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Facing The Future with Confidence - How to Face the Future in Times of Confusion, Part 2

Living on the Edge / Chip Ingram
The Truth Network Radio
March 23, 2023 6:00 am

Facing The Future with Confidence - How to Face the Future in Times of Confusion, Part 2

Living on the Edge / Chip Ingram

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March 23, 2023 6:00 am

What do you do when you’re confused? Do you get frustrated or angry? Do you feel like throwing your hands in the air and yelling, “I give up!”? In this message, Chip shares six questions you can ask yourself in order to bring clarity and wisdom during times of confusion.


What do you do when you feel confused?

I mean torn inside about how to move forward, what to do. Do you get frustrated? Angry?

Do you throw your hands in the air and just yell, I quit? Well, there are six questions God wants to ask you when you're confused. And as you ask these questions, He promises something. Clarity. Do you need clarity today?

Stay with me. Thanks for listening to this Edition of Living on the Edge with Chip Ingram. Living on the Edge is an international discipleship ministry focused on helping Christians live like Christians. While we're in the middle of our series Facing the Future with Confidence, in just a minute Chip will continue where he left off by encouraging us that whatever's got our lives in knots right now, a stressful job, a broken relationship, God has a plan and He wants to help. But before we get going, if you're new to Living on the Edge, or want to learn more about what we do, go to

You'll find resources on many topics and countless programs to enjoy. Or if you prefer, the Chip Ingram map is also a great way to get plugged in with our ministry. Well, here now is Chip with part two of his message, How to Face the Future in Times of Confusion from Psalm 90. I want you to think about your anger and terrified by your indignation. Moses writes, we have set, you have set our iniquities before you, our secret sins in the light of your presence. All our days pass away under your wrath. We finish our years with a moan. This is a guy who's been around the block. The length of our days is 70 years or 80 if we have the strength, yet their span is but trouble and sorrow and they quickly pass and we fly away.

Well, where? What's Moses talking about? They fly away to judgment. He looks back on life and he says, since the fall, since sin entered the world, it was never God's plan. God wanted to live with Adam and Eve forever in a perfect environment.

No death, no sin, no relational conflict, no fallout. But Genesis 3 happened. And since Genesis 3 happened, some terrible things have occurred. The world isn't the way God wants it to be. But we're called to live out a very different kind of life in this world.

Do you have that pen handy? Let me give a little quick Bible study lesson. Would you circle the word consumed out of verse seven, circle the word terrified, circle the word moan, circle the word trouble, circle the word sorrow, and circle the word quickly pass? Does that sound like happy news to you?

Does that sound like life is just one big party and everything's going to go your way? That's a fallen world. And if you want to get more revealing, put a box around the word anger in verse seven. Put a box around the word indignation at the end of verse seven.

Put a box around wrath. And what you understand is that it's not only a fallen world, but God is a just God. He is great, life is short, but sin violates his holy character. And what we have Moses saying is, sin is serious. It's so serious, 100% of the time, God judges it. He judges it in this world and he judges it in the next. God will not be mocked as a man or a woman sows, so will you reap, right?

You know, you dis people, you use your money in an unrighteous way, you act like a jerk. And what are you going to experience in this life? You know what you sow, you reap.

Or in the vernacular, what goes around comes around. It's the way God's set up life. But it's beyond just this life. Hebrews 9, 27 says it's appointed unto man once to die and after this, it's appointed unto man once to die.

And what is this? The judgment. See, sin is serious. Question number three, when you're confused and wondering what's going on, ask yourself, am I taking sin seriously? God's holiness demands that he judge it. He's serious with sin. Now notice carefully, follow with me here. Sin clouds our minds and hardens our hearts. Jot down in the corner, Hebrews 3, 13. The reason we're gathered in worship, the reason you need to sit around the table at home and talk about what God's doing in your life, the reason you have to be in community, the reason you have to be in a small group, the reason you have to have authentic relationships is Hebrews 3, 13 says encourage one another day after day, lest any one of you be hardened by the deceitfulness of sin. See, my problem is, is I get sucked into this world's culture. I don't wake up one day and say, hey, I think I'd like to be a Christian who's materialistic. I don't know anybody who says, you know what, let's see, it's Tuesday, sounds like a good day for an affair.

