Facing the Unknown – Mark Appel

By: The Increase
July 11, 2017

I’m in a season right now where I can’t see the end result. I don’t know what the outcome will be, but I know the Lord is working in and through me.

 

The reason why I am able to have hope and peace in circumstances like these—with nothing but the unknown ahead—is because I can look back and see the Lord’s faithfulness toward me time and time again. I’ve experienced unrest, uncertainty, and insecurity many times before today, and I’m sure I will again, but God has always brought me through, only to show me His greater purposes on the other side. Not only can I look back at examples from my own life, but the Bible is full of stories testifying of God’s promises. In the Old Testament we see story after story of God leading His people out of uncertainty and into His peace.

 

One of my favorite books of the Bible is Job. Job’s life was pretty near perfect until he found himself in complete disarray. This man had everything taken from him: his health, his family, his possessions…everything. I’m not saying that I’m in a “Job” season right now, but I can relate to the confusion and uncertainty he experienced. What I love about Job is the honesty he portrays—first the honesty of Job among his friends and then the honesty between him and the Lord. Job’s story doesn’t have a full resolution that ties everything together and makes you feel really good about what he suffered and the answers God gave him, but it drives home the point that God is in complete control of all situations.

 

God confronted Job’s attitude with the challenging questions, “Who is this that obscures My plans with words without knowledge?…Where were you when I laid the earth’s foundation?” (Job 38:2,4) Basically, God was saying, “I know exactly what I’m doing and it’s up to you whether you trust Me or not.” Job immediately repents of his pride and puts His faith in the Lord. His encounter with the Almighty God renewed his spirit and reaffirmed the truth that he knew about Him. Even though Job’s circumstances were possibly the worst that any human could experience, he didn’t give up hope. The story ends with Job having regained his health, wealth, and building a new family.

 

God restored Job’s life, not because he did anything to deserve it, but because of God’s great grace for him. It’s awesome to know we can trust God intensely and faithfully despite the fact we may not know all the answers or the end result to come. When we grasp and hold onto the truth of God instead of clinging to our own feelings and perceptions, we experience the peace promised by God.

 

With the circumstances I find myself in today, I’m finding that same peace in Christ. There have been many times where I am wrestling with the Lord, being honest with Him and asking questions of “why.” There have been times I’ve come out of a game and my arm hasn’t felt great and my results weren’t what I had hoped them to be, but I know I have been called by the Lord to play baseball. This is a gift the Lord’s given me so I will continue to go out and do my best for His glory, finding joy and fulfillment in the purpose He has for my life.

 

I’m continually amazed by how insignificant, lowly, and unworthy I am compared to God, and yet how loved, valued, and worthy I am in His sight. Because of what Christ did for me on the cross, I have hope, joy, and purpose no matter what circumstances come my way. I know what my end result is—eternal life with my Savior.

 

—Mark Appel

 

Mark Appel is a regular contributor to The Increase, providing monthly articles and opinions.

 

View Mark’s Increase Profile here: http://theincreasebaseball.com/author/markappel/

 

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