Mark Affleck

3 Steps to WIN the Battle with Uncertainty

December 10, 2016

I want to share what’s on my heart with you today.
Right now, I am facing one of the most intense uncertainties of my entire life as I move 100% into ministry in 2017 and cut ties with the business part of my career. And it’s scary.
All of that got me praying and thinking…a lot. These three things surfaced as my reaction to this daunting challenge:

  1. Blow up all thoughts of perfection
  2. Remember that God is in control
  3. Commit to God’s perspective

So that’s what I have been focusing on today, along with this immutable truth: uncertainty is an ever-present reality for everyone, including Christians. It’s true. Wrestling with the unknown is a natural reaction to the ups and downs of life. Most of us understand that reality. But a problem will come if we adopt the misguided notion that we can control everything. Of course that’s nonsense—we can’t. I tried and it is impossible. In fact, I actually learned this the hard way from a 20-year struggle that had me looking at uncertainty as an unavoidable part of the hand we are dealt in life. It’s simply not true. Look at this from the Psalmist:
“God is our refuge and strength, always ready to help in times of trouble. So we will not fear when earthquakes come and the mountains crumble into the sea.”  Psalm 41:1
OK…Let’s get back to the three things I’m doing in the face of my current test with uncertainty.
As a corporate CEO, I allowed career uncertainties to spill into my personal life and allowed a ticking time bomb to pervade my world. My futile quest to make everything “perfect” had landed me in a slipstream of angst. While chasing money, prestige, power, and possessions, I had taken a front-row seat to an inexorable parade of negative consequences from worrying about my “uncertain future.” I was playing boss and had forgotten about God.
Everything changed when God taught me that life is not sugar-coated nirvana and I needed to trust him with my future. Let me add this quickly. I am not saying that our surrender to Jesus will keep uncertainty from creeping into our mind’s viewfinder. A life without uncertainty is simply not believable. The truth is that we will worry and we will get hit with incoming missiles that threaten to start a full-fledged war over life’s uncertainties.
Yep. Life is a giant test. This is not heaven and it is one tough job to beat back uncertainty. But allowing the unknown to consume us is tantamount to declaring that God will leave us stranded. If we allow that to happen, it minimizes what God can do in our lives and diminishes our faith. It makes sense, right? If we are worried about every single part of life and what might happen down the road, there is no way we can live with the expectant faith God wants us to have in each moment, every day, always.
In the midst of uncertainty, we must remember that God is in control…and that he:

  • Loves us and cares for our needs.
  • Gives us comfort that tames our anxiety.
  • Helps us relax with inner calm and tranquility.

“When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and through the rivers, they shall not overwhelm you; when you walk through fire you shall not be burned, and the flame shall not consume you.”  Isaiah 43:2
Since we are in the dark about what’s coming around the next corner and only God knows the future, it is imperative that we go with  God’s roadmap. We need to anchor ourself to God and stop trying to control our future. We need to ask him to shape each day’s circumstances into a tapestry that glorifies him.
“So be strong and courageous! Do not be afraid and do not panic before them. For the Lord your God will personally go ahead of you. He will neither fail you nor abandon you.”  Deuteronomy 31:6
Though we will encounter trouble and even tragedy as we travel down life’s road, we can move on with a new perspective that is driven by a belief in Christ’s power to do anything.
“Jesus looked at them and said, with man this is impossible, but not with God; all things are possible with God.”  Mark 10:27
Our prayer should be that the people we encounter and touch see us turn away uncertainty when it knocks on our door. That they find encouragement to confront their own battle with the unknown. That they are inspired by seeing Christ in and through us.
May it be so, in Jesus’ name.

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