We’re continuing our series on our inadequacies because I feel the need to delve deeper into this and find the blessing in my own inadequacy, so you just get to go along for the ride. (See Overcoming the Barrier of Inadequacy and The Blessings of Inadequacy) I’m enjoying Dr. Stanley’s series and today’s post Things That Cannot Be Shaken delves into the whys of some of our trials.
As a rule, people like security. We seek what is comfortable. Yet the reality of our world is that much instability exists. For example, finances, health, and even a country’s ability to survive are not guaranteed.
When our foundation is shaken, we often feel overwhelmed. Sometimes Satan causes the difficulty—with God’s permission, of course. At other times, challenging circumstances are brought about by the Lord’s hand. Regardless of the source, we have the promise in Romans 8:28 that “God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose.” And in either case, the Almighty’s purpose remains: to glorify Himself in our world and in our lives.
There are different reasons the Lord permits turmoil, but for now, let’s focus on one: He won’t allow anything that enables man to seem self-sufficient in his own eyes. Therefore, God may lovingly allow enough trouble for us to realize our need of Him. Consider the trials the Israelites faced each time they turned away from Jehovah to worship other gods. In many ways, we do the same thing today. Individually, in our churches, and as a nation, we often glorify “gods” like money or status. But the One who created us will not tolerate this.
“See to it that you do not refuse Him who speaks. If they did not escape when they refused Him who warned them on earth, how much less will we, if we turn away from him who warns us from heaven? At that time His voice shook the earth, but now He has promised, ‘Once more I will shake not only the earth but also the heavens.’ The words ‘once more’ indicate the removing of what can be shaken—that is, created things—so that what cannot be shaken may remain. Therefore, since we are receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken, let us be thankful, and so worship God acceptably with reverence and awe, for our ‘God is a consuming fire.'” (Hebrews 12:25-29)
In our pride, we tend to think we’re able to manage without God. But out of love, He may stir up our lives to reveal our dependence upon Him. “For the Lord your God is a consuming fire, a jealous God.” (Deut. 4:24) If you are basing your security on anything except Jesus Christ—even something as seemingly innocent as comfort—it will prove to be sinking sand.