Are you pressed between a rock and hard place with a difficult decision that feels impossible to make? Maybe there’s no easy path or obvious answer to your dilemma. And maybe you’re paralyzed by the fear of making the wrong choice. If that’s you, you’re not alone.
Let’s take a look at three Bible stories to learn how to make tough decisions and feel confident in our next steps.
Pray - Jesus Chooses His 12 Apostles
Read: Luke 6:12
The Story: Jesus had many followers–people He taught about following God. They were His disciples, or students. But He wanted to choose twelve men to be His closest followers, His apostles, to go out into the world to spread the gospel.
When faced with the choice of which men to select, Jesus chose to pray. In fact, He prayed all night. The selection of these twelve men was significant, and He wanted to seek the insight of His Father to make sure He was choosing wisely.
When you’re faced with tough decisions, you should ask God for wisdom to do what’s right. Then follow what He’s prompting you to do. If talking to God is new for you, and you’re not sure where to start, try the P-R-A-Y method (Praise, Repent, Ask, Yield) of prayer.
Praise: You are loved by God, creator of the universe. Thank Him for who He is. He has brought you through tough situations in the past, and He will be with you through this decision too. God is already on the other side of whatever circumstance you’re facing. And He will help you walk through whatever lies ahead.
- “Great is our Lord, and abundant in power; his understanding is beyond measure” (Psalm 147:5).
- “But you, O Lord, are a God merciful and gracious, slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love and faithfulness” (Psalm 86:15).
- “For whenever our heart condemns us, God is greater than our heart, and he knows everything” (1 John 3:20).
Repent: Ask for forgiveness for anything that’s standing between you and God. Are there sins affecting your ability to make the best decision? Is your judgment clouded by guilt, shame, or fear? Confess these things to God and ask for forgiveness.
Ask: Ask God for wisdom to make the best choice. “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).
Yield: Be still and listen to what God is prompting you to do. As you sit quietly, pay attention to the nudges in your heart and mind. If you feel a tension about one of your options, dig into that feeling. God uses tensions to speak to us, so pay attention to the tension. Then move with confidence in the direction God is prompting you to choose.
Your Next Step: Which family members need your loyalty? Who can you show up for today? Send them a text and express your love and loyalty.
Seek Advice from Godly People - Rehoboam
Read: 1 Kings 12
The Story: After King Solomon’s death, his son, Rehoboam, became king of Israel. With the crowning of a new king, the people hoped for some changes. In fact, they were worn down by Solomon’s heavy tax burdens and harsh labor. They wanted some relief. When asked how Rehoboam was going to lead the nation, he wanted to take a few days to make his decision. Was he going to keep a tight rein on the people, like his father had, or would he choose to lighten the load?
Initially, he spoke with wise elders of the community, who said it would be beneficial for him to ease some of the restrictions and give the people a break. However, Rehoboam then consulted young men his age, who suggested making restrictions even more intense for the people. These young men proposed higher taxes and harsher working conditions. If his dad was a tough king, they thought he should be even tougher.
Rehoboam decided to ignore the wise counsel of the elders and instead listen to the immature notions of his peers. And that choice cost him dearly.
The Point: Instead of listening to wise counsel, Rehoboam chose to follow the musings of his immature friends. These friends wanted to flatter him with answers they thought he wanted to hear. Often we seek advice from people who will tell us what we want to hear. We don’t actually want to listen to wise counsel, we just want someone else to say what’s already in our head. There is incredible danger in that. When looking for help in making tough choices, consult people who are wise, mature, and unbiased. Avoid seeking out people who will just tell you what you want to hear.
Your Next Step: Who are wise, godly people you can talk to about your decision? Set up a meeting or call them today.
Trust God - Abraham and Isaac
Read: Genesis 22
Abraham was a man who loved God. And although he was old and his wife was past the child-bearing years, God promised they would have a son. They waited for a long time for this blessing, and they trusted God in the meantime. When their son was born, they were filled with joy and thankfulness. They loved their son.
Years after their only son was born, God spoke to Abraham and told him to do something impossible. God told Abraham to sacrifice his son as a burnt offering. Abraham had to choose between obeying God or saving his son. Abraham was prepared to obey God, but at the last second, an angel of God told Abraham to stop. God wanted to see if Abraham would be faithful to Him. And he was, despite being faced with an agonizing decision.
The Point: God gives us opportunities to show how much we trust Him. It might not be as shocking as what God asked Abraham to do. But He wants us to be faithful and trust Him. Maybe you’ve worked your whole life to build the company of your dreams, and God is asking you to set it aside for a different career path. Maybe you’ve dreamt of moving to the country and owning a big, beautiful home in the ‘burbs, but God is asking you to stay in the city in your little row home. God often prompts us to demonstrate how much we trust him. Do we trust Him with our money? Our careers? Our families? Our future? Is God asking you to sacrifice something to demonstrate your trust in Him?
Your Next Step: If God is prompting you to trust him with the decision you’re facing, do it. “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).
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