I think I'll throw away my marriage, throw away my kids, go against everything I've always believed. It never happens that way. The deceitfulness of sin. It's an advertisement here. It's a flashing thought here. It's kidding around here. It's a little flirting here.

It's a little small decision with your money here. And it's like wading out into the water and then it gets faster and faster and you don't think anything's happening. And pretty soon, like when you go to the beach, remember when you swim in the beach, what always happens?

You look back at the shore and you can't find anybody and you realize you were sure you were swimming right in front of where your family or friends were and now you look up and they're about 90 yards or 300 yards back that way. That's what sin does in your life and mine. It's deceitful.

I've tried and I'm searching and I'm pulled. I just don't, God won't speak to me. And so I started probing a little bit and asking, because I always do. So how's your time in the scriptures?

Because the only way to keep your mind clear, the only way to understand God's will is as the Spirit of God through the Word of God and through the community of believers informs you. He said, you know, I just, I try, I'm not reading the Bible much right now. Okay. So you got a big decision, life decision? Yeah. I said, well, tell me, is there any area in your life you're kind of struggling with? Well, yeah.

So, well, what is it? Let's deal with my girlfriend. Well, what's the deal with your girlfriend? Well, we're living together right now.

And I know it's wrong, but I just can't kind of, kind of can't, I just can't make the break. I said, okay. And you're asking God who is pure and holy to reveal his plan for you, his will for your life, right? Are you obeying what God has already shown you?

So, yeah, what do you mean? So I opened my Bible, just went and said, well, let's, let's do a little research. God's will is not a mystery. Opened up to 1 Thessalonians 4, said, for this is the will of God, your sanctification that you abstained from all sexual morality. You know, that's for sure his will, right? Yeah. Are you obeying this one?

No. I said, so why do you think God would give you more information about the future if you're not obeying what you know? That's a drastic example. But I wonder about us. I wonder about us sort of more sanitized believers that know the Bible a little bit better. What if God's just not interested in whether you sleep together or whether you're still cussing? What if the kind of sins like the motives of your hearts and impressing people and image casting and projecting that you're more holy and acting in certain ways publicly, but acting in different ways privately? What if there's some unresolved anger issues with some people?

What if you have lack of forgiveness in your heart and bitterness and resentment toward your ex-mate or your in-laws or one of your kids or your parents? What if you have a propensity in your mouth to speak evil of people at work or at church and the Bible calls it gossip and God says it's one of the seven deadly sins. Could it be, I mean, just checking it out here, is it possible that the reason that some of us are confused about God's will is that we don't take sin seriously? See, Moses gets us really clear pretty quickly, doesn't he? He says start with basic one.

God is great. You get perspective. Basic two, life is short. That's about priorities. Basic three, it's about purity versus pollution.

You're living in a polluted world. You as a believer must have a commitment to keep your mind and your heart, your motives and your behavior pure before God. Well, then Moses goes on and he's going to say, well, in light of this difficult life that we live in, in a fallen world, wisdom is essential. Who knows the power of your anger for your wrath is as great as the fear that is due you.

Now, think about who wrote this. Now, can you imagine being Moses and watching people who stiff-armed God and are rebellious and then kind of having one of those experiences like, well, God told me to, Cora, bring the team together and you light your sensors and, you know, Aaron and I will write ours. And if God happens to open the earth and swallow you and close it down, we'll know who's really, you know, when Moses is writing here, who knows the power of your anger for your wrath is as great as the fear that is due you. He is summarizing what he's learned in the last, I think, 120 years that sin is serious.

Life is short. God is great. And though he be merciful and loving, which we'll learn about until we grasp, till we grasp, it is a serious, serious thing to live a righteous life in a fallen world. Then we're not ready to pray the kind of prayers we need to pray. Notice what he prays in light of that. And I don't know about you, but what Moses is really saying is, you know what, this is hard. How do you live a pure life in an impure world? How do you keep your motives straight?

