Our biggest sale! 50% off your PLUS subscription. Use code SUMMER

The Hidden Gift of Uncertainty - Encouragement for Today - April 17, 2024

Proverbs 31 Ministries banner

Laura Lacey JohnsonApril 17, 2024

The Hidden Gift of Uncertainty

Lee en español

“And now, Lord, look at their threats, and grant it to Your bond-servants to speak Your word with all confidence …” Acts 4:29 (NASB)

I looked like a crazed baker.

The moment I started scraping our popcorn ceilings, white plaster covered me, and I knew I was in trouble. When I tackled this itsy-bitsy home renovation, I calculated it would take one weekend and a few hundred dollars. It took only five hours to realize my expectations were way out of line.

Renovations often take longer or look different than we imagine. The same holds true for spiritual transformations.

In today’s Bible passage, Luke, the writer of Acts, unveiled a remarkable transformation in Jesus’ disciples Peter and John. They were no longer hiding behind locked doors (John 20:19), questioning what God was doing (Acts 1:6), or staring into an empty sky as they had before (Acts 1:10). They were now bold evangelists — and their renovation had come through nail-biting adventures.

Peter and John had every reason to believe they wouldn’t live to see tomorrow. After God healed a paralyzed man through the disciples’ ministry, the same religious leaders who had killed Jesus wanted to intimidate them into silence. Everything about the atmosphere echoed: Remember what we did to Jesus!

Instead of retreating in fear, the disciples prayed one of the New Testament’s most astonishing prayers:

“And now, Lord, look at their threats, and grant it to Your bond-servants to speak Your word with all confidence, while You extend Your hand to heal, and signs and wonders take place through the name of Your holy servant Jesus” (Acts 4:29-30, NASB).

Who prays that way?

People who have grown through uncertain times.

When we look at their full prayer, we learn the disciples believed in the sovereign power of God. They believed God, not their enemies, would control the outcome of their situation.

Such transformational thinking doesn't happen overnight; it happens in the uncertain places of life, where God remodels our hearts, demolishes our pride, adjusts our priorities, sands off our rough edges, and conforms us more to the image of Christ.

Uncertainty invites growth.

The transformation of our hearts and souls often happens when we don’t know what’s next, when we’re not sure what to do, when we don’t have all the answers.

The thing that drove me to renovate my living room was a desire for control. Life hadn’t turned out the way I’d hoped. Maybe fixing this one thing would fix everything else.

I was wrong.

But along the way, my desires began to change. Instead of asking God to change my circumstances, I prayed, Lord, make me useful in Your Kingdom today.

Perhaps you᾿re asking, When can I get out of this situation? I’ve been there. Instead, I encourage you to ask, How can I grow through this situation?

The hidden gift of uncertainty is this: On the other side of your perseverance is a beautiful transformation.

Lord, so often, I long for my circumstances to get better. Yet I also desire for You to use my life in a mighty way in Your Kingdom. Help me cooperate with the transformation You are bringing to my life. Please grant me the courage to trust Your loving work. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.


Hot off the press … Registration for COMPEL Writers Training is now open for a limited time! Our community is committed to helping you grow as a writer. Whether you are just starting to dream up words and getting ready to put them on paper or looking for guidance to get your work published, COMPEL Training has a place for you. We can’t wait to help you take the next step in what God has called you to do. We don’t want you to miss your chance, so click here to sign up now!



Receive writing tips on your social media feeds when you follow COMPEL Training on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter!

For countless free articles on the writing life, check out the COMPEL Training Blog!


2 Corinthians 4:17, “For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all” (NIV).

Describe a time when you struggled with the question, When can I get out of this situation? What was renovated in your heart or soul through the situation?

We’d love to hear your thoughts — share them in the comments!

© 2024 by Laura Lacey Johnson. All rights reserved.

Proverbs 31 Ministries
P.O. Box 3189
Matthews, NC 28106

Originally published Wednesday, 17 April 2024.