Lifeís Uncertainties are Godís Certainties
 
By Dr. Ken Matto
 
For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the LORD, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end. (Jeremiah 29:11)
 
How many times have you heard that this world is out of control? Sometimes it may seem that way with all the planned wars for profit, crime, drugs, alcohol, sexual crimes, divorces, financial catastrophes, natural catastrophes, etc. If we were to focus on the events of this world it could become a continual source for depression. If we filter these events through the omnipotence of God, then we will realize that everything this world is enduring right now is under His total control and there is no such thing as anything under Godís control being out of control.
 
One of the great mistakes we make is that we view things from our perspective and that is the perspective of fallen man. If we begin to view things through the eyes of God, then we will realize whatever is happening is totally planned. There were many in the Bible who underwent situations which seemed to be very contradictory to the nature of God and may have perplexed them. Let us look at some of the Biblical characters who underwent these times of blind trials from their point of view and did not understand what was happening.
 
The COVID-19 virus should have all people doing introspection about their lives.  We live in uncertain times from the worldís perspective but as Christians we have the assurance that even if we do not know what is going on in the world, our comfort is the fact that God has everything under control and no virus will ever go any farther than when the Lord declares it has fulfilled his will.  Yes, it is a fact that during every pandemic there were Christians who succumbed to the disease simply because the real us is wrapped in a fallible flesh and blood cloak which can easily be taken out by disease or any other calamity.  Then once that happens we are home with the Lord and safe forever from any further troubles.  Until that time it is not shameful if you take all your care and concerns to the Lord and tell him that you are frightened of the present situation and since he is the God of all Comfort, will comfort you and give you a peace during this time that cannot be understood by the world.  And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.  (Philippians 4:7) 
 
I want to offer to you six people in the Bible who saw uncertain times and because we have the Bible we know that God was working behind the scenes for his glory and their greater good.  Keep in mind that these six people were just like you and me in that they were believers in God and were his children in Christ.  Even though it did not look pleasant when they were going through their times of testing and tribulation, nevertheless their faith did not waver and kept their trust in God.  Job understood this principle.  Though he slay me, yet will I trust in him: but I will maintain mine own ways before him.  (Job 13:15)  Jobís trust in God was so great that even if God took him home, he would trust him for everything.  With COVID-19, even if we contract it, we must be like Job and trust in the Lord.  As Dr. Robert A. Cook used to say, ďHe didnít bring you this far to drop you now!Ē  These are times of testing for the believer and maybe the Lord is doing a separation between those Christians who can be counted on and those who cannot.  I am not talking about loss of salvation because once you are truly saved you cannot lose it.  I am talking about that maybe after this virus has run its course there may be time yet and God will only place into his service those Christians who have shown faith in him in the presence of calamity.  I donít know that for sure, I am just speculating but we can definitely count on the fact that the Lord is working something out during these times as he did in past plagues.  It also must be understood that plagues or pandemics are not a sign of the return of the Lord but the only sign he gave us was that right before his return the sun would be darkened.  When we see that, then we look up because our redemption draws nigh.  Immediately after the tribulation of those days shall the sun be darkened, and the moon shall not give her light, and the stars shall fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens shall be shaken:  (Matthew 24:29)
 
Noah
Make thee an ark of gopher wood; rooms shalt thou make in the ark, and shalt pitch it within and without with pitch. (Genesis 6:14)
 
Man had become very corrupt and God had pronounced that the end of all flesh was before Him. Noah had found grace in the eyes of the Lord and God commanded Noah to make an ark. Now up to this point in history, there was no such thing as a flood because the earth was watered by a rising mist but the sins of man were very great and God was going to destroy evil man. Now for 120 years Noah had built the ark according to the specifications which God gave him but did he really understand the reason for this undertaking? Did Noah really understand the reality that after he finished the ark, the animals would be brought to him to place on the ark and then when the animals and his family were safe aboard the ark, the deluge came. Now up until the time the ark was completed, Noah had faithfully executed the Lordís commands. Thus did Noah; according to all that God commanded him, so did he. (Genesis 6:22)  Noah did it on faith because he himself had never seen what the Lord had promised and that was a flood. God had promised a certain thing and it came to pass at the appointed time.
 
Abraham
Now the LORD had said unto Abram, Get thee out of thy country, and from thy kindred, and from thy father's house, unto a land that I will show thee: (Genesis 12:1)
 
Here Abram was told by God to leave his native country to go to a land that God would show him. So Abram departed, as the LORD had spoken unto him; and Lot went with him: and Abram was seventy and five years old when he departed out of Haran. (Genesis 12:4)  Now Abram departed according to the word of the Lord and at this point God did not tell him exactly where he was going. Abram was heading to an uncertain land because he had no idea where he was to settle down. Yet, all the while it was a certainty in Godís plan that Abraham would be the progenitor of the nation of Israel through whom the Lord Jesus Christ would come. To leave the land of Haran was a very uncertain thing to do, yet from Godís point of view, it was a certainty which would affect the lives of billions in the future through the Lord Jesus Christ. God sees our lives from beginning to end, yet He only reveals it to us in small amounts.
 
