September 2, 2021
So we should be thankful because we have a kingdom that cannot be shaken. And because we are thankful, we should worship God in a way that will please him. We should do this with respect and fear, because our God is like a fire that can destroy us. – Hebrews 12:28-29 ERV
World events are devastating because the damage is often related to the human life loss, abuse, or degradation. There has been a lot political, social, and economic unrest bubbling to the surface around the world over the last few years. Now, you need to understand that world events drive the future of the nations. World events are unpredictable, often coming when least expected—like the COVID-19 pandemic. The extent of damage and death is often related to where and when it happens. Perhaps the spiritual life is much the same.
The fragility of the world reminds us of the fragility of our own lives. It’s easy to grow cold and callous about life, taking it for granted and becoming arrogant in our belief that we have the power to control our destinies. We do have choices in life, but as the prophets of old remind us, not everything is in our control. It often takes a devastating earthquake, tornado, war, flood, or loss of a loved one to wake us up to the realities of life, to wake us up from our slumber, so that we might begin wrestling with the uncertainties of life. Too often we ignore the words of the prophets until the reality of their words hit home—that is, unless we’re prepared spiritually for the tests that come our way.
According to Hebrews 12, when God called Moses, he heard the voice of God and trembled with fear, largely because the voice of God shook the earth. As for us, the word of God comes in a different way. As Hebrews puts it, “You have not come to a place that can be seen and touched, like the mountain the people of Israel saw, which was burning with fire and covered with darkness, gloom, and storms… But you have come to Mount Zion, to the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem. You have come to a place where thousands of angels have gathered to celebrate,” (Hebrews 12:18, 22).
When the world events are miscalculated, we have to trust God. Hebrews reminds us that we should treasure that which is eternal.
As we face the challenges and difficulties of the new year, as our lives are shaken by the coronavirus, in whom will we put our trust? Do we put our trust in our own abilities or vaccines? In the government? In our families? Or, even in the Church? Or do we put our trust in the God who laid the foundations of our lives? As we wrestle with these questions, it’s important to recognize that the temporary often seems more attractive and enticing than the eternal.
Fads come and go, but at their revealing, they seem so exciting. The eternal may not seem as glamorous or as hip, but when the temporary disappears, the eternal one remains standing. Quite often, the temporary collapses under its own weight, when the time of shaking begins. The question then is: how will we respond to the times when God sifts our lives?
When we stand on the Rock, on the God who created us, redeems us, and sustains us, we discover that when the shaking starts, like the unpredictable world events, nothing will move us. If we choose to walk in faith and put our trust in God’s grace, goodness, mercy, and love, then we will build our lives on the bedrock of eternity.
By Thomas Resane, Bible League International staff, South Africa
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