I'm lured and pulled. And so his prayers teach us what? To number our days aright that we may gain a heart of wisdom. What he's saying is I don't get it. It's hard. The entire world is flowing this way and to live a righteous life, you live this way and it's difficult and I'm pulled and I struggle and I feel guilty and I get confused.

What do I do? Wisdom is essential. That's the basic wisdom is essential.

Ask for it. Ask God to teach you to number your days. And by the way, wisdom isn't like getting smarter. Wisdom is skill.

The Hebrew word for skill or the ability to live life his way according to his plan, even in a fallen world. He's saying, Lord, the whole world's doing relationships this way. Teach me to number and arrange my days so I do relationships this way. The whole world thinks about money and power and prestige this way. Teach me wisdom so I can learn to do it this way. That's what he's asking for.

The key word here is the idea of purpose. Let me do a quick math object lesson for you. If you are 25 years old, you have approximately 16,200 days to live. If you're 35 years old, you have approximately 12,775 days to live if you make the 70. If you're 55 years old here, if you get you three score and 10, you have 5,557 days to live. If you're 65 years old, you've got 1,925 days left unless God gives extreme mercy and grace.

2,000 days. You know what Moses is saying? You understand God is great. You understand life is short. You understand sin is serious. You understand you really need wisdom to do it his way. You don't keep living life mentally, morally, and spiritually like you've got your hands behind your head floating in the Bahamas on your life raft trying to get a good tan because that's not why you're here. There will be great time for refreshing enjoyment, but what he's saying is if you're confused, you've got to get clear and real about what life's all about. I'd like to suggest that until you accurately and clearly grasp the reality and the bad news of living in a fallen world, you'll never appreciate the grace and the mercy and what we actually have as believers.

Basic one, for sure, God is great. Am I rightly related to him? Number two, life is short. Am I prepared to die? Sin is serious. Am I taking it seriously? Question four is am I spending or investing my life?

How about you? See, you spend something, there's not a return. If you're made for eternity living inside of time in a fallen world and God is great and life is short and sin is serious and judgment is coming and you need wisdom, are you investing in your life and that which counts or are you unconsciously just sort of floating downstream? Then Moses shifts gears and it's great because we ought to feel a bit under it at this point. We ought to feel overwhelmed. We ought to feel I don't think I can make it. We ought to feel a deep sense of, boy, man, if this is the standard, I'm in big trouble.

But basic number five is that mercy is available. Relent, O Lord, how long will it be? Have compassion on your servants. Satisfy us in the morning with your unfailing love. Why? That we may sing for joy and be glad all of our days.

This isn't bad news. Make us glad for as many days as you've afflicted us, for as many years as we've seen trouble. Mercy is available. He has three specific requests. There's three verbs. One, relent, have mercy. God, I need your help. When's the last time you prayed that?

See, I think unconsciously we all think we're doing pretty good. When's the last time you said, oh, God, when I look into my heart, when I look into my motives, when I look at what comes out of my mouth, when I look at where my money goes and how I'm not alighting like that. Relent, but it's beyond just mercy. Have compassion is the Hebrew word for out of the bowels. God, I want you to feel about me and hurt with me and enter into my life the way a mom does with a small child that's sick. And God says, I'll do that.

And then it moves from just getting relief and help. Satisfy us in the midst of a fallen world. Satisfy me, fill me to the brim with what? Your unfailing love. It never changes. Don't satisfy me with stuff.

It's gone. Don't satisfy me with circumstances that all are aligned for this brief moment of season and then an economy breaks it or a war may take it away. Don't satisfy me just with people as wonderful as they are.

They're here today and gone tomorrow. Satisfy me with that which does not change, your unfailing love. And this is what it produces, that we may sing for joy and be glad all of our days. The early church had a marketing plan. The early church's marketing plan was to love one another. And when they loved one another, the market out there of a fallen world said, whoa. And they all carried a business card.

