.
So what are you doing to be unbothered by the uncertainties of your future? Let me know in the comments 🙂