How Can We Be OK Living In Uncertainty?
What does the Bible say about contentment?
But Ruth replied, 'Don’t urge me to leave you or to turn back from you. Where you go, I will go, and where you stay, I will stay. Your people will be my people and your God my God.'
When you lose someone, it creates pain so deep that tears and words often fail. Admittedly, so often, when I read Ruth's short book, I skim over all the pain and suffering in her life and think only of the beautiful ending.
But Ruth experienced a significant amount of loss in her life. Her father-in-law, brother-in-law, and husband all died within a short time of each other, leaving her and her sister-in-law childless. The amount of loss in Ruth’s life is big.
Naomi, the two women’s mother-in-law, instructs her daughters-in-law to return to their own homes because of all the grief and loss. But instead, Ruth chooses to have compassion and stay with Naomi. She does the kindest, loving, and most selfless thing by committing to stay. She even follows Naomi back to Bethlehem, where she becomes a foreigner.
I cannot imagine this was easy for Ruth. She was dealing with sorrow as a widow in a strange place. Naomi couldn’t have been easy to be around. She was so filled with grief that she even changed her name to Mara to reflect her bitter heart. But that didn’t deter Ruth. Instead, she dedicated her life to her mother-in-law and her faith.
When they arrived in Bethlehem, they were so poor that Ruth was forced to gather the leftover grain in a wealthy kinsman’s field named Boaz. Ruth was methodical, faithful, and kind. She didn’t complain and remained content in each circumstance, and God blessed her abundantly. He provided for her through Boaz. Boaz became her husband but also her kinsman-redeemer. Eventually, they married and had a child, and Ruth became part of the lineage of Jesus.
So, what can we learn from Ruth?
As we read Ruth’s story, it might be easy to forget that she didn’t know the outcome of her circumstances. She didn’t know all the good things that God had in store for her. Yet, she remained faithful and content, even in the darkest of times. She trusted God and continued to move forward, and He provided for her as He does us today, through His Son, our Redeemer.
When we get lost, and difficulties come, we can trust the Lord. He remains forever in control. We have only to take the next best step and stay faithful.
Isaiah 43:18-19 tells us, “Remember not the former things, nor consider the things of old. Behold, I am doing a new thing; now it springs forth, do you not perceive it? I will make a way in the wilderness and rivers in the desert.”
Like Ruth, we can look forward, not dwelling on the past and those things that we cannot change. Isaiah goes as far as to tell us to forget the former things and stop dwelling on the past because God is creating something new. He is the God of new beginnings. He is the God of life.
How then should we navigate difficulties with a content heart?
- If you are not already a believer, pray and trust Jesus as your personal Savior.
- Ask God to give you wisdom and discernment as to which best next step you should take.
- Seek wise counsel when you are uncertain of the right decision.
- Rest with contentment in the waiting.
- Ask God to use you to minister to others who are hurting.
- Spend time in God’s Word and with other believers.
- Ask God for His peace to comfort you and direct you on the best path for you. Proverbs 3:5-6 says, “Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths.”
Finally, remember that as God’s child, His love for you is immeasurable. You can trust in His timing, wait on His answer, have faith in His goodness, and take heart in His promises. Today, will you invite God to direct your path and give you contentment in the waiting?
Pray this week:
Heavenly Father, You are the God of new beginnings. I will trust you in all areas of my life, even when I can’t see what the next step might be. Amen.
Can you trust God even in pain and suffering? Contact us to help you connect with the God, who does not change.