How to Set Goals in Uncertain Times
"We should make plans—counting on God to direct us." (Proverbs 16:9, TLB)
God is not moved by your complaints, regrets, or wishes. But he is moved by your faith. Matthew 9:29 says, "According to your faith let it be done to you" (NIV).
You know you're acting in faith when you attempt to do something that you know you couldn't do in your own power—something that requires you to rely on God.
Goal setting is an act of faith. Many people never set life goals because they fear failure and lack faith.
When you set a goal, it's like saying, "God, with your help, I'm expecting to accomplish this specific task by this specific date.” That kind of goal is a statement of faith, and God honors faith.
If you’ve found it difficult to set goals during these uncertain times, especially because circumstances keep changing so quickly, then there are two things you can do.
First, you can do scenario goal setting. This means that you set up multiple goals and plans, depending on what scenario happens. For example, "I will do this by this date if this happens. On the other hand, I will do that by that date if that happens."
Scenario goal setting is a legitimate way to plan for the future as you trust God during uncertain times. "We should make plans—counting on God to direct us" (Proverbs 16:9 TLB).
Second, you can focus on character goals rather than activity goals. In other words, you can set goals for what you want be instead of what you want to do. Who do you want to be this time next year? How do you want to be different? How do you want to be more like Christ? What weakness do you want to work on?
No matter how out of control the world feels, you can always make the choice to change and grow to become the person you want to be.
It’s time to get to work! Stop wondering what “could be” and start moving in faith. The Bible says, "Without faith it is impossible to please God" (Hebrews 11:6 NIV). When you act in faith, God will honor your goals and help you reach the greatest goal: bringing glory to him.
Talk It Over
Do you think it’s easier to make character goals or activity goals? Why?
What is one way you want to grow spiritually in the coming year? What first step will you take today to work toward that goal?
What do you have to let go of when you do scenario goal setting?
If you've never invited Christ into your life, you can pray this simple prayer today: "God, I realize I need you. I want to be born again. I confess I have sinned against you, and I ask that you forgive all my sins. Jesus, I receive you into my life as Lord and Savior. Today, I’m turning every part of my life over to you. I want to follow you and do what you tell me to do. And I want to see your vision, purpose, and plan for my life. Please accept me into your family. In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen."
If you’ve already accepted Christ into your life, then you can pray, "Father, help me to see life through the eyes of faith. I want to follow your vision for the things you want me to do. I’m going to trust you and expect great things from you as I step forward in faith to attempt great things for you. I’m committed to your plan for my life. In Jesus' name I pray. Amen."
If you just prayed to accept Jesus, please email me at Rick@PastorRick.com and let me know. I’d like to send you some free materials to help you start your journey with Jesus.
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This devotional © 2022 by Rick Warren. All rights reserved. Used by permission.