I watched the lunar eclipse in amazement, the unusual sight of the brilliant light of a ‘Harvest Moon” transforming into a reddish dark “Blood Moon”. Like a continuous growing veil, the eclipse, captured the fullness of a bright moon, before diminishing it into a dark red, lifeless disk in the sky. Before the night ended, the “veil” was lifted and the glorious bright moon returned for it’s finale, as it set in the western sky just as the sun started to appear in the east.
The “veil” of the eclipse, diminishing the full light of the moon, is like the “veil” of uncertainty that diminishes the confidence of many lives. We all have self doubts and uncertainties fed by our fears and led by our need for approval. We all want to be certain of our choices in purpose, life path, career, parenting, friendships, family connections, relationships, lifestyle, housing, ministry involvements, the list goes on. The reality is that we can not be any more certain of life outcomes than we can the Texas panhandle weather!
We struggle, seeking comfort in certainty and perfection only to be entangled with the fears of uncertainty and failure. This creates tension, building stress in our mind and body. The stress heightens our emotional state of anxiety feeding our lack of confidence. Being comfortable with uncertainty is an action of confidence.
The authors of the book The Confidence Code explain that:
Confidence is not, as we once believed, just feeling good about yourself. If women simply needed a few words of reassurance, they’d have commandeered the corner office long ago. Perhaps the clearest, and most useful, definition of confidence we came across was the one supplied by Richard Petty, a psychology professor at Ohio State University, who has spent decades focused on the subject. “Confidence,” he told us, “is the stuff that turns thoughts into action (Kay & Shipman, 2014).
If we allow the uncertainties of life to capture our focus, we become doubtful, unsettled, and unsure. In this state of mind, we are hesitant to begin or finish projects (called procrastination), due to fear of failure or disapproval. We may also be negligent to speak up when it may have a positive impact on someone’s life. The bottom line is, we fail to act and choose to hide, allowing the fear of uncertainty to dominate our life.
A life focus defined by confidence is positive, sure, stable, and steady in spite of uncertainties. Action is inevitable when the fear of failure is bypassed. The focus of risk is minimized while maximizing the efforts toward making a desired outcome. As believers, followers Christ, children of God we should all live a confident life, empowered by the presence of God. The presence of God, His Spirit lives within us. We are intended for the Lord.
The body is not intended for sexual immorality, but for the Lord, and the Lord is for the body [to save, sanctify, and raise it again because of the sacrifice of the cross]. I Corinthians 6:13b AMP
Our uncertainties veil the power and presence of God. God’s power and glory are revealed through our frailties. The Bible reveals multiple stories of faith depicting lives “super-sized” by the presence of God:
God asked an elderly couple, who were ready for retirement, to have a baby. He instructed a stuttering shepherd to speak to Pharaoh and to deliver an entire nation. He told a boy on a hillside to leave the sheep and kill a giant. He chose a teenage girl to carry the Savior of the world.
God doesn’t downscale people; He super-sizes them. He removes their comfort zones and throws them into the unknown, where His capacity overshadows their ability and they participate in the turnaround ministry of the God they serve. Charlotte Gambill, from Turnaround God
Intentionally and mindfully we must engage our brains to heal our frail hearts from the fear of uncertainty. The healing experience of divine empowerment is possible as we choose to engage our minds to focus on the following seven certainties.
C haracter of God – Invest time, thought and prayer to understanding Who God is, what are His attributes and promises. The names of God in the Bible help us understand His character. Trusting God is a paramount action toward healing a fear damaged heart. How can you trust if you are not familiar with the certainty of His character.
For the Lord your God is living among you.
He is a mighty savior.
He will take delight in you with gladness.
With his love, he will calm all your fears.[a]
He will rejoice over you with joyful songs.” Zeph. 3:17 NLT
E xamine fears – Fears are a reality that must be faced and not stuffed. To understand the origin of your fears, which have become your automatic default, takes a careful examination of your past experiences and how they are influencing your view of your present reality. Do your fears hamper your faith as an obstacle to your trust in God’s love? The Israelites did not trust God’s provision or promises.
For indeed we have had the glad tidings [Gospel of God] proclaimed to us just as truly as they [the Israelites of old did when the good news of deliverance from bondage came to them]; but the message they heard did not benefit them, because it was not mixed with faith (with [a]the leaning of the entire personality on God in absolute trust and confidence in His power, wisdom, and goodness) by those who heard it; [b]neither were they united in faith with the ones [Joshua and Caleb] who heard (did believe). Hebrews 4:2 AMP
R elease the fears – The resulting coping actions of our fears, such as worry, perfectionism, disengagement, negative thinking, over functioning, blaming anger, numbing out with addictions, are a few of the life choices we make seeking fear relief. They are destructive, creating a disempowering veil over our true potential. To turn from those fears, we must release and let go of the certainty that our fears will always define us. Releasing them by depending on the power of the grace of God will weaken their hold on your life. Isaiah 26:3
You will keep in perfect peace
all who trust in you,
all whose thoughts are fixed on you Isaiah 26:3
T hink the Truth – Turning to a trustworthy God, who has given us a new identity as His children. Fearful hearts feel unsafe, unworthy, unloved, devalued, not good enough…. Fearful heart are fueled by Automatic Negative Thoughts which strengthen uncertainties. We must choose to think the truth about the certainty of God’s claim on us, that we are his beloved , forgiven and protected as He lives in us. This divine, certain love is highlighted by Jesus as He prays to His Father:
“I am praying not only for these disciples but also for all who will ever believe in me through their message. 21 I pray that they will all be one, just as you and I are one—as you are in me, Father, and I am in you. And may they be in us so that the world will believe you sent me.
22 “I have given them the glory you gave me, so they may be one as we are one. 23 I am in them and you are in me. May they experience such perfect unity that the world will know that you sent me and that you love them as much as you love me. John 17:20-23 NLT
A ccept uncertainties of life It is a certainty that life has uncertainty. This certainty must be accepted, not feared. Accepted, as we are empowered and loved by the creator of the universe.
The Lord is my light and my salvation— so why should I be afraid?
The Lord is my fortress, protecting me from danger,
so why should I tremble? Psalm 27:1 NLTI nstill hope Resting in the promises of God gives us the hope we need to stay focused on Him and His faithfulness instead on our uncertain circumstances. Choose to be certain in your hope, empowered by the Holy Spirit.
I pray that God, the source of hope, will fill you completely with joy and peace because you trust in him. Then you will overflow with confident hope through the power of the Holy Spirit. Romans 15:13 NLT
N otice the present Focusing on the certainty of the moment through the lens of thankfulness. To notice colors, beauty, comfort, the love of friendship, safety of shelter, your breathing, presence of provision, the sound of music, fragrance of flowers…etc. is a mindful choice that will enhance a calm presence.
This is the day the Lord has made.
We will rejoice and be glad in it. Psalms 118:24 NLT
To live with the certainty and confidence of a child of God we must live holistically…fully receiving His love to fully live out His love we must choose to:
“…love the Lord your God with ALL your passion and prayer and muscle and intelligence—and that you love your neighbor as well as you do yourself.” Luke 10:27 MSG
“…love the Lord your God with ALL your heart, ALL your soul, ALL your strength, and ALL your mind.’ And, ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’” Luke 10:27 NLT
God lives in us…..so” Whom Shall I Fear“ as the words of the song by Lincoln Brewster proclaim. We can live with the certainty of uncertainty growing confidence living in His presence unveiling the brightness of His power in our lives.
Sheri Van Bakel says
Great one, Cathy!