Greetings and good morning, brothers and sisters. This is Dr. James Perry continuing with our series
where we seek to explore the deeper meanings of our relationship with Jesus Christ. Over the years,
the heavenly Father has revealed many revelations of spiritual truth to me, and I want to share them
with you. This morning we will ponder our lives as we seek to understand the spiritual stimulus of
And now, sit back and listen to today's message.
The Spiritual Stimulus of Uncertainty
Jesus said, "These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world
ye shall have tribulation: But be of good cheer; I have overcome the world..." John, Chapter
16, Verse 33.
Brothers and sisters, there is no security in the material world. Just as soon as we become self
conscious, we realize that there is uncertainty everywhere. We realize our powerlessness in the face
of forces that we have no control over. This creates an intolerable anxiety that propels us forward
in the search for mastery over our environment.
This uncertainty cannot be overcome in our material life, for no matter how much we learn about our
environment we are powerless to stop the ultimate insult: mortal death. The spectacle of seeing our
most precious values perish impels us on in the path of religious faith--the hope that somehow,
someway human values can be preserved.
As we view our experiences and contemplate how life would be different if we lived in a world with
certainty, a world where everything that could happen would be known in advance, a world in which
there would be no more suffering and pain, no more death, we arrive at certain understandings and
truths. First, we are incomplete; we are imperfect. The world in which we live is also imperfect, as
well as the material forces that impinge on our life. They are imperfectly controlled. If we were to
be set free of our struggles in our present incomplete state, this freedom would prove to be a disaster.
Deprived of all stimuli to further grow and develop, we would soon wither away. We would have
no worthy goal by which to live.
There would be no need for imagination, no need to wonder how things could be done differently
or better. There would be no exhilarating thrill from conquering what was unknown. Satisfaction
would not exist for there would be no basis for it. Satisfaction can only be generated in an imperfect
creature by achievement. Satisfaction can only result from successfully overcoming a worthy
obstacle. If we were created in perfection, then there would be no need for this kind of environment
or this kind of uncertainty.
An unchanging world of imperfection is useless, just as is an incomplete project. An unchanging
world with unchanging imperfect beings would mean no growth. Pain and suffering, the uncertainty
of this life, is a part of God's plan. Pain, suffering, uncertainty and disappointment provide the
stimulus for us to seriously embark on the spiritual adventure, the endless adventure of discovering
the heavenly Father.
If we are to choose the heavenly Father, than we must have free will. But this gift of free will means
that we can also reject him, can choose to experience evil, can be free to choose sin and iniquity. The
lack of perfection of wisdom, judgement, and spiritual insight invariably involves the choice of evil,
the unconscious choice of violating the Father's law of love.
The unconscious violation of the Father's law of love brings a harvest of pain, suffering, and
disappointment. This stimulates us to maker wiser decisions, decisions that are more divinely
coordinated. Error is never corrected by fiat, but is always corrected through the process of
experience. The experience of error makes it possible for us to experience truth. But during this
whole process we are overshadowed by the Father's love as we learn from experience.
The Father's mercy delivers us from spiritual evil and error. Thus, mercy is the revelation of truth,
beauty, and goodness to the error and evil prone mortal son. No matter what the situation calls for,
no matter what degree of wisdom is required, we can only respond with the highest level of
understanding and wisdom that we possess, even though this level of understanding and wisdom may
be inadequate for the situation at hand. But it is the very experience with evil and error that makes
it possible for increased understanding and wisdom to develop, for these enhanced qualities come
out of the ashes of reacting to error and evil.
But as one might imagine, all this experience with error and evil creates even more uncertainty in
the soul. The soul learns from experience that it cannot build its eternal foundation on material
realities and finally turns to the spiritual world for certainty. The soul experiences eternal realities
that are certain and compensates for the uncertainty of the temporal world. Uncertainty drives the
soul to an ever increasing desire for certainty, for security in the everlasting Father, which it has
begun to experience.
Faith forever elevates the soul's grasp of truth, beauty, and goodness, and the soul experiences the
fruits of the spirit among which are peace and joy, satisfaction and happiness in spite of the ever
changing temporal world. No matter how hard it is for us to discern, the Father experiences pain,
sorrow, and disappointment but not because of anything that He does. Rather, He experiences pain,
sorrow and disappointment because of what we do or fail to do.
The full revelation of the Father's character not only includes those joyous states that we often
identify Him with, but also with those states of sorrow, suffering and disappointment as were so
graphically demonstrated in His Son, Jesus, who assumed life subject to all the frailties of being
human. The capacity to experience divine love must equally be the capacity to experience divine
sorrow. When we experience sorrow because of the temporary loss of a loved one, that experience
with sorrow is a revelation of the Father's character of love.
The faith filled soul can grasp this great spiritual truth that nothing of spiritual value is ever lost by
living a life of love in faith and trust. This frees the soul from its attempted dependence on material
assurance which can never by anything more than temporary. Discovery of truth is the supreme joy
of the soul, truth which has been hidden until the instant the soul experiences it. This method ever
heightens the appetite of the soul for more and more truth, as well as to create a satisfying state of
The soul is in pursuit of the discovery of an infinite, eternal, and absolute God who is in the process
of revealing Himself to the soul in the time of space and the space of time. Growth and development
are an unconscious process, and the experiences that are required for a given quality and quantity of
growth are unknown by the experiencer. Ignorance of future experiences is essentially for spiritual
success. Consciousness of future experiences blocks that uncertainty that is needed in order for the
soul to receive the knowledge that it needs, the values and meanings. Knowledge that pertains to
spiritual growth must be received unconsciously. Attempted conscious reception would block the
reception because conscious reception of anything always changes what is received in some way.
Unconscious reception of future experiences is essential because the Father is manifesting himself
throughout all moral experiences. A knowledge of future events would not be strictly a free and
unbiased decision, since the decision would be colored by certain knowledge.
The soul must learn to recognize truth prior to all known consequences of error. Truth loses its
aroma of emotional investment when it is not received unexpectedly, and things are not real to the
experience until he has invested them with emotions.
When the meanings and values of an experience are vested with emotions, then wisdom and
understanding can function. If error carried no penalty, there would be no need to change course,
even an erroneous course. If disappointment carried no sting, there would be no desire to change
courses, no need for wisdom or understanding. It requires supreme wisdom and understanding to
recognize the Father. This means that wisdom and understanding must reach a certain quality. From
a practical point of view, it means that we can only learn wisdom and understanding from grappling
with failure and disappointment since success is a display of current wisdom and understanding. As
we wrestle with the results of failure and disappointment, wisdom and understanding grow even as
the muscles of a child grow in response to ever increasing exercise.
Disappointment is essential to development because it is the only thing that will cause us to change
courses. It is important because it is effective in imparting new truth. Disappointment and success
are like training and performing. Disappointment is the training of the soul; performance is the
success of the soul made possible by the training of disappointment. Disappointment is the badge
of imperfection as well as its instrument for achieving perfection.
This concludes today's message on understanding the spiritual stimulus of uncertainty. We hope you
find something in this message to ponder and pray about as you go about your day. Until next time,
this is Dr. James Perry.