Life can be filled with uncertainty and difficult decisions. When we face challenging circumstances, we may feel lost about what to do next. In those moments, many Christians turn to the Bible for guidance and wisdom. The Bible offers timeless principles and practical advice to help follow God’s will, especially when the path forward seems unclear.
Pray and Seek God’s Wisdom
One of the most common and repeated instructions in the Bible when facing indecision is to pray and seek God’s wisdom. Here are some key verses that advise bringing our dilemmas and questions to God in prayer:
- “If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you.” (James 1:5)
- “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight.” (Proverbs 3:5-6)
- “Call to me and I will answer you and tell you great and unsearchable things you do not know.” (Jeremiah 33:3)
When facing uncertainty, we can have confidence that God wants to guide us, if we will ask. Through prayer, reading the Bible, and listening for God’s voice, we can receive the discernment needed to make wise choices aligned with His will.
Be Patient and Wait on God’s Timing
In addition to prayer, waiting patiently on the Lord is another frequent biblical remedy when unsure which path to take. Waiting can be difficult, but the Bible reminds us that God’s timing is perfect:
- “Wait for the Lord; be strong and take heart and wait for the Lord.” (Psalm 27:14)
- “Be still before the Lord and wait patiently for him.” (Psalm 37:7)
- “Trust in the Lord and do good; dwell in the land and enjoy safe pasture. Delight yourself in the Lord and he will give you the desires of your heart. Commit your way to the Lord; trust in him and he will do this: He will make your righteous reward shine like the dawn.” (Psalm 37:3-6)
Learning to rest in God’s capable hands instead of rushing ahead is a struggle for many of us. But Scripture reminds us that God is in control and His timing is perfect. If we commit our plans to Him and wait patiently, He will guide us forward at just the right moment.
Seek Wise and Godly Counsel
The Bible frequently instructs us to seek wise counsel when facing difficult decisions or situations we don’t know how to handle. Here are some verses that advise seeking input from godly, faithful advisors:
- “For lack of guidance a nation falls, but victory is won through many advisers.” (Proverbs 11:14)
- “Plans fail for lack of counsel, but with many advisers they succeed.” (Proverbs 15:22)
- “Listen to advice and accept discipline, and at the end you will be counted among the wise.” (Proverbs 19:20)
- “The way of fools seems right to them, but the wise listen to advice.” (Proverbs 12:15)
Some biblical examples of leaders seeking and receiving wise counsel include Moses heeding his father-in-law Jethro’s advice to appoint judges (Exodus 18:13-26) and Rehoboam ignoring the elders’ advice and listening to his young peers (1 Kings 12:1-15). Studying how others in the Bible sought guidance can help us discern when and from whom to seek advice.
Look for Doors God Opens or Closes
In addition to prayer and wise counsel, we can look for open and closed doors that signal God’s guidance. Biblical principles such as seeking peace about a decision can help confirm we are moving in the right direction:
- “Commit to the Lord whatever you do, and he will establish your plans.” (Proverbs 16:3)
- “Be very careful, then, how you live—not as unwise but as wise, making the most of every opportunity.” (Ephesians 5:15-16)
- “If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone.” (Romans 12:18)
However, we also must accept that God closes doors at times for our benefit. If a decision continues to face obstacles, that may be God’s way of rerouting us:
- “The heart of man plans his way, but the Lord establishes his steps.” (Proverbs 16:9)
- “Many are the plans in a person’s heart, but it is the Lord’s purpose that prevails.” (Proverbs 19:21)
By praying for discernment, we can find clarity about which open doors align with God’s will and which closed doors are his way of directing us elsewhere.
Study Biblical Principles and Examples
In times of uncertainty and indecision, studying Scripture and biblical truths can provide much-needed guidance and perspective. Here are some key principles and reminders:
God Is Sovereign
During turbulent times, we can anchor our hearts in the truth that God is sovereign over all. He remains all-powerful and in control even when we feel powerless and out of control.
