This week’s blog is a guest post, written by a good friend, Alan Scotland, Chairman of UCB’s Board and Global Horizons. Among many other responsibilities, Alan is also a well-respected Pastor to Pastors.
I remember being on a plane to the US some years ago when the pilot announced that we were about to enter a ‘corridor of turbulence’. I will never forget his words: ‘It is just a corridor of turbulence, it will pass. Don’t panic.’
The shaking of the plane lasted for about 25 minutes, although it felt much longer. At one point, I thought I should try to contact my wife to leave a message and say my goodbyes. But eventually, the turbulence passed, and the plane landed safely.
Turbulence in any area of our lives is deeply uncomfortable. We think it will never end; we may even think that we won’t make it. But for the believer, our confidence is not in systems or technology or even politics: our confidence must be in the Lord and in His faithfulness. It’s not trite to say this – it’s the truth.
However, when we are facing uncertainty in the world, how can we respond?
Be certain of your certainties.
The world is shaking at the moment. From North to South, nearly every area of the world is affected by turmoil of one kind or another. For believers, this is a pressure test, and we need to ask ourselves this: what is our faith placed in? Is it our finances? Our health? The Prime Minister? All of those things, as we are seeing, can be taken away, but God promises us that He will be faithful to every generation. This is a time for believers to be certain of what we believe in and to stand firm on those certainties.
Don’t join the symphony of soundbites
I am saddened by the turmoil around us, but I also feel grief at the many negative attitudes and soundbites which are getting coverage. As Christians, we need to bring stability with our words, and we have to be careful that we don’t join the symphony of negativity around us.
We need to declare truth and hope in the middle of despair and model what it is to be human (but humans who have divine guidance). We might not like what is happening, but there is no doubt in my mind that God is moving and challenging us as people and as the church. In a time of despair, believers need to be saying boldly ‘Yes the ship is at sea, but we have an anchor that is firm and secure.’
Learn to let go
My wife once took me on a big dipper. My response was to cling tightly to the bar and wait for it to be over. My wife said to me ‘Let go Alan, stop gripping so tightly.’ In times of difficulty, it is very easy to ‘cling to the bar’, to cling to what we see and know. Proverbs 3:5-6 says ‘Trust in the Lord with all your heart and don’t lean on your own understanding.’ One of our absolute certainties needs to be our unshakeable trust in God. He will not fail us or let us down.
Have a vision for the future
We need a vision for the future. We need to be able to see what God is doing, and what God is wanting to do next. Why don’t you take a moment and ask yourself this: ‘What do I see?’ What is your dream for the future of this nation?
When I look to the future, I see a massive, unprecedented move of God. Not a move of God which is restricted to a continent or a nation, but a universal move of the Spirit, a move of God that is so big that no one will be able to put their name on it. It will be God at work, increasing His Kingdom in a way that we could not even imagine.
My theology in days like these is shaped by hope. Even in the middle of turbulence, I see God shaping and preparing us for a universal, multi-national move of His presence. With that knowledge, we have nothing to fear. We have hope, and those who trust and put their hope in the Lord will never be put to shame.