Making decisions are part of the natural rhythms of life. There are the little things that we have to choose on a daily basis. But then we have the bigger decisions, and those tend to be more spaced out over time: things like changing career paths or planning a family. Those are some of the big ones and, naturally, we put a lot more thought into those decisions.
Whether we choose one option or we choose none, we still make a decision. That is what used to make decision-making so difficult for me. I weighed all my options. I wanted to make sure that I got things right in my walk with the Lord.
But somewhere along the way in my path of wanting to please God, I forgot about His grace and mercy.
Enveloped within the folds of grace and mercy is a sweet space of love, hope, and forgiveness. We totally need that! God knew that when he created us. He doesn’t pull away from us in the moments when He is leading us to go left, but we decide to go right. Instead, He is faithful to complete the work he has started in us. He always reroutes us back to the center of his will.
Maybe you are the way I used to be, and you’re afraid of making a decision about something because you don’t want to have any regrets. Or maybe you’ve made so many bad decisions that you just want to make a right one for a change.
My friend, God lavishes grace and mercy on us in overwhelming, heaping amounts, and he does so freely for His children. We are going to have to make decisions in life. There’s just no getting around that.
Here are eight biblical principles you can rely on when you are in those moments of making hard decisions;
1. Trust God that it’s going to work out for your good.
“And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them,” Romans 8:28.
Since you are in Christ, God is going to use everything that happens to you for your good. This isn’t circumstantial! This is a beautiful seal over every decision in your life! Knowing that good is going to result from your decisions, regardless if things pan out the way you imagined or not, should give your heart and mind immediate peace.
2. Make your plans His plans.
“Commit your actions to the Lord, and your plans will succeed,” Proverbs 16:3.
This is a promise that I have personally wrestled with, deciding if it really was a truth over my life or not. However, all of God’s promises are yes and amen for those who are in Christ! When we say “Lord, have your way with this situation in my life, let your will be done” there WILL be success! God gets no glory from you failing. He receives no honor by not coming through for His children. Success to God may not always look the way we envision it looking, so it’s best not to concern ourselves with the details. Instead, we should focus on placing our full hope and desires in Him and trust that he will show up on our behalf.
3. Find people you trust and get their insight.
“Listen to advice and accept instruction, that you may gain wisdom in the future,” Proverbs 19:20.
It’s incredibly easy to feel like you are alone when you have to make a choice that could really impact your life, but if you have trusted family members, friends, and mentors around you, you aren’t alone! Seek out the wisdom of wise people around you. They have gone through their own experiences and have seen the Lord move in their lives so that they can be a witness to you. There may be something that you are missing or a viewpoint that you simply overlooked that they can shed light on. We don’t have all the answers ourselves because we aren’t supposed to. God created us for community so that we could love and help fill in the gaps for one another.
4. He can make a way when everything looks impossible.
“See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland,” Isaiah 43:19.
When we are faced with a decision, we can often feel like the options before us are in fact the only options. But what if we took a step back and asked the Lord for His angle? God can totally be doing something behind the scenes that you’ve never thought of or even imagined. Where we see a wasteland, he sees new streams of living water. God is able to create new and better paths for you! Remember this when you feel like your options are limited.
5. Every day is a brand new day.
“Great is his faithfulness; his mercies begin afresh each morning,” Lamentations 3:23.
The decisions we made yesterday, the ones we will make today, and the ones that have yet to be made tomorrow are all covered in the Lord’s mercy. Take time to let go of what has passed, to use wisdom for today, and not worry about tomorrow. Lamentations 3:23 is a promise from the Lord that regardless of what you do or don’t do, that no matter what does or doesn’t happen, you get to enjoy God’s mercy each new morning. He is always faithful, not because anyone deserves it, but because that’s who He is.
6. Trust the one who sees your end from the beginning.
“Trust in the Lord with all your heart; do not depend on your own understanding. Seek his will in all you do and he will show you which path to take,” Proverbs 3:5-6.
I used to fear making certain decisions because some aspects didn’t make sense to me, or I didn’t see how things would realistically work. As a result, there were many times when I would stall. I would say that I was waiting on the Lord as my reason for not moving. Honestly, that said more about my trust in the Father than it did about my own decision-making skills.
Certainly, there are times to wait on the Lord’s leading. We should constantly be seeking his will, and sometimes that means patiently waiting. There are also times when we will need to move, even when we don’t fully understand what we are doing and where we are going. Spend time with your Abba Father and allow Him to show you that you can indeed trust what he is doing and where he is taking you even when you don’t understand.
7. There is grace and mercy for your decisions.
“So let us come boldly to the throne of our gracious God. There we will receive his mercy, and we will find grace to help us when we need it most,” Hebrews 4:16.
Most times, we can find ourselves crippled under the weight of decisions we have to make. The writer of Hebrews knew this, so he reminded us of the truth that we can go to the throne of our Heavenly Father and receive mercy and grace when we need it the very most. This is such a comfort because when it comes to decision making, we can feel like we are backed into a corner, with no way out of a situation. Thank God that it gives him great pleasure to help us in whatever circumstances we find ourselves.
8. When you make a bad decision, God is still sovereign.
Given the amount of decision, both big and small, that we make in a day, in a lifetime, we’re bound to make a few that are wrong. What do we do when we know we’ve made a wrong decision? As with all of life, take the wrong decision to Jesus.
“Whoever conceals their sins does not prosper, but the one who confesses and renounces them finds mercy,” Proverbs 28:13.
He wants all of us, not just the pretty parts. While there are consequences to every decision we make, we don’t have to carry the guilt one day to the next. If you feel the Holy Spirit convicting you of a bad decision you made in the past, repent and move on. Leave your guilt at the feet of Jesus. God’s mercy covers everything! Paul reminds us to leave the past behind and move forward in the hope of heaven, becoming more like Christ by the power of His Holy Spirit in us.
“Brothers and sisters, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead,” Philippians 3:13.
Also, ask God to show you how He is making everything good like he promised in Romans 8:28. Trust that God is redeeming your life, and ask Him to help you see the evidence of it. And when you see it, praise the Lord for it.
[written by Britnee Bradshaw]