None of us actually knows what is going to happen today. If you've studied American history you will remember there are only two certainties about life. Founder Benjamin Franklin reminded his 1789 colleagues of them: we're all going to die and pay taxes. Yes, we know about the reality of death and our appointment with it (see Hebrews 9:27). The taxes thing may be a little more uncertain in contemporary America. Rev. Sharpton has sure found a way around them. Still, we all know that there are few things in human existence that are guaranteed. So, what is the deal with the unpredictable elements that so often hinder us in the journey.
Once again, our understanding of questionable circumstances and the reality of uncertainty and doubt will depend on the lens through which we observe this life. My Christian worldview unfolds the pages of Scripture to discern the whims of human nature, the mysteries of God's creation, and our human response to them. All kidding aside, this belief system acknowledges the reality and presence of God, his immense love for his human creation, the plan of redemption he instituted at creation, and the truth about those who accept or reject them. The efficacy of Scripture removes many of the puzzling question marks that liter our path. What does this worldview teach us about life's uncertainties?
1. Life happens in a broken world.
God's creation is amazing. Who can take even a small glance at the world around us and not be amazed at the habitat he created for us? Still, what happened with Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden introduced sin into this perfect world. it is a broken world as a result. The consequence their eating forbidden fruit is that his world was subjected to futility. The Apostle Paul stated as much to the church at Rome. He wrote, "For the creation was subjected to futility, not willingly, but because of him who subjected it, in hope" (Romans 8: 20, ESV). There is a future hope for this world in Christ. Until that great day, it is a broken world.
2. Humans are broken vessels as well.
Once again, the Apostle Paul wrote to the Romans about the sinful nature of mankind. He wrote, "Therefore, just as sin came into the world through one man, and death through sin, and so death spread to all men because all sinned—" (Romans 5:12, ESV). In Christian doctrine this is referred to as the total depravity of man. Many of life's uncertainties are the outcome of man's sinful nature, our ability to be self-centered and therefore our propensity to sin.
3. There is an adversary who creates doubt in us.
Adam and Eve listened to the serpent and doubted God. Throughout Scripture this serpent is identified as the evil dragon in Revelation, the devil, the adversary that tempts the human species (see Revelation 20:2). Take note of what Simon Peter wrote in his first Epistle---"Be sober-minded; be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour. Resist him, firm in your faith, knowing that the same kinds of suffering are being experienced by your brotherhood throughout the world (1 Peter 5: 8-9, ESV). Resisting the adversary is a spiritual discipline that humans must understand to live the life God has planned. Until we reach that state of maturity, doubt and uncertainty will mark our days.
4. Only in Christ can we know the truth that will set us free.
Jesus said it clearly, "“If you abide in my word, you are truly my disciples, and you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free" (John 8:31-32, ESV). There will always be uncertainty in the human species. We surely don't know everything. But, truth is a way through them when we abide in Christ's words.
5. God's promises will see us through times of uncertainty.
No, God isn't going to take away our uncertainties in this life. But, he promises to guide us and be with us through them. Isaiah wrote, "You keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on you, because he trusts in you" (Isaiah 26:3, ESV). We can have perfect peace even when maneuvering past those many questionable obstacles.
These are uncertain times. They are often troubling and bothersome. Understanding the complexities of this broken world and the causes of our doubtful circumstances will give us his guidance to move forward with confidence. That means having surety about the one we trust.