You know, I am so thankful to have the opportunity to share with you the topic of uncertainty.
Do you know why?
Well, gee, I’m glad you asked.
You see, uncertainty is my first name. No really, quite literally! A lot of people don’t know this about me, but my first name is actually Thomas, and Thomas, as you know, was The Doubter. And that is exactly what uncertainty means: to doubt; to fear the unknown; to be unsteady in all that you do.
I feel a bit embarrassed to share this but it’s true, I have known uncertainty all too well. There have been times when I have sensed God calling me in one direction and because I couldn’t see it through His eyes, I was afraid to move. Because that’s what fear does, it paralyzes you! It’s the complete opposite of faith. And it’s the complete opposite of what God wants for you.
James tells us, “…the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea that is driven and tossed by the wind. For that person must not suppose that he will receive anything from the Lord; he is a double-minded man, unstable in all his ways.”
Unstable in all his ways … have you been there? Have you felt that way? Paralyzed in the moment because you don’t know what to expect and how things are going to work out? Paralyzed because you think at any moment the bottom is going to fall out and you don’t know if you’re going to make it?
I’ve lived there, and like I said, it’s my first name. Thomas … Thomas, The Doubter.
But there’s this funny thing about names that most people also don’t know …
A long time ago, in the time of some of the Puritans, names had far more meaning than we give them today. In fact, many Christians back then gave their child a first and a middle name, but with a purpose. Parents would give their child a first, birth name that was theirs until their second birth in the Lord Jesus Christ.
Isn’t that neat?!
Throughout a child’s upbringing they were called by this first name until they accepted the Lord Jesus Christ for themselves. But, when that child accepted Christ they were then called by this new name, their middle name, their given name.
Do you want to know mine? It’s Andrew.
I am reminded about this when I am wrestling with doubt and fear, when I am wrestling with uncertainty. You see my middle, given name, the name Andrew, means strong, manly. That is the name that has been given to me in my Lord Jesus Christ, no longer the doubter but a man of strength, a man of faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, by His doing. It is the name that has been hidden in Him, that He speaks over me in my moments of uncertainty and the trials which James says are “producing steadfastness” (James 1:2-8).
There is a name that God speaks over you, too.
Read Revelation 3:7-13, thoughtfully:
“And to the angel of the church in Philadelphia write: ‘The words of the holy one, the true one, who has the key of David, who opens and no one will shut, who shuts and no one opens. I know your works. Behold, I have set before you an open door, which no one is able to shut. I know that you have but little power, and yet you have kept my word and have not denied my name. Behold, I will make those of the synagogue of Satan who say that they are Jews and are not, but lie — behold, I will make them come and bow down before your feet, and they will learn that I have loved you. Because you have kept my word about patient endurance, I will keep you from the hour of trial that is coming on the whole world, to try those who dwell on the earth. I am coming soon. Hold fast what you have, so that no one may seize your crown. The one who conquers, I will make him a pillar in the temple of my God. Never shall he go out of it, and I will write on him the name of my God, and the name of the city of my God, the new Jerusalem, which comes down from my God out of heaven, and my own new name. He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.’ “
Dear brothers and sisters, the Lord is holding the door open, one which no one is able to shut and He is speaking over you a new Name. Will He find you faithful?
Surviving the Holidays
Saturday, Nov. 23
10 a.m. to noon
Link Classroom North at the Fort Worth Campus
Are you dreading the holidays due to a recent loss? We know the holiday season is difficult to navigate after losing a loved one. That’s why we want to help you prepare at Surviving the Holidays. We’ll talk about what to do with the surprising emotions, favorite traditions and other changes you may encounter, plus where to find the comfort, strength and hope you most need.
Join us any Sunday!
Whatever your week was like, you’re welcome here at Christ Chapel. Gather with us on Sundays for community, worship and truth for your everyday life.
Fort Worth Campus: 9:15 a.m., 11 a.m. and 5 p.m.
West Campus: 9:30 and 11 a.m.
South Campus: 11 a.m.