What's Next? Facing Uncertainty with Courage
Uncertainty is a reality we have all faced in our life. My wife Carla and I have been blessed to serve as Interim Pastor at a wonderful church over the last 14 months. We love the people and have enjoyed our time with our new friends. However, we only have a few weeks left with this opportunity the Lord has given us.
I have been asked this question quite a bit lately, “What’s next for y’all?” I usually respond by saying, “good question because we are not sure other than our continual work with Still Waters Renewal.” Our ministry at SWR is enough keep us busy throughout the year. However, we do have hope for other opportunities when it comes to preaching and pastoring. We have experienced the best of two wonderful ministries over the last year.
It is difficult and challenging to be in a place of uncertainty. We see numerous examples from the Old and New Testament of God’s people in a place of uncertainty. The apostle Paul endured many days and months in prison as a result of his suffering for the sake of the gospel. Paul understood what it meant to ask, "what’s next?" It was out of those times of uncertainty when God revealed Himself to Paul so that he wrote these words from a Roman prison cell to the church in Philippi:
12Now I want you to know, brothers and sisters, that what has happened to me has actually served to advance the gospel. 13As a result, it has become clear throughout the whole palace guard and to everyone else that I am in chains for Christ. 14And because of my chains, most of the brothers and sisters have become confident in the Lord and dare all the more to proclaim the gospel without fear. Phil. 1:12-14
Paul did more than ask, "what’s next?" For Paul, it was more about, "what’s now?" He could identify some of the ways God was working in his life in that most difficult of circumstances. Years ago, I remember hearing this statement, “Bloom where you are planted.” You may not like where you are at the moment, but you can see God at work in and through you. I have discovered that God often reveals himself in the most amazing ways in the midst of our times of uncertainty.
What’s next? I don’t know other than we have a great group lined up for our next Still Waters Retreat in Ruidoso, New Mexico. We can trust God in our times of asking what’s next? God knows and sees us! God is at work even when we don’t know what He is doing. Look up and look around to see how God is at work right now.
One of the best ways we can respond in our time of uncertainty is to express continual thanks to God. When we focus our attention on our blessings and express our thanks to the One who has blessed us, it changes our outlook and attitude. I love the way Paul began this letter to Philippians-
I thank my God every time I remember you. In all my prayers for all of you, I always pray with joy because of your partnership in the gospel from the first day until now, being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus. Phil. 1:3-6
One of my favorite Christian groups is Shane & Shane. They have a new song entitled- You’ve Already Won. Here’s the chorus:
I'm fighting a battle That you've already won No matter what comes my way I will overcome I don't know what your doing But I know what you've done I'm fighting a battle that You've already won
What’s next? We do not know. The better question is, "what now?" We can thank in all of our circumstances that we’ve already won because Christ has overcome and we belong to Him.