I love roller coasters. One of my favorites is called Space Mountain located in Disney World. It is set up to be like a spacecraft shooting off into the universe. What made this ride so memorable for me was the fact that once the roller coaster took off, I was propelled into pitch black darkness. Normally when you ride a coaster, you can see what lies ahead and brace for it, but not on Space Mountain! I couldn't prepare for anything. Covered in darkness, I literally felt like the whole thing was hurling out of control as I was dipped, dumped, turned, twirled and twisted every which way.
Isn't this how life seems sometimes?
Hurling out of control, you're tossed every way but up, not knowing what will hit you next, and no-one seems to be at the wheel. As we enter into the new year, this may be exactly how you are feeling.
We live in very volatile times. The economy, stock market stability, oil supplies, food prices, terrorist threats, and a number of other issues stand ready to explode in our faces in 2009. No one would argue with the fact that we face uncertain times.
Instability defines almost everything we look at; therefore it can appear as though nothing can be counted on.
While this may be our perception, for the Christian this is never true. Let me remind you of three certain truths you can anchor your life upon in these uncertain times.
1) Your God is in control.
There was a king who reigned in the land of Judah for 52 years named Uzziah. During his rule Judah knew nothing but peace and prosperity. For 52 years things were stable, predictable, and good. Then king Uzziah died. All of the sudden, for the first time in over half a century, Judah faced uncertain days. What would happen next?
How would Judah's enemies react? What direction would the country go? It was during this turbulent time that a prophet named Isaiah received one of the greatest visions of God recorded in scripture. We need to catch this vision as well.
The Bible tells us in Isaiah 6:1, "In the year that King Uzziah died, I saw the Lord seated on a throne, high and exalted, and the train of his robe filled the temple."
Notice how Isaiah pictured God during that uncertain time. He was seated on His throne, high above all else, in complete control of everything. He's not seen pacing the floor, pulling His hair out, calling an emergency meeting in heaven, and wondering what in the world to do. God reminded Isaiah that though king Uzziah had died, the King of Kings was still on the throne.
He wants to remind us of this as well. As we enter an uncertain 2009, God is still in control. Nothing that happens will take Him by surprise, and He will use all of it to march His purpose and plan ever forward.
Understand that even if your job goes away, your Provider is still on the throne. Even if your doctor gives a bad report, your Healer still reigns. Regardless of what happens, God isn't missing in action. Through thick or thin, His unseen hand will strengthen, guide and provide for you through all of 2009.
2) You are in God's hands.
In Romans 8:35 the Apostle Paul asks the question, "Who shall separate us from the love of Christ?" He goes on to list a litany of things life brings and then comes to the conclusion that nothing, "will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord." (Rom 8:39)
Do we really believe that? Nothing, including job loss, stock market crash, family issues, personal tragedy, health crisis, economical woes, or anything else you could list can cut you off from God's love, His care, His concern, and His provision found only in Christ Jesus.
Come what may in 2009, I am united with God and no outward circumstances can change that fact. I can lean on this when everything else is stripped away from me.
3) God has a purpose for you.
My wife and I went canoeing this past summer for the first time since either of us were teenagers. We did not have a clue what we were doing.
Starting out, try as we might, we could not control that canoe at all. We were at the mercy of the current, being taken wherever it led, trying our best not to end up in the water.
Instead of guiding the canoe where we wanted it to go, we ended up simply reacting to the flow and dips of the river. This is a picture of how most people live. Instead of heading somewhere with a purpose, they live reactively, not proactively.
Ps 37:23 says, "The steps of a good man are ordered by the LORD: and he delighteth in his way." God is ordering your steps and He has a purpose for you in 2009. What is His purpose? Ask God to show you and He will. What does He want to do in your family, in your ministry, in your church, and in your life?
He is leading you somewhere.
Difficulties are much easier to handle when you know that your life has direction and meaning.
The new year lays before us as a great unknown. We are strapped in waiting to see where this wild ride will take us. Before we shoot off, I want you to be assured, God is in control, you are in His hands, and He is taking you somewhere.