God has been laying a specific thought on me in relation to giving. Uncertainty. Or as Oswald Chambers puts it “Gracious uncertainty”.
God is so unexpected in how he operates. I was reminded by the timeless Christmas song “Mary did you know?” How much faith Jesus mother, Mary, had to exercise in so many moments of uncertainty. From the time she became, shockingly, pregnant with the Messiah. To the point at which she watched him be brutally murdered on a cross. And then consider the disciples… In Mark it says of Jesus “Calling the Twelve to him, he began to send them out two by two and gave them authority over impure spirits. These were his instructions: “Take nothing for the journey except a staff—no bread, no bag, no money in your belts.” (Mark 6:7-8) They had to feel at least a little uncertain.. But Jesus wants us to grow in complete and utter dependence on him. So he WILL ask us or just put us in situations where we have no other choice but to rely on him alone.
When we give, whether it be time, energy, money, affections.. we are acknowledging that something is valuable and worth investing in. Often times though God calls us to invest in things we are uncertain about. He calls us to give to people, causes, and places that we have no idea if we will ever see a return on the investment. The challenge for us in giving is we want to be certain that what we gave was well spent. When we give we are confronted with the choice to either trust in ourselves, our knowledge, and our attempts to control or to trust in God, his knowledge and his control… Giving often places us in the vulnerable position of being uncertain. But remember, Mary and the disciples were not given any more foreknowledge then us. They simply had to trust.
In the words of Oswald Chambers: “We are not uncertain of God, but uncertain of what He is going to do next. ‘Believe also in Me,’ Jesus said. Not- ‘Believe certain things about Me.’ Leave the whole thing to Him. It is gloriously uncertain how He will come in, but He will come. Remain loyal to Him.”
Friends, be certain of God. We live in a world full of uncertainty but we have a God that we can trust completely. Stay faithful to Him.
“With this in mind, we constantly pray for you, that our God may make you worthy of his calling, and that by his power he may bring to fruition your every desire for goodness and your every deed prompted by faith. We pray this so that the name of our Lord Jesus may be glorified in you, and you in him, according to the grace of our God and the Lord Jesus Christ.” 2 (Thessalonians 1:11-12 NIV)