When you got up close to an early church New Testament believer, the marketing plan was their love for one another and their business cards had joy on it. And they were living under unbelievably difficult times and persecution. And in the midst of all that, you know what their life characteristic was? Joy. Not happiness, not things going their way, not a government that aligned with what they were trying to accomplish. And where did that come from?

Jot down in the corner where you saw in 1611. In thy presence is fullness of joy. At your right hand are pleasures forever. The question I ask myself when I'm confused, and this gets to the issue of prayer, is am I experiencing the joy of the Lord?

Do you notice this mercy is available? It's a prayer. You're a prayer away of having your confusion gone and your realignment. Joy is the infallible sign of the presence of God. Joy.

Doesn't mean everything goes. Joy is the infallible sign of the presence of God. Can I ask you, with no intent whatsoever of making anyone feel guilty, during your time with the Lord, is there any singing going on?

During your time with the Lord, is there that sense that, man, the world has fallen to pieces and honestly I'm scared to death and I have concerns here and I don't know what to do about here. But you're the infinite reference point. You are great. And I'm the object of your love. And despite all of the things that I've done internally and externally to mess up, you love me.

You sent your son for me. And if you found yourself kind of breaking out into a little chorus or a hymn in the morning as you start your day, and you know what happens? What Nehemiah said, the joy of the Lord is my strength. Circumstances aren't your strength. Other people aren't your strength.

Anything and everyone will let you down except God. Finally, I love the final part, success is possible. You know, when you read the first two thirds of this, you say to yourself, Moses, I'm glad you learned this, but I don't think I can cut it. And he tells us basic number six, success is possible. Notice his prayer continues. May your deeds be shown to your servants. Literally, he's praying, reveal your deeds to your servants, your splendor to their children. Moses is saying, I want something great to happen here in the midst of this conflict. And I want it to happen for my kids. May the favor, and the word literally is beauty, of the Lord rest upon us.

And then he repeats it twice. Establish the work of our hands. For, yes, establish the work of our hands.

If I wanted to translate that phrase, that little prayer into today's English, I would say Moses is praying, Lord, number one, we want to see you work among us. We don't want to do religion. We don't want to do church. We don't want to go through the motions. We want to see your splendor. We want to see what we want to see what the early church did. We want to see what we hear about happening around the world.

We want to see you work here like never before. And we want our kids to get it. We want them to look at us and say, Mom, Dad, I've never seen you live like this.

And you say, well, something happened in my heart, honey. Second thing he prays is we want to leave a legacy to our children. And the third thing he prays is we want to impact our world every day in every way.

Moses knew it wasn't a spiritual issue. He asked the question and here's the key. Am I impacting my world for good? And here the key word is productivity. You're making a difference.

And you know what? It's a spiritual to change a baby as an act of worship. It is to pray a prayer. It's a spiritual to go into the marketplace and do a business deal right and with integrity as it is to be a pastor. It's as spiritual to be at home with kids as it is to be making a difference in the marketplace. All of life, whatsoever you do, do it heartily as unto the Lord.

Right? There is no sacred and secular. There's no clergy and lady. I'm a regular guy. You're a regular guy.

You're a regular girl. We all stand before the judgment seat of Christ. The cross has accomplished it. He's raised from the dead. We're new in him and we're a team together living every day before the face of God. And he says, now establish the work of our hands. Every work, every thought, every prayer done unto him has the permanence of eternity when it's done as an act of worship. Now, do you see how it happens? You realize he is great.

The infinite reference point. You realize life is short, so the priorities need to get refocused. You realize sin is serious and you better not just mess around with that anymore. And you realize I need wisdom because I can't do this. And in the midst of it, you say mercy is available. And then you say success is possible. God wants to do in you and through you exceedingly, abundantly beyond what you could ask or think.