Joseph
And Joseph was brought down to Egypt; and Potiphar, an officer of Pharaoh, captain of the guard, an Egyptian, bought him of the hands of the Ishmeelites, which had brought him down thither. (Genesis 39:1)
 
There was probably no one who had faced uncertainty more intensely than Joseph. Joseph was not only harshly treated by his brethren but they sold him as a slave to be taken to Egypt. How uncertain would that be in your life because in those days, slaves were nothing more than chattel and Joseph had faced the possibility that if he displeased his master, he could face torture as well as execution. Joseph could not see beyond each day as to what was happening in his life. Yet, the uncertainties which seemed to be prevalent from Josephís point of view were certainties in Godís eyes. Joseph had gained favor in the sight of Potiphar and just when things seemed to be going right for him, Potipharís wife had falsely accused him of sexual advances and he was then thrown into prison. It seemed that with all Joseph had done, he now had to start over again. Here was another uncertainty in the life of Joseph but Godís plan for him was well under way. After being in the prison for a while, Joseph had now gained favor with the warden of the prison. But the LORD was with Joseph, and showed him mercy, and gave him favour in the sight of the keeper of the prison. (Gen 39:21)  It was in the prison where Joseph would make the divine connection which God planned for him.
 
If he would have still been at Potipharís house, he would never have met the Chief Baker and Chief Butler in the prison. The Chief Baker was hanged but it was through the Chief Butler where Joseph would be introduced to Pharaoh, but not for another two years. Then at that time God gave Pharaoh the dreams of the impending famine in Egypt and now God was about to exalt Joseph because he was faithful to God in all the uncertainties that he faced and yet it was all the certainty of God. And Pharaoh said unto Joseph, Forasmuch as God hath showed thee all this, there is none so discreet and wise as thou art: {40} Thou shalt be over my house, and according unto thy word shall all my people be ruled: only in the throne will I be greater than thou. (Genesis 41:39-40)  Always keep in mind that facing uncertainty in the will of God is a definite certainty in the plan of God. Even in uncertain times, Joseph was faithful to God especially in the times he did not understand what was happening but his faithfulness yielded him one of the most prestigious positions in all of Egypt. Do you think Joseph would have attained that position if he yelled and blamed God for all the seemingly bad things which happened to him? I think we know the answer to that. Sometimes God keeps us in a state of uncertainty until we completely trust Him and then when the dross of faithlessness is gone, He can then work His plan.
 
Naomi
And Elimelech Naomi's husband died; and she was left, and her two sons. {4} And they took them wives of the women of Moab; the name of the one was Orpah, and the name of the other Ruth: and they dwelled there about ten years. {5} And Mahlon and Chilion died also both of them; and the woman was left of her two sons and her husband. (Ruth 1:3-5)
 
Here we have Naomi who had lost her husband and her two sons. It was a great time of uncertainty for her because in ancient times, widows were considered a lower class of people in the social order plus superstitions ran rampant and Naomi could have been considered one who was cursed. She did not know that these three deaths would cause her to go back to Israel and with her went Ruth. Neither of them knew what awaited them when they returned. It was another time of great uncertainty, all the while God was working out His plan in Ruthís life. Sometimes Godís plan is worked out in the lives of a person we know and we may have a great part in that plan. If Naomi did not go back to Israel, then Ruth may have gone back to Moab. Ruth had a love for Naomi and wanted to be by her side. So Ruth accompanied Naomi back to Israel where uncertainties had awaited her.  Ruth was of Moab which was an ancient enemy of Israel. Ruth had no idea that she would find favor in the sight of Boaz and that they would get married and through their lineage would come David and the Lord Jesus Christ. It was a great time of uncertainty for Ruth but when Godís plan began to unfold, it was a time of Divine certainty. During the entire time, even during the tragedies Naomi suffered, Godís plan was slowly being unfolded in her life.  It was also a great story of the Lord Jesus Christ coming to earth and dying for the sins of His people.  Just as Boaz married Ruth the Moabite who was considered a Gentile, so the Lord Jesus Christ also became a groom to many millions of Gentiles all across the world.  Ask of me, and I shall give thee the heathen for thine inheritance, and the uttermost parts of the earth for thy possession.  (Psalm 2:8)  The Book of Ruth has a deeper meaning than just a love story.
 
