ONE THING IS FOR SURE: Life is UncertainBy Dr. David Belk
Life is uncertain. Excuse my gift for the obvious. It is. One minute things are good. They next minute they’re not. In an instant, the circumstances in your life can change. Your spouse no longer wants to be married. Your kids won’t be coming home. The doctor’s report isn’t good. Your boss calls in you and gives you the bad news. Your financial portfolio has taken a turn for the worse…again.
So you wonder. About yourself. About your circumstances. And even about God. You wonder if things will ever be the same again. And you ask, “What do I do now?
This little book is about dealing with uncertainty in our life. During uncertainty, we struggle to know what to do. In the following pages, we’ll answer the question: what do you do when you don’t know what to do? Every once in a while you won’t know what to do. Sometimes it’s real clear what you need to do. Sometimes it’s not. In fact, let me just give you a little heads-up: most of the time, it will not be clear.
So when life is uncertain we do the only thing we know to do: we ask God. We try to hear his voice. But the problem with talking to God during uncertainty is that it’s very hard to hear from him. Unfortunately, God doesn’t text-message. He doesn’t email. He doesn’t IM (that’s Instant Messaging for you non-computer folks). He doesn’t I-chat. God, a lot of times in our uncertainty, is just silent. And it’s very easy to confuse his silence with his absence.
It’s easy to look at other people’s lives and circumstances, where God seems to be really, really, really active, and then to look into your own and say, "I don’t see Him doing anything." Maybe you asked that special someone for a date and she said, “No.” Then your friend called her and she said, “Yes.” And he didn’t even pray! He just called her, right? Makes you wonder, "God, what’s up with that?"
Maybe at work, things seem to be going good for everyone else, but you. Your co-workers who don’t even believe in God get the raises and the promotions. You ask God about it, there’s silence.
Or maybe someone you love is sick and as a Christian, you have prayed for God to bring healing. As it stands now, nothing has happened. God doesn’t seem interested. And yet, your friend, who doesn’t even believe in God, shares the news that her loved one is doing much better.
Maybe you’re thinking back to times in your life where God seemed so real and so alive. Then you look at your current circumstances and you say, "God, where are you?" You wonder, "God was even really you back then? Because at the time it seemed it was you, and now I don’t feel anything. I don’t see anything. Now I’m beginning to doubt. I’m beginning to second-guess my history with you.”
There’re going to be times in your life, and this is just part of being a Christian, where God’s going to be silent. The strange thing is it’s in times of uncertainty that we feel we need to hear from him the most. But we don’t. And that leaves us wondering, what do I do now?
If it hasn’t happened already, there will come a time in your life when you face uncertainty. Usually, your first response will be to talk to God, and he’ll seem so far away. He’s just silent, and you’re going think he’s absent. He’s not interested in helping you with your uncertainty, so it seems. I’d like to share with you what to do when that happens.
In the next few chapters I am going to give you four key words or four things to do when you face uncertainty. Each one comes from Scripture and if you’ll do these four things, then when life is uncertain, you’ll have the confidence of knowing that God is always active even in your uncertainty.
That’s for sure.
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Dr. David Belk serves as senior pastor of First Baptist Church in Friendswood, Texas.
He received a Master of Divinity with Biblical Languages and a Doctor of Ministry degree from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary. He is the author of Underneath Islam’s Veil (Total Recall Publishing).
He and his wife, Meredith and have three children, Micah, Caleb and Meagan. They have made their home in League City, Texas.