Navigating Uncertainty When You Feel Hopeless
Have you ever found yourself in a place or a season of change that left you with more questions than answers? How do you navigate through the uncertainty when all you can see is right in front of you and it doesn’t look promising? Scripture is filled with insight to help us gain clarity.
In Numbers 13, God delivered the Israelites from slavery in Egypt and was leading them through the wilderness to the land He promised them. God commanded Moses to call one leader from each of the twelve tribes of Israel to go spy out the land He was about to give the Israelites. The twelve men returned with a report confirming the land was just as good as God said, but ten of the twelve leaders feared the powerful people and large cities that inhabited it. Caleb and Joshua were the two leaders confident in God’s promise.
When you are living in uncertainty, you can choose how you will respond. Here are some questions to ask yourself when you are faced with uncertainty:
1. Do I spread faith or fear?
The report the leaders gave spread fear among the Israelites that caused them to question everything – themselves in the light of comparison, their safety, the future for their children, their decision to leave Egypt, and God. Caleb, on the other hand, silenced the people and said, “We should go up and take possession of the land, for we can CERTAINLY do it” (Numbers 13:30).
When tempted to listen to the voices or the distractions around you, remember that God has given you a voice to silence the lies and speak the truth. Joshua and Caleb chose to stand up and spread faith despite strong opposition from their own people. They took God at His Word and knew God was with them, so they had no reason to fear.
2. Do I believe God is WELL able or do I believe I am incapable?
Joshua and Caleb’s certainty wasn’t in their circumstances; it was in their God – the God who defeated the army of Pharaoh, rescued them from slavery, parted the Red Sea right before their eyes, and rained bread down from Heaven to feed them in the desert. The focus the ten men had on their own incapabilities caused the crowd to want to go back to a life of slavery. Knowing what to expect was more comfortable than trusting God in the uncertainty.
Instead of focusing on your own incapabilities, focus on God – Who He is, what He has promised according to His Word, how He provides, His faithfulness and His ability to overcome. You will be able to courageously stand up, remember where you’ve been, how faithful God is to you, and claim the promises He has for you.
3. Do I look different from the world or do I blend in with the crowd? Will I be among the two or the ten in my generation?
People are looking at you and how you respond. Keep in mind the fact that all twelve of these men were leaders, yet only two came back believing God’s promise. The faithlessness of the ten and their influence cost an entire generation from ever entering the Promised Land. “But because my servant Caleb has a different spirit and follows me wholeheartedly, I will bring him into the land he went to, and his descendants will inherit it” (Numbers 14:24).
What do you want your legacy to be?