Certain: fixed, settled; dependable, reliable; assured in mind or action.
Originally the past participle of the Latin cernere, to sift, discern, decide, determine…verbal base krei (Greek) to sift, separate…choose (Webster’s).
“I am certain that I will see the Lord’s goodness in the land of the living.
Wait for the Lord; be strong and let your heart be courageous. Wait for the Lord.”
Psalm 27: 13-14
The Hebrew - Greek Key Word Study Bible uses the word believe in place of certain. “The Hebrew word for believe is aman (aw-man)… the primary meaning is that of providing stability and confidence, like a baby would find in the arms or a parent.”
As I was reading and journaling these verses I kept thinking, this is active, not passive. Being certain doesn’t just happen to me, I become certain, and in this sense, certainty comes with practice and effort.
In order for me to become certain that I will see the Lord’s goodness I have to fix my mind on his goodness. I have to sift through my thoughts and discern the truth from the lies. I love the image of sifting, when I sift through something I pick out what’s of value and cast the rest aside. That’s exactly what we need to do with our thought life.
This certainty is also proactive. I need to become certain and fixed on the Lord’s goodness before the enemy comes with his lies. We know he comes to steal, kill, and destroy. What that means for us is that where he can’t physically kill us or take us out with blatant unrepentant sin, he will work tirelessly in our minds to convince us that God is not good.
He will work hard to get you ruminating on all of your disappointments and suffering. He will magnify the bad news of the world. He will painstakingly point out every failure and flaw that you have cried out to God to heal or remove, yet still they remain. And then, he will whisper the deadly question, “is this how a good God treats his children?”
At this point the battle is over, unless you have determined ahead of time, that God IS good. I pray that the effect of the past 25 days has cultivated in you certainty of God’s goodness. But if you’re like me, you’re a slow learner and a fast forgetter, so I created a handy bookmark for you to print and keep close by for those times when your certainty is flagging. Tuck it in your bible or your journal and maybe read one verse a day to supplement your other reading. I like to read verses like this out loud, as a declaration to the enemy that I trust in the goodness of God. Try it and see if it doesn’t help.