A Certain God in Uncertainty

 Lou Krutz - Lead Pastor

I love the kids song "He has the the whole world in HIS hands." The faith in that statement is profound, he has the worlds Joys and troubles in his hand. Yet as we move further into our current situation is seems everywhere you look there is uncertainty, confusion… but in a way, I think uncertainty is one of God’s favorite environments. He seems to be able to accomplish the most!
Uncertainty can create moments of great FAITH or it can cause moments of FEAR and insecurity. It is not that the situation is that much different, it is the reaction that makes all the difference. I see right now an opportunity for faith to be displayed to a fearful world!

What we have noticed in these moments is that what is important begins to be our priority. What seemed to be important yesterday really doesn’t matter so much anymore. As this change happens our dependence on God and each other takes shape. We see that those are the things that matter. People matter to God, and matter to us!

How many of you found or returned to your faith during a difficult period?

In a season like this we are seeing the Church become innovative and creative, not shying back but pressing in. Most of what we are given in the Scriptures was written in environments of uncertainty by people who faced extraordinary challenges. The Bible is not filled with feel good messages for a world we don’t live in. We find God speaking directly into uncertain times. We see his hand in the midst of uncertainty. He is not absent in uncertainty!

Pick your favorite Bible story/character. Do you as you review the life circumstances they faced see the uncertainty? What was going on? 

The Bible is filled with stories of people facing uncertainty and discovering that not only is God not absent, he is often at work accomplishing his will in this world and in the lives of those he loves. Often it is a way that is mysterious to us. He is working it all together; he is in the background.
We are reminded how very much God is in control and how very much we are not when we look out. The God we find in Scripture seems way too passive at times. It leaves us way too vulnerable and dependent. This is one reason why Judas betrayed Jesus. He moved way too slow. Things appeared uncertain;  so when God didn’t seem to act, he felt someone needed to. We can feel the same way - that God appears to be acting to slow, that he isn’t doing all that he could be doing, so I better take action.

What if your action could disrupt what God was doing…?

As frustrating as some of the answers might be, the options are worse: Worry? Panic? Overreaction? I’ve never known any of those things to be productive. So, what should we do?

Philippians 4:4.
Context is always extremely important.
This is a Letter to Christians in Philippi - the first church in Europe. This letter is written from Rome. Paul had been arrested. He claimed Roman citizenship which forced them to send him to Rome for trial. Nero was the emperor. On the way, his ship is caught in a storm and swept out to sea for two weeks. It wrecks on the island of Malta, where they spend three months. God assures him he will stand before Nero.

He arrives in Rome and lives under house arrest for at least two years, probably longer. There, he drew crowds to hear him teach. He was martyred on the Ossian Road several miles outside of Rome around AD 61-66. While he was there, he wrote the following:

Philippians 4:4-7
4 Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! 5 Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. 6 Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. 7 And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Rejoice in the Lord always.

Rejoice: To be in a state of happiness and well being; be glad. Always!

IN THE LORD: The three words in the middle change everything; it takes the responsibility from you to HIM. We don’t rejoice in our accomplishments or what we can do, but what God does!
When we Reflect on God’s grace and mercy it helps our emotions be brought up to speed! That is why we sing songs. That is why we cheer at baptism. That's why we believe the more we praise God the more we detach from our current surroundings and allow our emotions to be brought into proper alignment!

Verse 5: Let your gentleness be evident to all. [kindness, courteous, forbearing spirit]

Don’t let uncertainty take its toll on your character - the way you treat and respond to others. Isn’t that what happens? Kindness is a fruit of the spirit. Often, our kindness can become a rotten fruit when things don’t go as they should. Paul in essence is saying now people will see what we are made of. It will be EVIDENT. The evidence of who we are shows!

How has the recent uncertainty affected your responses to those around you? Temper? Nerves?

VERSE 6: Do not be anxious about anything . . . [Troubled/distracted by the future/what might happen!] . . . but in every situation . . . [We are to channel all that energy, thought, and time. Here’s what to do as you lay awake in bed at night... by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.

This is bigger than “Help!” This isn’t about informing God. This is about discovering for yourself what you really fear and what you are really after/desire and revealing that to God.
Uncertainty surfaces our deepest insecurities and our hidden values. When you move past, “Help me find a job, help with this or that, help me ….” What is behind all of those legitimate requests: security, my concern for my family, my need to feel important again, my need to be viewed a certain way by my peers, my fear that God doesn’t know or care. It reveals the deeper roots from which the request comes from.

Uncertainty comes to elicit fear. Fear, if explored, can reveal our deepest desires . . . what we really want. When we are able to discover and give to God those deep, otherwise unknown desires, something happens:

Our circumstances don’t change, but we move from our uncertainty to God’s certainty! Circumstances might not change but we do!

Parents: This is an opportunity to teach your children how to respond to uncertainty. Involve them in the process!

And the promise fits this interpretation of what Paul is suggesting.
7 And the peace of God . . . which transcends all understanding . . . [Peace that doesn’t make any sense because nothing has changed. Peace that allows you to remain peaceful.] . . . will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. [Stand guard over your heart, keeping the uncertainty from controlling your emotions and mind.]

Now I would like to do a little reality check. If you have ever experienced the Peace of God in circumstances that should have called for anything but peace, would you acknowledge that by praising God right where you are?

But proclaim what God has done in the past and praise him for what he will do today and tomorrow. Our God is the same yesterday, today, and tomorrow. He is certain when everything appears uncertain!


Janet Lawson - March 30th, 2020 at 9:12pm

Amen! God is faithful and everything will be ok if we trust in Him.

genandkimbo@aol.com - April 19th, 2020 at 10:23am