We live in the most uncertain days, and if left to ourselves, we can become very afraid. Not only do we have to deal with our own uncertainties in ourpersonal and professional lives, but add to that the moral chaos, increasing violence, global economic instability, and the daily threat of terroristattacks.
In my own life, I remember a number of years ago experiencing one of the most powerful uncertainties. After my wife had some routine medical tests done,her doctor saw something suspicious in the results. Suddenly, I was very afraid.
What exactly was I afraid of?
I was afraid of the unknown. We waited four days to get the second round of test results back. And during that time I remember thinking, what if it is something serious like a cancer that grows quickly?
I was also afraid that I would fail, or God would fail me. I thought, what if I didn’t make it through this difficult time?
And I was afraid of abandonment. I loved my wife and couldn’t imagine being without her! What would life be like for our four kids and me?
That weekend, I fasted and prayed and sought God. And then I heard God asking me to take the truth that I knew about Him in my head and bring itinto myheart.
Even though I had a personal relationship with Christ and a lot of Biblical knowledge, I didn’t have any peace during one of the most uncertain times in mylife.
God addressed my three fears with three truths: “Chip, regardless of those test results: #1, you don’t have to be afraid of the unknown because yourcertainty is in spending eternity with Me, #2, you will not and cannot fail because I’ll give you what you need to persevere, and #3, you’ll never beabandoned whether or not you have Teresa because I will never leave you or forsake you.”
Whatever uncertainties we have, deep down what we’re really afraid of is the unknown, failure, or being abandoned.
Yet it’s God’s desire that – despite extreme uncertainties – we would live a life that’s characterized by His peace and power.
So where do we get the strength and courage to live this different kind of life?
Even Jesus’ disciples faced similar fears. To help them experience peace in the midst of uncertain times, Jesus taught them three principles:
1. Believe in God’s promises for your future to face your fear of the unknown. Jesus’ disciples were afraid ofwhat would happen to them after He left. But Jesus reminded them that their future in eternity was already secure. It was a done deal!
“Do not let your hearts be troubled. You believe in God; believe also in me. My Father’s house has many rooms; if that were not so, would I havetold you that I am going there to prepare a place for you?” (John 14:1-3)
If we believe Jesus died for our sins, then we have the same hope of a certain future with him.
Appropriate God’s power for victory to overcome your fear of failure.
The average Christian wants to overcome their habits and fears or just make it through difficult times victoriously. But most of us struggle inthis area because we are trying in our own strength.
“I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.”(John 16:33)
The truth is only God can give us the strength and the peace to get through our most difficult and uncertain circumstances. As we meditate on His writtenWord, the Holy Spirit makes it the living Word of God and gives us the power to think and act and respond.
2. Recognize God’s presence in order to overcome the fear of abandonment. Jesus told his disciples that it wouldactually be better when He left because they would actually have more of God’s presence!
“…When he, the Spirit of truth, comes, he will guide you into all the truth.” (John 16:13)
God has said, “Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you.” (Hebrews 13:5)
When the Spirit God comes into our life, we’re never alone. We have direct access to God no matter where we are.
We can be encouraged that as Jesus assured and strengthen His disciples, He will do the same for us – no matter what uncertainty we’re facing.
For additional information and free resources on this topic, visit our Small Group resources, and listen to our Weekday Radio Archive.
Founder & Teaching Pastor, Living on the Edge
Chip Ingram is the CEO and teaching pastor of Living on the Edge, an international teaching and discipleship ministry. A pastor for over thirty years, Chip has a unique ability to communicate truth and challenge people to live out their faith. He is the author of many books, including The Real God, Culture Shock and The Real Heaven. Chip and his wife, Theresa, have four grown children and twelve grandchildren and live in California.More Articles by Chip