- “Remember the former things, those of long ago; I am God, and there is no other; I am God, and there is none like me. I make known the end from the beginning, from ancient times, what is still to come. I say, ‘My purpose will stand, and I will do all that I please.’” (Isaiah 46:9-10)
- “All the peoples of the earth are regarded as nothing. He does as he pleases with the powers of heaven and the peoples of the earth. No one can hold back his hand or say to him: ‘What have you done?’” (Daniel 4:35)
Trust God’s Plan Is Good
When facing the unknown, we can feel anxious or afraid. But we can anchor our hearts in God’s promise that His plans for us are for good:
- “‘For I know the plans I have for you,’ declares the Lord, ‘plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.’” (Jeremiah 29:11)
- “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.” (Romans 8:28)
Walk in Faith, Not Fear
Uncertainty can easily give way to fear and worry. But by praying and reading Scripture, we can combat fear with faith in God’s power and promises:
- “When I am afraid, I put my trust in you.” (Psalm 56:3)
- “So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.” (Isaiah 41:10)
- “For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.” (2 Timothy 1:7)
- “Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.” (1 Peter 5:7)
Obey God One Step at a Time
When facing major decisions, we can easily feel overwhelmed. But God asks us to simply obey His commands one day at a time and leave the rest up to Him:
- “Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.” (Matthew 6:34)
- “Cast your cares on the Lord and he will sustain you; he will never let the righteous be shaken.” (Psalm 55:22)
Examples of Biblical Figures Facing and Overcoming Indecision
In addition to key principles, studying biblical examples of those who faced uncertainty can encourage us to trust God. Here are a few examples of biblical figures who faced indecision and obeyed in faith:
God called Abraham to leave his homeland and family and travel to an unknown Promised Land. Abraham obeyed a difficult calling even when the destination remained unclear:
- “The Lord had said to Abram, ‘Go from your country, your people and your father’s household to the land I will show you. I will make you into a great nation, and I will bless you; I will make your name great, and you will be a blessing. I will bless those who bless you, and whoever curses you I will curse; and all peoples on earth will be blessed through you.’ So Abram went, as the Lord had told him.” (Genesis 12:1-4)
Esther bravely risked her life speaking up before the king because Mordecai challenged her that perhaps she had been placed in her royal position for that very purpose:
- “When Esther’s words were reported to Mordecai, he sent back this answer: ‘Do not think that because you are in the king’s house you alone of all the Jews will escape. For if you remain silent at this time, relief and deliverance for the Jews will arise from another place, but you and your father’s family will perish. And who knows but that you have come to your royal position for such a time as this?’ Then Esther sent this reply to Mordecai: ‘Go, gather together all the Jews who are in Susa, and fast for me. Do not eat or drink for three days, night or day. I and my attendants will fast as you do. When this is done, I will go to the king, even though it is against the law. And if I perish, I perish.’” (Esther 4:12-16)
Even Jesus demonstrated trusting God’s plan through prayer in the Garden of Gethsemane before His crucifixion:
- “Going a little farther, he fell with his face to the ground and prayed, ‘My Father, if it is possible, may this cup be taken from me. Yet not as I will, but as you will.’” (Matthew 26:39)
Though Jesus agonized over His coming death and crucifixion, He chose to obey God’s plan. His example reminds us to anchor our will in God’s greater purpose.
Guidance for Specific Situations of Indecision
The Bible not only provides general principles for finding direction, but also offers practical guidance for specific situations where we feel uncertain about what decision to make.
Guidance About Work and Vocation
If you are unsure about your career path or what job to take, these verses offer biblical guidance:
- “Commit to the Lord whatever you do, and he will establish your plans.” (Proverbs 16:3)
- “Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters.” (Colossians 3:23)
- “All hard work brings a profit, but mere talk leads only to poverty.” (Proverbs 14:23)
- “Do you see someone skilled in their work? They will serve before kings; they will not serve before officials of low rank.” (Proverbs 22:29)
In essence, the Bible advises us to work hard at whatever vocation we choose and remember we ultimately work as unto the Lord.
Guidance About Relationships
For guidance about relationships and wise decision-making regarding marriage, friendships, and associations, these verses offer guidance:
- “He who walks with the wise grows wise, but a companion of fools suffers harm.” (Proverbs 13:20)
- “Do not be yoked together with unbelievers. For what do righteousness and wickedness have in common? Or what fellowship can light have with darkness?” (2 Corinthians 6:14)
- “Make sure that nobody pays back wrong for wrong, but always strive to do what is good for each other and for everyone else.” (1 Thessalonians 5:15)
The overall principles emphasize choosing relationships wisely and seeking godly fellowship that will encourage our walk with God versus hinder it.
Guidance About Priorities
When unsure whether we have put the right priorities in order in our lives, we can reflect on:
- “But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.” (Matthew 6:33)
- “Where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” (Matthew 6:21)
- “No one can serve two masters. Either you will hate the one and love the other, or you will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and money.” (Matthew 6:24)
These key verses remind us to put our relationship with God first in life and stay focused on eternal rewards rather than temporary things.
In All Things, Keep Seeking God
Regardless of what situation we face, the overall guidance from Scripture remains the same. We should keep seeking God in every circumstance through prayer, Bible study, wise counsel, and listening for His subtle direction to our spirit. He promises that if we stay close to Him, He will make our paths straight (Proverbs 3:5-6). Even when we stumble or make mistakes, God can redeem them for good if we walk in faith. As Isaiah 30:21 reminds us, “Whether you turn to the right or to the left, your ears will hear a voice behind you, saying, ‘This is the way; walk in it.’”
Navigating uncertainty and difficult decisions in life is a struggle all believers face at some point. But God in His goodness gave us a practical instruction manual in the Bible with timeless wisdom and advice for finding direction. By staying rooted in scriptural truths and principles, we can confidently obey God one step at a time, even when we cannot yet see the road ahead. His perfect timing and purpose will be revealed as we walk in faith.