In The Face of Uncertainty…
Saleama A.Ruvalcaba, MATS
There’s a song I listen to almost every day called Shadow Feet. The premise of the song speaks of life’s many challenges yet still being found in God. The world may be drifting away, turmoil all around – yet God is the foundation of human life. “I’m still found in you…” the song sings.
I know there are no shortages of COVID-19 inspiring messages right now. This situation in our world is merely one of many uncertainties we’re facing as a whole. But without COVID-19 there is still uncertainty in the lives of human beings every day.
Have you ever heard the phrase, “There’s always something…?” Meaning, there is always some issue we have to deal with.
Is there ever peace?
Colossians 3:15 “Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful.”
Do We Ever Get It Right?
I recall as a new believer over eleven years ago I constantly found myself asking God that same question. To me, life felt more like an endless enduring battle for peace and happiness which was unattainable.
Exactly four years ago this week I graduated with my B.S. in Church Ministries. I wish I could say I was overjoyed during that time, but I wasn’t. I honestly recall crying out to God only a few weeks earlier wondering why our (personal family) life had to be so hard. I started Bible College in January 2008, and it took eight years for me to finish. In the eight years of Bible College we had an unexpected pregnancy while in the process of losing our home because we had a business which suffered greatly during the recession of that year which resulted in a sudden move from California to Memphis, TN. When things were finally looking better, we decided to have another child, however, that pregnancy ended in a miscarriage. Yet, even so, things were starting to look better again. Omar had what appeared to be a great opportunity to coach football back in California, so we moved back – only to have that situation fall completely apart once we arrived – which resulted in us moving back to Memphis six weeks later. Moving back felt like we had to re start life all over again with a home and employment. Not to mention, when we left and came back – some of the friends we had, whom we thought were good friends – we suddenly had no connection or communication with them. We were angry. We truly felt we had tried to make the right decisions after praying and seeking God.
How could we possibly get life so wrong – all the time?
We felt like failures. I would ask God so often, “Why even try?”
Why not just drift through life with no hope?
Although I was on my way to receiving a wonderful accomplishment, a married mother of five, homeschooling my children, yet completing my degree – I could not find happiness because to me life was simply a slug fest; a grudge match for our personal survival.
Jeremiah 15:18 “Why is my pain unending and my wound grievous and incurable? Will you be to me like a deceptive brook, like a spring that fails?”
Although I do not have a prophetic message to share with a specific group of people as Jeremiah, there are times I can relate to Jeremiah’s pain. There are times many believers can relate to Jeremiah’s pain.
Jeremiah truly served God, doing as God ask of him as a prophet. He was to rid the land of idolatry and return the people to true worship of God at Jerusalem. God warned him that his ministry would be difficult, and that people would oppose him. God forbid him to marry or attend social functions. He lived in loneliness, confusion, fear, anger, and deep despair cursing the day he was born and accusing God of doing him wrong. He considered himself a failure. He had wars within himself. He battled what he saw with his eyes. He could not foresee victory in what he was called to do, yet he knew he was called. Like the Psalmist, Jeremiah cried out to God in despair. He was honest with God. Jeremiah revealed true human expression and real human emotions to God. ¹
Even so, despite his intense inner battle – he found refuge in God. He feared God and his life is the example of courage. Jeremiah is the example of godly character and believers today can be assured that through trials our faith will sustain us.
Do you believe that?
We might not have a direct message from God as Jeremiah did, but we have a message. As believers we are witnesses of Jesus Christ. Our walk is our message.
Ephesians 5:14 “This is why it is said: “Wake up, sleeper, rise from the dead, and Christ will shine on you.”
What message are you sending as an invitation for others?
Does your walk invite people to know more about Jesus Christ – or does your walk invite people into a life of sin?
Does your walk invite people to prayer, purity, hope, faith, joy, and peace?
Or does your walk invite people to division, gossip, anger, fear, and hopelessness?
Don’t be mistaken- you have a message. And if your message is from Jesus Christ – you will in fact experience the battle in which all people of God must experience. Put on the full armor of God, Paul tells us; so that you will resist the enemy in the time of evil, then after the battle you will still be standing firm.
Who do you think Paul is talking to?
Some other believers – but not you?
Mark 9:24 “Immediately the boy’s father exclaimed, “I do believe; help me overcome my unbelief!”
Help Us In Our Unbelief Too!
A couple of years ago Omar was going through our monthly bills and it was pathetic. Looking at his paper he had no idea how we were going to pay for anything that month. He was so upset he had tears in his eyes.
He was so tired of what we continually faced financially month after month. This was our life. People who wake up early every single morning to study God’s Word and pray. People who teach their children God’s Word. We were both in the process of earning biblical degrees. We are faithful servants of the church. We are faithful tithers and givers to the church. We pray for others, share the Gospel with others, give to others in need.
Seriously Lord? This is our life- month after month- year after year?
Yes, on the surface it was bad – all the time. But who had we become? What message did our lives bring forth?
Through every battle we faced, like Jeremiah, we found refuge in God! We continued to study our Bible, pray, and worship God faithfully. We became different people solely dependent on His grace and mercy.
Had you known us prior to becoming believers our message would have been grim. You wouldn’t believe it if I told you who I was or who Omar was prior to becoming believers.
You wouldn’t believe how bad our marriage was.
You wouldn’t believe it!
You wouldn’t believe it if Omar shared his testimony with you.
You simply would not believe it!
The message we had for the world was a message of sin. Our prior message would have invited you to a life of despair.
As faithful followers of Jesus Christ our message today will invite you to a life knowing Jesus Christ! And with that – whether we like it or not – comes the enduring uphill battle – when living a life of truth! The Christian life is truth. Jesus Christ claimed to be the truth and the way. And that narrow way – is a bumpy road.
Jeremiah’s life was brutal to say the least, but he remained faithful to his call as God’s spokesman.
What about you?
Are you a spokesman for God?
Are you ready to give up? Or are you ready to keep fighting for the truth as God’s messenger even in the face of uncertainty?
Are you ready to be transformed inside out?
Are you ready to stand up to Satan when he tells you to give up because it’s hopeless?
Are you ready to endure the battle our nation is facing right now to bring more people to Christ?
Like the end of a race your legs and your body ache – but there is a finish line which only a few may cross. You have no idea who is watching you; little eyes who might see!
Keep up the good fight. You have a message to share. You have a message of hope and salvation and people need to hear it.
You are winning!
Don’t give up!
The world may fall away but you will still stand firm so let your message for Christ stand tall!
1 Corinthians 15:58 “Be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord.’
Prayer: Lord, thank you for helping me every day be more and more like you. Yes, Lord it is hard, but my faith and trust is in You. Thank you Lord, for your steadfast love. Be with me today, Lord. In Your Name, I pray.
~ Saleama A. Ruvalcaba, MATS
¹ Williams C. Williams, They Spoke from God: A Survey of the Old Testament, Gospel Publishing, 2003