If you could just get a sneak peek into heaven is so glorious it would scare you. But it begins with you and me going back to the basics, getting clear, reducing complexity, increasing clarity. You're listening to Living on the Edge with Chip Ingram. And the message you just heard, how to face the future in times of confusion, is from our series, Facing the Future with Confidence. Chip will be back to share some insights from today's talk in just a minute. In this age of information, it often feels like the more we know, the more anxious we become. So where can we find stability in these uncertain times? What can we put our trust in? Through this six part study, Chip explains why God is our dependable rock and refuge, no matter the storms that come our way. Discover how that certainty can motivate us to tackle our most challenging circumstances and propel us to a more joy filled life.

And to help you better understand what that looks like, we have a really special offer I want to tell you about. During this series, we want to give every listener a copy of Chip's well-known book, I Choose Peace at No Cost. This tool will encourage you to lean on God through the highs and lows of life. To get your free copy of I Choose Peace, go to or text peace to 74141. That's the word peace, P-E-A-C-E, to 74141.

This is a limited time offer, one book per customer, while supplies last. Well, our Bible teacher, Chip Ingram, is with me now. And Chip, today you touched on the idea of building a Christian legacy in your family. And I know that idea of investing in the next generation is really close to your heart.

Now, why is that? Well, as many of you know, I have 12 grandchildren. And if you're like me, you're troubled about the culture they're swimming in. And I'm thankful.

You know, my grandkids are growing up in Christian homes. But I see the pressure that they're under. It's immense. And the cultural change in technology is happening so rapidly. And so we at Living on the Edge, we have doubled down. We're creating new resources. We're partnering with some other organizations.

We're going to be bringing to parents and grandparents and even youth pastors, I mean, some tools that are going to really help the next generation live out their faith in Christ. And if you agree that those things are important, I'd just like to ask you, would you be willing to become a monthly partner with Living on the Edge? See, monthly partners are so important to the ministry because it gives us a steady income.

It's people who say, I don't want to just help now and then, but I believe in what you're doing. And I really want to make a difference as we partner together. Would you pray and ask God if He wants you to be a monthly partner to Living on the Edge? Thanks, Chip. As you prayerfully consider your role with this ministry, I want to remind you that every gift is significant.

When you partner with Living on the Edge, you multiply our efforts and resources in ways only God can do. To set up a recurring donation, go to or the Chip Ingram app. You can also text donate to 74141.

That's the word donate to 74141. We appreciate your support. Well, here again is Chip to share a few final words.

As we close today's program, I want to give you a suggestion because I went pretty fast today. Psalm 90 is my go-to passage in times of confusion. And sometimes I memorize verses and on rare occasions, I actually memorize outlines. And this is one of those occasions because I get confused. I have a big decision to make or I look at the whole world situation, I get confused.

And what this does is this little outline that I went through, these six basics of life, when I go through them and meditate on them, bam, I mean, I get perspective. All of a sudden, I remember, one, God is great. Two, life is short. Three, sin is serious. Four, wisdom is essential. Five, mercy is available. And six, success is possible. And I would encourage you to open your Bible to Psalm 90 and go ahead and write that little outline in.

I would encourage you maybe to take that little outline on a 3x5 card and write, you know, basic one, basic two, basic three, and then kind of mull over. And then when you start feeling the pressure, wait a second, God is great. He created the universe. And then when you get starting up to, oh, life is short, you know, priorities. Sin is serious. I can't be messing around.

Mercy is available. No matter where I'm at, God's forgiving. He's loving.

He's caring. And then, you know, success is possible. You know, God will place His hand on my hand, and He can take me through anything. Can I encourage you today?

Just, I mean, sometimes you just need to get the content. Write down those. And if you're thinking, oh, I can't write that fast, I'm in the car, go to the website,, and all that information is for you.

We want to help you grow. Thanks, Chip. And if you want to go back and study those points Chip just reviewed, go to and download his message notes.

This is a great tool available for every program. It has Chip's outline, all of the scripture he references, and a few key fill-ins to help you remember what you're learning. Find them by visiting under the broadcasts tab. App listeners, tap fill-in notes. Well, until next time, I'm Dave Druey, thanking you for listening to this Edition of Living on the Edge. .
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-03-23 05:30:34 / 2023-03-23 05:41:36 / 11

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