How You Can Be Secure

Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever. Hebrews 13:8

Ours is a culture of insecurity. The Greek-god perfection of the buffed-up bodies of celebrities makes the rest of us feel chubby and out of shape. The economy leaves us frightened about the future. Upcoming elections are up in the air. Physicians warn of impending pandemics. And every time our children turn the key to their automobile, we worry about their safety. Some people never feel safe in their own homes or neighborhoods, and others don’t feel secure in their relationships.

Trying times can make us feel insecure, but our security isn’t found in our culture but in our Savior. We have a Savior who is the same yesterday, today, and forever. He doesn’t change, and His tender mercies are new every morning. His promises cannot fail. His truth is immutable and His love is inexhaustible.

Proverbs 1:33 says, “Whoever listens to me will dwell safely, and will be secure, without fear of evil.” The writer of Psalm 59:9 said, “I will watch for You, for You keep me strong. God, You are my security!” (The Voice) Give your insecurities to God and lean on His everlasting arms, “safe and secure from all alarms.”

What have I to dread, what have I to fear, / Leaning on the everlasting arms? Elisha Hoffman, in the hymn, “Leaning on the Everlasting Arms”

Our Faithful Father

2 Timothy 2:11-13

All of us experience times when our circumstances seem unbearable, prayers appear to go unanswered, and the Lord feels distant. When that happens, we may wonder if He is the same as we once believed Him to be. During such times of helplessness, faith falters for some people yet grows stronger for others. What causes these opposite responses to suffering?

The key is simply one’s understanding of and trust in God’s faithfulness. This term means that the Lord never changes—He always does what is right, remains true to His promises, and is 100 percent reliable. In other words, we can trust our almighty God, regardless of our situation or attitude.

Our understanding of God relates to this concept. Do we trust Him enough to obey, even when obedience seems foolish? Are we so confident He hears and answers prayer that we consistently bring requests before His throne, even when we don’t see an immediate response? Are we daily sacrificing our selfish desires and patterns of living because we believe His promise of eternity, joy, and peace? An answer of “no” may indicate a deficient understanding of God’s character. That’s why reading the Bible is so important—through Scripture’s countless illustrations of our Father’s attributes, we learn who He is and increasingly trust Him.

Thankfully, God’s faithfulness does not depend on our circumstances, our feelings, or even our own faithfulness. He is true to His Word and true to Himself. How would your life look different if you had complete confidence that God was trustworthy and unchanging?

When the Foundations Are Destroyed

“If the foundations be destroyed, what can the righteous do?” (Psalm 11:3)

The word here for “foundations” is not the usual word for, say, a building foundation. Used rarely, a better translation of this word would be “purpose,” or “basis.” The fear expressed is not that the foundations of our faith might be undermined but that we might lose our sense of purpose.

In the context of the psalm, David was in danger of becoming demoralized by the pressures of wicked desires and evil ambitions all around him, and Christians surely have the same problem today. Why should we try to maintain high standards of doctrinal integrity and moral purity when the people around us—even most Christians—seem to be occupied mostly with materialistic ambition and pursuit of pleasure? If we allow the devil to undermine the very purposes God has for our lives, wandering away from His will in favor of some temporal interest, then why even continue with a pretense of Christian living?

David’s solution was simply to remind himself that “the LORD is in his holy temple, the LORD’s throne is in heaven: his eyes behold, his eyelids try, the children of men” (v. 4). He may allow the righteous to be tried for a season, but we must not forget that “the righteous LORD loveth righteousness” (v. 7) and that “the wicked and him that loveth violence his soul hateth” (v. 5).

When we are tempted to wonder whether it is really worth all the effort, and when our very foundation and purpose for living seems to be crumbling, we should remember that our God is Creator, Sustainer, and Judge of all—that He still is on His throne, and that we who belong to Him have been “predestinated according to the purpose of him who worketh all things after the counsel of his own will” (Ephesians 1:11). HMM

The Inscrutable Resurrection

Fear not ye: for I know that ye seek Jesus, which was crucified. He is not here: for he is risen, as he said. Come, see the place where the Lord lay. —Matthew 28:5-6

A soldier has been overseas two or three years and is now on his way home. As he gets closer to his native shores anticipation mounts in his heart. He visualizes the joyous meeting soon to take place. He pictures his mother, his sister, his wife, and he smiles as he thinks of how much his little son may have grown since he saw him last…. Intelligence dictates a slight difference in the appearance of his loved ones. He knows they will have changed, and he tries to adjust his mental image accordingly. He thus visualizes an event which has not yet occurred by drawing on past experience.

It is right here that thought breaks down when it comes to the resurrection. We have no experience to guide us. When Christ rose from the dead He did what no one had ever done before. We cannot imagine how He accomplished the miracle. We are not even sure exactly what wonderful thing happened there in the silence of Joseph’s new tomb. That He came forth, alive forevermore, has been the firmly settled faith of the Church from the beginning. How He accomplished it is a secret locked in the mind of God. We should remember the wise admonition of John Wesley: “Let us not doubt a fact because we do not know how it was accomplished.” The resurrection of Christ is a fact. More than that we need not know. PON075-076

Lord, I accept Your authoritative Word that Jesus rose from the dead; I do not need to know how. I know that I serve a living Savior. Amen.

Obedience Is Always Better

Leaving the principles of the doctrine of Christ, let us go on unto perfection. (Hebrews 6:1)

The writer to the Hebrews long ago pointed out that some professed Christians were marking time and getting nowhere! They had had opportunity to grow—but they had not grown. They had had sufficient time to mature, yet they were still babes.

So, he plainly exhorted them to leave their meaningless religious round and press on to perfection.

It is possible to have motion without progress, and this describes much of the activity among Christians today. It is simply lost motion! It boils down to this—it is possible that we may attend church for a lifetime and be none the better for it. I think we can say that most Christians have no clear end toward which they are striving. On the endless religious merry-go-round they continue to waste time and energy.

A Christian cannot hope for the true manifestation of God while he lives in a state of disobedience. Let a man refuse to obey God on some clear point, and the rest of his religious activity will be wasted. The instructed and obedient Christian will yield to God as the clay yields to the potter, and will relish every moment in church!

The Lord is slow to anger, and great in power

The Lord is slow to anger, and great in power,” but the greatness of His power brings us mercy.

Dear reader, what is your state this day? Can you by humble faith look to Jesus and say, “My substitute, Thou art my rock, my trust”? Then, beloved, be not afraid of God’s power; for now that you are forgiven and accepted, now that by faith you have fled to Christ for refuge, the power of God need no more terrify you, than the shield and sword of the warrior need terrify those whom he loves. Rather rejoice that He who is “great in power” is your Father and Friend.