Welcome to Welling, for your spiritual health and growth. One of the trendiest acronyms in management literature is called VUCA, that we live in a VUCA world, standing for volatility, uncertainty, complexity, and ambiguity.
It is used to capture the spirit of the environment. We do not know what is going to happen. The volatility is so significant, it sends us up and down in roller coaster living. The uncertainty has to do with the future. We don’t know what the future holds. The complexity has to do with the factors that we have to bring into decision-making. And we do not have enough information. We don’t have enough of the factors and how to weigh them rightly. And then there’s a problem of ambiguity. What should we do next? Especially when competing options look equally good. And how do we live this way? In the VUCA world, we are told that these are four distinct types of challenges that demand four distinct types of responses in the best business reviews, magazines that are brought together.
In one such article, we have the horizontal axis, which asks the question, how much do you know about the situation? How much do you know about the situation, of volatility, uncertainty, complexity, and ambiguity? On the vertical axis of the situation, the question is probed, and you’ve got to answer how well can you predict the results of your actions? How well can you predict the results of the actions?
Well, those are the reasons for the questions that we have, which causes us internal conflict, especially if you have any roles and responsibilities and decisions you’ve got to make. Our anchor verse brings some assurance that is unbelievably yours to experience. In that final scribal, written episode of 2 Thessalonians 3 before he signs verse 17 with his hand, verse 16, our key verse says, “in blessing and benediction, in prayer and wish, in farewell but also in promise.”
The apostle Paul says “now, may the Lord of peace himself continually grant you peace in every circumstance. The Lord be with you all.” Last time, we talked about Christ’s presence and Christ’s peace as causally related. They’re not just correlated like statistical variables or just psychologically related.
We are grateful that Christ’s presence is not a variable. It is stable. Our peace, our feelings of peace may be variable. And so they don’t follow each other in correlation, but one is necessary as the cause for the effect of peace.
The word that the apostle Paul uses here is the word “Lord.” What an unbelievably important word, especially in the Old Testament because the word “Lord” was used specifically of deity, of the transcendent one. In the Greek translation of the Old Testament over 200 years before the New Testament was put together, Yahweh, the Hebrew word for God in covenant relationship, was translated as “kyrios,” “Lord” in Greek. This is the word the apostle Paul uses here, of deity himself, of Jesus being much more than human, that he’s the transcendent one, spoken of the Lord. And everybody who heard him in reading 2 Thessalonians knew whom he was speaking about. He doesn’t even have to define or name this Lord. He will bring an attribute of Him next time. All he says is “the Lord.” In volatility, this Lord is the unchanging one. He’s the stable one; everything else changes.
The world did not anticipate being brought to its knees by a pandemic which we don’t know has yet left the planet. It’s been two years since I’ve traveled overseas in any meaningful way of ministry. In about 15 minutes, Bonnie’s about to take me to the airport. I do not know if they’ll let me on. I’ve tried to meet every travel requirement.
I think I saw a new one as of this morning. So let me see if I can get on the plane. But for two years and now suddenly, the world’s plunged into war. Everything is shaking. It’s the volatility, isn’t it? In management literature, we said they used the word “VUCA,” from volatility to uncertainty.
But this Lord is the one with complete knowledge and information understanding. He has connections and control. He coordinates all circumstances and brings them to completion for His glory and your good. But it’s also the matter of complexity, this Lord. Guess what? They say in complicated situations, you’ve got to bring specialists in. This Lord is a specialist.
And not only is He the specialist not simply as consultant, He brings the resources. He is adequate for the circumstance that we are facing. He has all the resources you need. And finally, in ambiguity. Yes, there are unknown unknowns, but he does not have that experience. He doesn’t have an unknown unknown. He’s not like a chess player grandmaster.
He knows what you could do, but he does not know what you would do. This Lord knows what you would do and what you could do. And his competencies are applicable across all situations, in any circumstance, as we’ll hear in just a moment. He doesn’t have to experiment with solutions. He doesn’t have to improvise. He knows how to bring things to completion.
Some time ago my wife my children, and I were in a country called Eritrea, one of the most broken countries in the world. It’s called the North Korea of Africa. They persecute the body of Christ. And after our pastor’s conference, every one of those pastors we put in cargo containers and locked in.
She was a missionary lady there, substantial lady, spiritually, emotionally, strategically, physically. She had served in Eritrea for a very long time. She took us across those roads in the heat of the Red Sea neighborhood, show us monasteries where monks would live. And one time, she said, I am large and I’m in charge. That’s what the Lord is, he’s large and he’s in charge. Peace, Lord.
Now, may the Lord of peace himself continually grant you peace in every circumstance. The Lord be with you all.