If you are like me, your walk with the Lord has had seasons of uncertainty. These seasons are akin to catching the flu: the symptoms emerge increasingly until it’s full-blown. Severe disappointments and God’s silence are two areas that are ripe for uncertainty. The enemy will not fail to bombard you with questions and assertions challenging God’s existence, His love and the goodness of His sovereignty.
Uncertainty’s pit is dangerously deep. Once you fall in, it isn’t long before you lose sight of reality and get accustomed to its darkness. Still, God’s rope of truth is ready to yank you out, but you must hold on tightly. The enemy will not let you go without a fight; but he will let go if you persist (James 4:7). As believers, we can always depend on the God of truth to pull us out of obscurity and hold us steady.
Uncertainty in Disappointment
Moments of severe disappointment have always been perfect opportunities for the enemy to create or intensify feelings of uncertainty and doubt. Most times, we are so invested in that thing we hoped for or that person we depended on that the loss causes tremendous grief. Instead of dealing with our idolatry, we blame God’s sovereignty: He allowed this to happen. The enemy then beckons us to accuse God of neglect and cruelty, which can ultimately push us to mistrust and avoidance of God altogether.
The enemy wants the blinders of lies, pride, deep hurt and a sick heart (Proverbs 13:12) to overwhelm and cripple you. Nevertheless, even in these moments, the God of truth calls us away from unbelief. His challenges us to let Him be true, and everyone else a liar (Romans 3:3-4), reminds us that we cannot escape or hide from Him (Psalm 139:7-10), and that He alone has the words of eternal life (John 6:68).
Uncertainty in God’s Silence
You pray. No answer. God seems silent. Then the enemy whispers, “No answers, huh.”
The enemy tries to use God’s silence or lack of (visible) action to confirm the lack of His existence and goodness. Even when I counter with, “I remember Him. I remember what He’s done for me.” I hear the subtle, “Are you completely sure about that? Maybe it was just a coincidence. Maybe you just made it up.”
Still, the God of truth calls us away from unbelief. He reminds us that Jesus, the Son of God, who is God, stepped into the history books, biblical and non-biblical to provide a sacrifice for our sin and fickle belief. He reminds us that the Son He promised in Genesis 3 and Isaiah 53, is the One He sent in Matthew 1:18. It was planned intricately (Matthew 1:1-17) and it was fulfilled undeniably. And if God cannot and does not lie, then this logic follows: even if we don’t feel like it, we must consider every action of God as real, every word He says as true, and every promise as certain.
The Complete Picture
God is not man that he should lie, or a son of man that he should change his mind. Has he said, and will he not do it? Or has he spoken, and will he not fulfil it? (Numbers 23:19)
God’s trustworthiness frames the grand puzzle of the Christian life. The permanence of God’s words, the legitimacy of Jesus’ sacrifice and Lordship all fall into question without His trustworthiness, His existence, and the certainty of His promises. This what the enemy wants. Satan wants us to slander God along with him. Satan is the liar (John 8:44) and wants to prevent us from seeing this.
God is not changeable and fickle like us. He is the same yesterday, today and forever (Hebrews 13:8). God does not fear man. He does not alter who He is for others. He does not lie or change to prevent rejection. He does not lie for fear of disagreement or disapproval of His decisions. He is not hindered by present circumstances and always accomplishes His will. He does not hide his nature from us. He does not deceive us. For God, the notion of character and being are not separate. His trustworthiness is powerful and constant, just like Him. So in my battles with uncertainty, I clutch the words of Numbers 23:19 tightly and daily, reluctantly and desperately, silently and aloud until He lifts me from the pit.
One Truth to Rescue
Every word of God proves true; He is a shield to those who take refuge in Him. (Proverbs 30:5)
My husband and I have two young boys. Right now, our oldest is expanding his vocabulary, repeating many of the words we say. So as much as possible, throughout the week, we sit and recite this verse.
I want my children to know that every promise that God makes will happen; it is never a matter of if, but a matter of when. I want them to know that the gospel is trustworthy before they understand it. I want them to know that if they try to seek absolute truth outside of the gospel, they will fail. God does not lie; He cannot lie. I want this truth to haunt them as non-believers and comfort and encourage them as believers (Hebrews 6:17-18). I want them to know this truth and know it deeply.
- Because God does not lie, as believers we are forgiven because of Jesus’ sacrifice and safe from His alienation because of our sin.
- Because God does not lie, He will make us like him through sanctification.
- Because God does not lie, then everlasting joy is as real as our suffering.
- Because God does not lie, then life is complicated and downright troublesome (John 16:33), but He is present and working it out for His glory and our good.
- Because God does not lie, then we can know the life-giving joy and hope of living sold-out to Christ alone.
- Because God does not lie, our lives are not in vain. As followers of Jesus Christ, the battle in uncertainty is unavoidable but our rescue is sure, as long as we hold the rope.