Dealing with Uncertainty

Read and reflect on Romans 8:26–39.

The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases; his mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness. –Lamentations 3:22–23 ESV

I keep in touch with a number of high school classmates on Facebook. One of them recently posted his thoughts on the uncertainty of the times:

“You can’t leave the house for any reason, but if you have to, you can.”

“Stores are closed, except those that are open.”

“Gloves won’t help, but they can still help.”

“The virus has no effect on children except those it affects.”

“You will have many symptoms when you are sick, but you could be sick without symptoms, or have symptoms without being sick.”

Confused? I think we all are. Even the experts. While they’re trying to understand COVID-19, it seems this virus has a mind of its own and outwits them at almost every turn.

The only certainty these days, it seems, is uncertainty.

But despite all the ambiguity and uncertainty, there are things of which we can we certain.

I don’t know about you, but faith gives me certainty amid the uncertainty because it gives me focus. And I choose to focus on God:

First, I believe GOD IS IN CONTROL, and He knows what He’s doing. I don’t believe He sent the virus, but He’s using it to draw people to faith—saving faith and deeper faith. I believe He has a plan and purpose for everything, and will work all things together for good (Jeremiah 29:11, Romans 8:28). Circumstances may be out of our control, but they are never out of God’s.

Second, I believe GOD IS FAITHFUL. He always does what He says He will do. You can trust Him completely. He is a promise maker and a promise keeper. The Bible is full of His promises. I recently started a Promise Journal in which I write the promises I find in God’s Word. I choose to focus on the faithfulness of God, not the numbers, the shortages, or the disease. Because I’ve experienced God’s faithfulness in the past, I can trust Him in the present and for my future.

Finally, I believe GOD SEES ME, HEARS ME, AND LOVES ME. That’s why, in times of need, I can go boldly, not timidly, to His throne of grace (Hebrews 4:16). And if that old enemy, doubt, comes sneaking around and tries to mess with my mind and heart, I whip out the sword of Psalm 139 (and other verses) and wield it. The Word of God is active and powerful, sharper than any double-edged sword (Hebrews 4:12). Resist doubt and it will flee (James 4:7).

Despite the uncertainty of these days, I can be certain of God’s sovereignty, faithfulness, and love.

And so can you.

Almighty God, thank You for the certainty You give me during these uncertain times. Thank You that I can cling to Your Word and have peace amid the pandemic. Amen.

EXTRA TEA: Job 38–41; 42:1–6;

Isaiah 55:8–11; 1 Thessalonians 5:24; Philippians 4:4–8; Isaiah 49:15–16; Zephaniah 3:17

© 2020 Michele Huey. All rights reserved. Used with permission. 

Piece of Mind or Peace of Mind?

Be transformed by the renewing of your mind. –Romans 12:2 NIV

It had been a long week. I was learning a new job at work, driving all over western Pennsylvania shopping for a car for my daughter—and suffering sticker shock in the process—hanging out laundry after dark, and trying to keep my cool.

The flat tire fifty miles from home didn’t help much, but I was proud of the way I handled myself after Mr. Road Rage tailgated me for several miles, then gave me a not-too-friendly wave as he roared past. Could it have been that I was just too tired to respond? Or was it that I was still thinking about the man who saw me and my daughter struggling with the jack and stopped on his way home from work and changed the tire for us?

Although this incident happened many years ago, I never forgot it, nor the life lesson it hammered home: I really am what I think (Proverbs 23:7). My thoughts have a powerful effect on what I do and say, on my attitude about anything. Dwelling on the obstacles I face, the mistakes I make, and the unkind things people do only makes me frustrated, stressed, and angry. But thinking about the good things that happen, however small, helps me to get through the tough times and become a better person.

Sins of the mind are subtle and sneaky because of their very privacy. No one knows what I’m thinking unless I reveal it. So I can think all the thoughts I want, no matter how bad they are, right? Wrong!

Sins of the mind are like a slow-growing tumor that masks its presence behind easily explained symptoms—until it becomes so big and exerts such devastating effects it can no longer be ignored. It must be dealt with, and swiftly. If you wait too long, the damage can be irreversible.

What are the sins of the mind? Harboring unhealthy thoughts, whether they be about the ways people have hurt us and the revenge we could seek, fantasies that have no substance in real life but give us momentary pleasure, addictions, a “poor-me” mentality that dwells on how everything seems to go wrong for me and right for someone else, another person’s faults … the list goes on—you fill in the blanks.

There’s no such thing as the thought police who bang on the door of my mind and arrest my unhealthy thoughts. I am the only one who controls what I think. It is I who must capture every thought and rein it in (2 Corinthians 10:5). That’s why sins of the mind are so dangerous. It’s like the fox guarding the henhouse. I need help!

When I want to rinse out a glass of water into which one of those pesky ladybug-like insects falls, I often hold it under running water, letting the clean water displace the contaminated water. This principle of displacement works for cleaning out unhealthy thoughts from the mind, too. Replacing the bad thoughts that contaminate my spirit, behavior, relationships, and reputation with good thoughts doesn’t happen overnight. It’s a process.

Getting rid of the bad thoughts by filling my mind with the Word of God is like placing that dirty water glass under a wellspring of clean, fresh, renewing water (Hebrews 4:12). “Whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things,” Paul wrote. “And the peace of God will be with you (Philippians 4:8).”

I have a choice—piece of mind or peace of mind. Piece of mind leads to turmoil. Peace of mind leads to harmony and serenity. Funny how it all comes down to one letter—the letter “I.”

Examine me, God, and know my mind; test me, and discover my thoughts. Find out if there is any deceit in me, and guide me in the eternal way. Amen. (Psalm 139:23–24 TEV)

READ AND REFLECT: Look up Philippians 4:8 in several Bible translations and meditate on the variety of words used.

From God, Me, & a Cup of Tea for the Seasons, © 2018 Michele Huey. All rights reserved. Used with permission.