Thought for the Week, January 14 2022

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Certainty in uncertain times

Omicron’s impact has been unsettling. Travel plans adjusted. Sporting and social events postponed or cancelled. Is it safe to meet up with others?

The word ‘uncertainty’, which we thought was dropping down in usage, is heard again in conversations and on the media.

Once again, the uncertainty of the times unnerves us.

Is it possible to have certainty im these uncertain times? The good news of the Christian message that centres on Jesus is: ‘Yes, it is.’

Christians are certain about many matters.

God’s mercy will be fresh every day.

Jesus will be with us in the future just as he was in the past and is in the present.

The Spirit’s power will be more than enough for every situation we face.

God’s strength will enable us to live for him.

Nothing or no one, not even death, will be able to separate us from God’s love.

God’s grace, which has brought us safe this far, will lead us home, so the best is still to come.

How can Christians be certain about these matters? Is it because Christians are naturally optimistic, or their circumstances always positive?

Christian certainty does not depend on factors that can go up and down, such as how we feel or what happens to us. Instead, it is based on the evidence-based, historical fact of Jesus’ resurrection: ‘[God] has given us … hope’ – a Bible term for ‘certainty’ – ‘through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead.’ (1 Peter 1:3)

Because Jesus is alive, bodily, physically and in real time and space raised from death, we can have certainty even in these uncertain times in which we live.

Dr Rodger M Crooks, Free Church of Scotland, Lochgilphead and Tarbert.