3 Keys to Cultivate Contentment in Times of Uncertainty

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Uncertainty can upend the calmest of people. I've often said, "I can deal with anything if I know what's going to happen."

But that's where the rub comes in. Right now, at this particular time in history, none of us know for certain what the future holds. The virus continues to wreak havoc. In fact, yesterday on the news I heard it could be another year and a half before we return to some semblance of normalcy.

I can feel you groaning. I understand.

Uncertainty has been defined as "the state of being uncertain, unpredictability; indeterminacy, indefiniteness." In other words, uncertainty is not knowing.

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Here's the thing: not knowing stirs up horrific feelings of being out of control. I know this place. It's the place where we ask God, "What's next?' And God doesn't appear to be in any kind of rush to answer.

I've been spending quite a bit of time in Psalm 37. Eight times through this psalm, the thought of "dwelling in the land" appears. To dwell means to be at home with. How is it possible to be at home with uncertainty?

As I've been thinking, I've been meditating on verses 3-4 (NIV): "Trust in the Lord and do good; dwell in the land and enjoy safe pasture. Take delight in the Lord, and he will give you the desires of your heart." These verses have been such a blessing to my soul. I have found in them contentment in the uncertainty.

What David teaches here is profound. He gives us 3 keys to cultivating contentment even in uncertainty.

3 Keys to Cultivate Contentment and Calm:

  1. Plant your trust in God's unchanging character. Life around us is changing faster than any of us can keep up with. The facts about COVID-19 are changing daily, and we are most definitely out of control. Even medical experts don't know what the future holds. While the future is uncertain, our God is certain. We can rest assured that He is who He says He is, and He will do what He says He will do. Trust is a choice. We choose who and what we are going to trust. Here's what I know: I can trust God's integrity, strength and sovereignty during these wonky days. His character is both good and loving. When the fear of being out of control upends you, press in and praise Him for what you know to be true.
  1. Enjoy where He has you. You're likely thinking, "How on earth can I enjoy where God has me when everything feels uncertain?" Here's the thing: You will never get this time back. You've got one shot at enjoying it. Set your heart to find joy each day. Recently I was talking to a mom of young children. As a family, they've adjusted as play dates and school have been canceled, but this young mom is making an effort to enjoy the days. Though she is sick of COVID-19 like the rest of us, she said to me, "The kids are closer than they've ever been because they are only playing with each other." For my friend, the joy comes in knowing that the Lord is using this time to create closer bonds between her kids. When you shift your focus to find what's positive in your new normal, you'll likely discover some elements to enjoy.
  1. Delight in His presence. "Take delight in the Lord; and he will give you the desires of your heart" (Ps. 37:4). The promise tucked in Psalm 37:4 is that when you take delight in the Lord, He plants desires in your heart. In other words, His desires become your desires and those are the desires He delights to fulfill. May I ask you, how much joy do you find in simply spending time with the Lord? He's the one who loves to ask as Jesus did in Mark 10:51a, "What do you want me to do for you?" It's such a powerful question! Often, we're not sure how to even answer. I believe that the first step towards discovering our desires is to cultivate delight in God.

Lord Jesus, help me to cultivate contentment and calm even in these uncertain times. I pray that as I plant my trust in Your character, enjoy the place where You have me and delight in Your presence, that Your Holy Spirit will fill me with fresh vision. Lord, use me during these days to point others to Your love. I praise You that even though this time in history feels uncertain, I can feel sure that You have not left Your throne.

The vision of Becky Harling Ministries is to awaken hope in the hearts of women by teaching them to encounter the living God through the Bible, embrace their identity in Jesus Christ and experience the presence of the Holy Spirit through praise and worship. Connect with Becky at beckyharling.com.

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