1. The Reaction of A Christian Can and Should Be
Different Than The Way The World Reacts !
This does not mean that things should not be planned and scheduled. They should ! But, we have to be willing to adjust to things when they come up in our family, in our jobs, and sometimes, even in our church.
WHEN THINGS HAPPEN SUDDENLY, THE LORD COMMANDS HIS PEOPLE TO “BE NOT AFRAID”… “Be not afraid of sudden fear, neither of the desolation of the wicked, when it cometh.” Proverbs 3:25
HOWEVER, HE DOES FOREWARN US THAT JUST WHEN THE WORLD THINKS EVERYTHING IS “COOL”, SUDDEN DESTRUCTION WILL COME UPON THEM. “For when they shall say, Peace and safety; then sudden destruction cometh upon them, as travail upon a woman with child; and they shall not escape. 1 Thes. 5:3
That is something to be afraid of, if you are not in a right relationship with God ! If you are in a right relationship with God – YOU ARE PREPARED – and when trials and calamities come upon you, there is nothing to be afraid of!
So, we know WHY the world becomes terrified over uncertainties. But why do Christians sometimes become terrified, too? They’re not supposed to be afraid – so how does it happen? Some people claim, “I can’t handle unexpected things because I am so disciplined.” Yet, the TRULY disciplined person is able to apply his/her purpose, energies, and talents in situations which are not structured. Being unable to do this, is actually not a sign of being disciplined, but the very opposite !
If you find yourself “coming unglued” when things go haywire – check your discipline level. (And be honest – otherwise it’s not worth it!)
2. LET’S LOOK AT WHAT TYPE OF THINGS BRING ON UNCERTAINTIES AND CAUSE THEM TO BECOME REAL PROBLEMS IN OUR LIVES:
A. Uncertainties come when our plans conflict with the will of the Holy Spirit. Often, we didn’t know this at the outset of the day.
Even Paul had to face uncertainties. And now, behold, I go bound in the spirit unto Jerusalem, not knowing what shall befall me there: save that the Holy Ghost witnesseth in every city, saving that bonds and afflictions abide me. Acts 20: 22-23
Paul knew part but he was uncertain of the rest. Many times he had to go to many areas, not finding the right one immediately. Now when they had gone throughout Phyrgia and the region of Galatia, and were forbidden of the Holy Ghost to preach the Word in Asia…Acts 16:6
Do you get frustrated when it seems you’re driving all over town and not accomplishing anything? *(Did you have a clear purpose for going ? Was it accomplished ?)
Do you sometimes set out with the purpose that you are SO SURE is right and EVERYTHING seems to stand in your way ? *(Do you get frustrated because everything seems to hinder you from your commitment to study the Bible more, spend more time in prayer, and reach more people for the Lord ?)
Imagine what it was like for Paul – walking was his only mode of transportation – and many times he walked after being beaten, whipped and afflicted. YET, he continued on! He had to be disciplined to accomplish his purpose. Serving God – God’s Way – was his main goal and he didn’t give up when many things seemed uncertain.
At times – even his life was uncertain. From day to day he did not know what would happen, nor always where he was going. Death was always right around the corner on several occassions. As it may be for you, as well. But the God Who helped Paul be disciplined is the same God who can help you today !
**Some folks get up tight about uncertainties, and claim that the reason they get upset is that they are so disciplined. What IS discipline, anyway ? Is it having such a structured life and schedule that when anything gets out of your planned order you go ballistic ?? NO. This is discipline: the determination to get to a specific goal, and not permitting ANYTHING –stumblingblocks, changes in scheduling, distractions, or temptations–stand in the way of you getting there. True discipline is able to get around, over, under, or through any uncertainty, and get to the goal God has set before you !
B. Uncertainties can come when we haven’t found out what God’s will really is. This causes laziness & not enough dedication to purpose. It usually happens when we haven’t grown enough in The Word to recognize what God wants.
For example: A new Christian joins a church and sooner or later everyone is asking them, “So, what has God told you to do? What’s your calling?” If that new Christian has not been steadily growing in the Word they probably don’t know. They may become depressed and doubtful if they allow laziness to set in. The only answer is to be disciplined (“Heading toward that Godly purpose which you do not allow anything to hinder”)and regularly seek God through His Word.
C. Uncertainties can come when God doesn’t tell us everything in advance. *God is not under any obligation to tell us everything ahead of time !
People say that it causes confusion not to know. Is that true? Or, is it something that we want to use as an excuse ?
When others know what THEY are supposed to do in advance – however limited that knowledge may be – it bothers some.
The truth is that God tells each person (who is listening to Him) exactly what they need to know each day ! We should not envy others who seem to be so secure in knowing exactly “what God wants” – rather we should focus on hearing from Him exactly how much He wants to tell us – no matter how little or much it is !
Being content with what has been given to you is a big part of discipline !
MANY PEOPLE SAY, “THERE ARE ONLY TWO THINGS CERTAIN IN LIFE, DEATH & TAXES.” GOD SURE GIVES US MORE CERTAINTIES THAN THAT ! BUT MANY PEOPLE JUST DON’T WANT TO ACCEPT THE CERTAINTIES HE OFFERS.
3. WHAT TYPE OF PEOPLE HAVE THE HARDEST TIME DEALING WITH UNCERTAINTIES AS WELL AS UNDERSTANDING THE CERTAINTIES GOD DOES WANT TO GIVE US ?
– Those who are headstrong, always wanting to have their own way.
SOLUTION: He (Christ) must increase, but I must decrease. John 3:30
– Those who can’t see anything but their own agenda.
LIKE THE FELLOW MENTIONED HERE: As touching our brother, Apollos, I greatly desired him to come unto you with the brethren; BUT HIS WILL was not at all to come at this time; but he will come when HE SHALL HAVE MORE CONVENIENT time.
1 Cor. 16:12
– Those who are unmoveable planners.
SOLUTION: Accept whatever God gives you, even if you have to make changes in your day planner. Not that I speak in respect of want; for I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content. Philippians 4:11
4. SO, HOW CAN WE REMOVE THE TERROR OF UNCERTAINIES?
It can only be done through a clear understanding of our God-given purpose, and the power of God.
I therefore so run, not as uncertainly; so fight I, not as one that beateth the air:
1 Cor. 9:26
My soul, wait thou only upon God; for my expectation is from Him. Psalm 62:5
According to my earnest expectation and my hope, that in nothing I shall be ashamed, but that with all boldness, as always, so now also Christ shall be magnified in my body, whether it be by life or death. Philippians 1:20
It may seem hard to believe that Paul could be so calm and content – even when his very life or death was so uncertain. In today’s world it’s so easy to panic over many things – like unexpected bills, messed up schedules, sudden doctor’s visits, but the truth is, we can be just as content as Paul was.