Overcome Uncertainty in 6 Easy Steps

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Greg Davis

One of the certainties in life is the fact that everyone deals with times of uncertainty. This has always been true, but in recent years we have all been living in the most intense season of uncertainty in our lifetime. The atmosphere of chaos in our society is the result of several different factors, including increasing natural disasters, large-scale cultural shifts, growing political polarization and racial tension—all taking place during a pandemic such as the world has not witnessed in the last hundred years.

Fortunately, God has not left us helpless or hopeless. His Word is filled with relevant and practical principles to help us navigate the seasons of uncertainty we all face in life. So often in times of trouble, the enemy of our soul attempts to add condemnation to the load we are already carrying. Feeling condemned for struggling with uncertainty is a common experience among followers of Christ. But on the other hand, it is comforting when we realize that virtually every prominent character in the Bible struggled with times of uncertainty.

The account of Jesus praying in the Garden of Gethsemane reveals several practical strategies that can help us navigate stressful seasons of uncertainty:

  1. Don’t isolate yourself—stay connected in relationships. The scene in the garden of Gethsemane took place just prior to Jesus being arrested, beaten and crucified. It was clearly a very stressful time as the Lord was aware of what He was about to face. In times of stress, it can be tempting to withdraw from others and isolate ourselves as we attempt to process our pain. But Jesus brought His disciples to the garden to be with Him as He prayed to His Father.
  2. Cultivate a trusted inner circle. Even though Jesus brought all of His disciples except Judas, to the prayer meeting in the garden, He took Peter, James and John with Him as He went a little farther to pray. Most of us have learned in life that you can’t share everything with everyone. We need an inner circle of people who have earned our trust, with whom we can be open and transparent about our struggles.
  3. Embrace the truth that it is OK to be honest about your struggles. I’ve often wondered what Peter, James and John were thinking as they listened to Jesus say that His soul was overwhelmed with sorrow to the point of death. It must have been shocking to hear such words come from the Son of God. But in sharing His struggle with those closest to Him, Jesus showed us that it is OK to be honest about our struggles with people we can trust.
  4. Regularly pray and seek God. The Scriptures are clear that Jesus made a regular habit of spending time in prayer and fellowship with God the Father. Jesus didn’t stop with just bearing His soul to His friends. Obviously, He was uncertain at that point if there was a pathway to accomplish God’s plan of salvation that would not require Him to experience the “cup” of God’s wrath being poured out on Him as He took on Himself the sins of the world. But He brought His uncertainty to God—which is what we all should do.
  5. Stay faithful and submit to God’s will. After Jesus poured His heart out to God the Father, He concluded His prayer with these words, “Yet, not as I will, but as you will.” It is totally appropriate for us to acknowledge our feelings, vent to our friends and pour out our hearts to God in prayer when we are under great stress and wrestling with uncertainty. But after all is said and done, we need to place our trust in God and declare our submission to His plan—even when we don’t understand it.
  6. Don’t get stuck in your unanswered questions. One of our main sources of uncertainty often relates to our unanswered questions, many of which relate to adversity and suffering that we struggle to comprehend. We probably all remember classmates in school who were good students and knew the material, but when it came time for the test, they did not perform well. Getting stuck on questions we can’t answer can cause us to fail on exams and in life. We can’t afford to get stuck in our unanswered questions.

To successfully navigate times of uncertainty, we must follow the example of Christ and keep moving forward in God’s plan.

Greg Davis is a pastor, author and Bible teacher gifted to communicate fresh insights from God’s Word. Greg and his wife, Nancy, have served together in ministry for over 30 years.

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