To say that we are living in uncertain times would be an understatement. The COVID-19 pandemic, the continued turmoil in the Middle East as well as the protests and unrest in our own country cause many to wonder if the end of the world is at hand. But if you pause and give some reflection to history you will find there has always been uncertain times. It was just over a decade ago that the housing bubble burst and an economic pandemic hit our land. A decade prior to that it was Ebola and the decade prior to that was the SARS virus. Go back almost a century and there was the Great Depression. The point being that we have always lived in uncertain times – every generation has faced them and will continue to do so.
I was listening to a radio broadcast where the host was making the point about uncertain times that God was in control and allowing all those circumstances to take place. He went on to say that it was our job to try and figure out why those things were happening. Now I’m not one to call into radio stations or parse words or statements, but his conclusion to figuring out what God was doing in a certain circumstance caught me a bit off-guard. I couldn’t help but think of individuals that have gone through tragedies and asked the inevitable question, “Why did God allow this to happen?”
As I read the bible and study scripture I have come to understand that more often than not God isn’t expecting us to figure out why something is happening, but rather to trust him in the midst of the uncertainty we are going through. Scripture is full of examples of men and women facing uncertainties and instead of trying to “figure it out” simply trusted God for the outcome. Joseph went through years of uncertainty in Egypt, but trusted God and eventually understood why God had allowed the tragedies in his life. Ruth went through heartache in the loss of a husband, but trusted in the God of Naomi and never realized she would be the great grandmother of David, the king of Israel, and part of the lineage of Jesus. In the New Testament you find the same outline of believers in uncertain times trusting God for the outcome instead of trying to figure out the reason for the circumstance. Paul in particular is a case study. His entire life as a believer was bound in uncertain times and yet his one focus was taking advantage of whatever circumstance or uncertainty to share the gospel with a lost world. Could it be that the uncertain times we are living in is God’s way of increasing our faith and trust in him and sharing the greatest news the world will ever know – the gospel of Jesus Christ!
God revealed through Isaiah, “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways”, declares the Lord. “As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.”