David
And the LORD said unto Samuel, How long wilt thou mourn for Saul, seeing I have rejected him from reigning over Israel? fill thine horn with oil, and go, I will send thee to Jesse the Bethlehemite: for I have provided me a king among his sons. (1 Samuel 16:1)
 
God had rejected Saul as King of Israel and commanded Samuel to go to Jesse and anoint his son David as the next King of Israel. For quite a number of years David was on the run from Saul because Saul sought to kill him. It was a time of uncertainty for David because one day he was anointed King of Israel and the next he was on the run from Saul as if he was a fugitive. All the while this was the plan of God unfolding in the life of David. David exercised great faith in God while he was on the run and learned many spiritual principles. Thy servant slew both the lion and the bear: and this uncircumcised Philistine shall be as one of them, seeing he hath defied the armies of the living God. (1 Samuel 17:36)  David had seen the armies of Israel as not just physical armies but it was the armies of the living God. David was viewing this from Godís point of view while others were viewing it from manís point of view. And he said unto his men, The LORD forbid that I should do this thing unto my master, the LORD'S anointed, to stretch forth mine hand against him, seeing he is the anointed of the LORD. (1 Samuel 24:6)  Saul had pursued David and David had a perfect opportunity to kill Saul and take the throne, however, he was learning that God had placed Saul on the throne and it was not his place to usurp Godís authority. When Saulís time was finished, God would remove him and place David on the throne. We must remember that the Lordís timing is not always our timing. David had to learn many things before he took the throne officially. It was Godís certainty that David would be king, but it was also Godís timing and during that time period, it may contain many seeming uncertainties yet they are all certainties in Godís plan.
 
Job
While he was yet speaking, there came also another, and said, Thy sons and thy daughters were eating and drinking wine in their eldest brother's house: {19} And, behold, there came a great wind from the wilderness, and smote the four corners of the house, and it fell upon the young men, and they are dead; and I only am escaped alone to tell thee. (Job 1:18-19)
 
Probably when it comes to personal suffering no one is more famous than Job. He had lost his family, flocks, and servants. It was a great time of uncertainty for Job because in that period of history, calamity on that scale would have meant that you had become an enemy of God and that is why you suffered like that. Yet this was all in Godís plan and it was a certainty with God that Job was not to be forsaken but only to be tested. Job had no idea that there was a spiritual battle going on in Heaven at that time between God and Satan. Satan thought he could bring Job to the point of cursing God but God knew that Job would do no such thing. In all this Job sinned not, nor charged God foolishly. (Job 1:22)  Job suffered the greatest loss a human can suffer and that was loss of all ten of his children, yet, he did not blame God or make any accusations against Him. Job was a saved man and kept his testimony during the entire ordeal. All the uncertainties that Job would face at the hands of his four friends was yet ahead of him and even through their erroneous counsel, Job kept his testimony. The uncertainties Job faced on a natural and human scale were the certainties of God who upheld His servant during this time of testing. Job was not forsaken, although it looked like it, but keep in mind that he did not have the information we have about what went on behind the scenes.
 
Summary
We have looked at six individuals from the Scriptures who at times in their lives had faced major uncertainties. It seemed like circumstances which were beyond their control would turn out to their detriment yet those very uncertainties according to their point of view were all Godís certainties that turned out for the good of the individuals and had also affected for the good those around them. Whenever we face uncertain times in our life, we must realize that as children of God, He will be working something in our lives. Every aspect of our lives are under the control of God and even though multiple trials may hit any of us at one time, they will never cause our life to go out of control, even though it may seem it is and that we could possibly take no more. As God guided the trials of the six we saw, all of their endings were to the glory of God. As we face trials, God will guide us through them and bring us out victoriously. For this God is our God for ever and ever: he will be our guide even unto death. (Psalm 48:14)  Trials are a part of the life of every believer but it is how we approach those trials that will determine how long we may be in the furnace of affliction and the outcome of those trials. If we follow the principles of the six, we will see one overriding theme among them and that was their faith in God never wavered, even though they were not sure what was happening in their lives. If we continue to have faith in God during times of trials, then everything else will fall into place in Godís timing.  Keep this in mind two years ago I spent 16 days in the hospital and 43 days in rehab to learn to walk again but I am still disabled.  When I write about trials, I am not writing from theory but from the reality of life. I saw and do see the Lordís hand in all of my trials.
 
To the Saved
Your present trials in this virus may be a warning by God to stop a certain sin in your life which will hinder your spiritual growth.  It could also mean that God may be using this time as a turning point in your life taking you from one direction to another.  How he accomplishes this is his business but I can tell you this for a fact, waiting upon the Lord is an investment and not a waste of time.  Keep seeking the Lord daily until your path becomes clear.  Maintain a good testimony because the present time is also a time of testing plus others are watching to see how you respond to adversity.  The fining pot is for silver, and the furnace for gold: but the LORD trieth the hearts.  (Proverbs 17:3)
 
To the Unsaved
Seek ye the LORD while he may be found, call ye upon him while he is near:  (Isaiah 55:6, KJV)  You must continue to seek the Lord.  Buy a King James Bible and begin to read it. 
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