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How to Find Biblical Joy When You Face Uncertainty

“Never be afraid to trust an unknown future to a known God.” Corrie Ten Boom

We had a plan. We were raising our children, living, and working in a wonderful ministry setting where it seemed like, all our giftings and education were being used. Of course, there were some particularly challenging days, but we loved our life and the ministry we were living. We thought we would "grow old" doing what we were doing. We could not imagine doing anything else or living anywhere else. For us, it was our "dream job"!

God had other plans.

Within a short period, the ministry we loved had been struggling financially finally crumbled and closed. We were left without a job and had no idea what to do next. Our hopes, dreams, and plans for our future disappeared. The only thing we could see when we tried to look ahead was uncertainty.

We processed our grief and sadness for several months as we reflected on all that had been lost. Then we began the process of walking by faith, one step at a time, and asking God to direct us and show us what He wanted us to do and where he wanted us to go. One day at a time, we experienced his grace and provision. One day at a time, he allowed us to grieve and caused us to become conformed more into the image of His Son. Now, years later, even though there is still so much we do not understand, we know that his plan was perfect, and we trust him.

What do we do when our plans fail and we face uncertainty? How can we find joy in the loss of our dreams?

Bible Verses to Help You When You Face Uncertainty

Matthew 6:34 "Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about its own things. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble."

Do not worry! That is easier said than done, but if we take what God says seriously, then that should be our goal.

Psalm 32:8 "I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will counsel you with my eye upon you."

Keep your eyes on God. It is easy to go into panic mode when we face unknowns. We desperately want to know what to do next. But we are called to look to God and allow him to direct our paths.

Matthew 6:31 – 33 "Therefore do not be anxious, saying, 'What shall we eat?' or 'What shall we drink?' or 'What shall we wear?'  For the Gentiles seek after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them all.  But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you."

Do not be anxious. God knows what we need. He has a plan. Breathe in, calm down, and seek first the kingdom of God!

Isaiah 43:2 "When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and through the rivers, they shall not overwhelm you; when you walk through fire you shall not be burned, and the flame shall not consume you."

Grieve. Yes! I said, grieve. It is okay to grieve the loss of your dreams, the loss of a job, or the loss of what you thought would happen. That is a normal human response. We just cannot sit in our grief. We must reach a point where we move forward into trusting the God who says he will be with us through it all.

One woman comforting another who is upset.

Photo credit: ©Getty Images / Wasan Tita

What Good Comes from Facing Uncertainty?

  • It is an opportunity to dig into God's Word to find the promises that we can cling to. God gave us his Word and all the promises found there, so we would have something to cling to and believe in! He says that all we need is found in his book, the Bible.
  • It can be used as a gentle reminder that we are not in control and to focus on the God who is in control of everything, even our unknowns. It is so easy to feel like we are in control, isn't it? But we are not! And there is nothing like going through a time of uncertainty to bring us back to that reality!
  • It can be used to strengthen our faith as we choose not to become overwhelmed and fearful with our unknowns but choose to focus on God instead. This is where some of what may have been 'head knowledge" has an opportunity to move into our hearts and become a reality in our lives. We know we need to focus on God, but trials like this cause us to have to choose to actually do it!
  • We can practice faithfulness by committing each day, one day at a time, to God and being faithful with what he gives us to do each day, even if it is not what we had expected or even had in mind for ourselves. This is another opportunity to live out what we are called to, which is day-in and day-out faithfulness, no matter our circumstances.

Find Biblical Joy by Focusing on God

1. Thank Him for Who He is:

Father, thank you for being YAHWEH-SHALOM, "The Lord Our Peace." I know I can trust you and that I will find peace in my circumstances only when I focus on you and your promises. Thank you for being there and for being my Lord that gives peace.

 2. Thank Him for His Faithfulness:

Father, you have been faithful in the past, and you have never failed me. Ever. I know that you will not fail me now. I know that you are faithful even when I do not understand what is happening and when I cannot see what the outcome will be. Help me trust you with the things I do not understand and the unknowns in my life.

3. Thank Him for His Promises:

Father, thank you for your promises. Please show me the specific promises you want me to see so I can cling to them now. You tell me you will never leave me, you will provide for me, you are in control, and you see me. You promise that your plans and ways are perfect. Thank you that I can count on you and find rest in you.

4. Thank Him for His Provisions:

Father, thank you for providing for all my needs over the years. As I reflect on the ways you have provided for me, I am moved to trust and thank you for all the unique ways you promise to provide for me during this time of uncertainty. Thank you for enabling me to trust you during this time of facing an unknown future. I know I can trust you.

To learn more about how to choose biblical joy, check out my book “Everyday Prayers for Joy”!  

For weekly encouragement on how to choose biblical joy in all circumstances, subscribe to “Choose Biblical Joy Today 

This article is part of a series by Gina Smith on biblical joy. Here are more of her articles:

How to Find Biblical Joy When You Have Been Treated Unfairly

How to Find Biblical Joy When You Battle Depression

Finding Biblical Joy in Loneliness

How to Find Biblical Joy When Life Doesn’t Look the Way You Thought it Would

Premium PDF Compilation - Finding Biblical Joy in the Midst of Trials

Photo Credit: ©iStock/Getty Images Plus/ Hispanolistic

Gina Smith is a writer and author. She has been married for 34 years to Brian, a college professor, and athletic trainer. For 25+ years she and her husband served on a Christian college campus as the on-campus parents, where Brian was a professor and dean of students. They reside right outside of Washington DC and are the parents of two grown children, one daughter-in-law, and one son-in-law. She recently authored her first traditionally published book Everyday Prayers for Joy, available everywhere books are sold. You can find Gina at the following:, Instagram, , and at Million Praying Moms, where she is a writer. 

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The views and opinions expressed in this podcast are those of the speakers and do not necessarily reflect the views or positions of Salem Web Network and Salem Media Group.

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