When trials or uncertainties come our way, we often encourage each other with phrases like “take heart” or “have faith”. So what does it mean to truly live out these words in an everyday, practical sense?
It’s QUITE an understatement to say that my life has taken a very different path than what I had originally planned out in my early 20’s. My husband, Justin, and I both graduated from college with engineering degrees, and we worked for several years in the petrochemical industry. We enjoyed our jobs and life as a dual career couple. Not long after our second son was born, Justin’s supervisor began conversations about his next job assignment which was a position that he had been wanting for years. Initially, Justin was so excited – he would talk about when his move would happen and how much he looked forward to that long-awaited opportunity to thrive in a position that was a perfect match for his interest and skills. After about a month, however, his reaction completely changed.
One day he told me, “Whenever they talk with me about this move, I just don’t feel anything anymore. It’s like all my interest is gone.” This complete about-face was one of several indications that God was working on both of us, individually and as a couple, to prepare us for a major change that would soon happen. Before Justin shared that with me, I had already started to have a strong feeling that something big was about to change, although I wasn’t sure what. It was like being handed pieces of a puzzle, one by one, without having a clue what the final picture would be. The future I had planned out just didn’t seem like a fit for us anymore.
The “major change” that God had in store for us became evident 4 months later: Justin left his career as an engineer and went into full-time ministry. When I look back on that timeframe in our lives, there were several months of knowing a big change was coming but not fully understanding what it was. Fortunately, I can say that it was NOT a season of life that was characterized by fear or worry. Yes, it was a time of uncertainty, but it was also a time of FAITH as we trusted God with His plan for our lives vs. our own.
My study Bible’s footnote on James 1:6 defines faith as a settled trust and confidence in God based on His character and promises as revealed in Scripture. You may be in a season of uncertainty in your life, but you can cling to the fact that God’s character and promises never change. I love the adjective “settled” to describe our trust in the Lord because it means it is a decision that has already been resolved. In other words, I have resolved to put my trust in the Lord based on who HE is, not my circumstances.
So what are God’s promises? I will be better equipped to settle my trust in the Lord if I have an accurate view of who He is. The Bible is saturated with descriptions of God and His Son, and there are so many promises that will encourage you when the puzzle pieces of your life aren’t fitting together the way you planned. In the midst of chaos, lean on the one who is constant, for “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.” (Heb 13:8). Spend time in His Word, “having the eyes of your heart enlightened, that you may know what is the hope to which he has called you, [and] what are the riches of his glorious inheritance in the saints” (Ephesians 1:18). So take heart - your circumstances are in the hands of a loving, almighty, and trustworthy Father.
1. As you study your Bible today, look up some of the promises of God as encouragement. Refer to Jeremiah 29:11-13 and Psalm 23.
2. Are you in the middle of a season of uncertainty in your life? How can you speak biblical truth into your circumstances so that fear doesn’t take control of you?