“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.” (Hebrews 12:25-27)
There are times in our lives when great tragedy strikes, tragedy that is beyond any easy comprehension or explanation. The world around us is shaken, whether by disasters personal or public, and nothing seems the same as it was before. Part of us longs to go back to life as it was—but there is no turning back. We cannot alter events—or make the pain go away.
Who do you turn to when life overwhelms you? One thing is certain; the day will come when you will face trials for which you have neither the strength nor the answer in yourself. Where will you turn for help then? Will you pretend that everything is fine when it really isn’t? Many do. Or will you give way to bitterness and anger, and complain that life has been unfair to you? What a dead end that is! Will you try to keep a “stiff upper lip,” and bull your way through, with your pride intact but your heart breaking? “Don’t worry about me, I can handle it!”
So much of modern American culture teaches us to be self-sufficient. We are taught to look inside ourselves for everything we need to live and overcome the challenges of life. Leaning on others is viewed as weakness. But the Bible reveals that God never intended us to plow through life as some kind of tough-skinned cowboy, who would rather do it all by him or herself, than to stop and ask for help from another! Jesus declared,
“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.
Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart,
and you will find rest for your souls.” (Matthew 11:29)
An anonymous American slave wrote a beautiful old spiritual that declares, “Nobody knows the trouble I’ve seen, nobody knows like Jesus….” Imagine that suffering soul, singing from the heart with tears streaming down her face. No other human being is around to hear the song, or any master there to crack the whip, but only a loving Father looking down from Heaven. Of Him the Psalmist declared, “The Lord is a refuge for the oppressed, a stronghold in times of trouble. Those who know your name will trust in you, for you, Lord, have never forsaken those who seek you.” (Psalm 9:9-10)
Are you facing circumstances in your life today that you do not know how to handle? Don’t try to bull through it on your own, but don’t give up either! Bow your knee before God and pour out your heart before Him. Tell him all about your troubles, your hurts, and your needs: “Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.” (1 Peter 5:7)
And while you are at it, tell Him about your sins as well! He already knows all about them, but He wants you to confess and turn away from them. His word tells us, “If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.” (1 John 1:8-9)
No human being can ever know everything that you have said or done, or thought. Neither can they know what you have suffered, or made someone else to suffer. But God in Heaven knows! Though Jesus performed great miracles of healing while He was on earth, the greatest miracle of all is that He knows everything there is to know about you and me—yet He still loves us. In fact, He loves us so much that He willingly laid down His life on the cross for our sins, “the just for the unjust,” the spotless Son of God for the guilty sons and daughters of earth.
Jesus’ death on the cross opened the way for us to be forgiven, and His resurrection from the dead opened the door for us to have real life. As Romans 5:10-11 states, “For if, when we were God’s enemies, we were reconciled to him through the death of his Son, how much more, having been reconciled, shall we be saved through his life!”
God will shake the heavens and the earth, and every work of ours that is not built on Him will fall. In many ways, that shaking has already begun! Fires, floods, tsunamis, economic turmoil, and wars have shaken the lives of people all over this world. At the same time, people in every land are finding a refuge in Jesus that many of them never before knew existed.
And what about the rich people of this world, those who seem secure in the fortress of their possessions? All the wealth that so many spend their lives to gain will also pass away. In November 2001, shortly after the death of the famous Beatle, George Harrison, CBS News reported, “In the very early days, when the other three Beatles made jokes about God and religion, George insisted there had to be more to life than the fame and fortune that came to him so young.” They also reported something else that he said: “Everybody wants to be rich and famous…. Once you get to be rich and famous, you realize this isn’t it. There’ s got to be something more.”
In Luke 12:15, Jesus said, “Watch out! Be on your guard against all kinds of greed; a man’s life does not consist in the abundance of his possessions.” He also declared in Matthew 6:19-21:
“Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy,
and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven,
where moth and rust do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal.
For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.”
God will shake this present world system, with all its unfairness, arrogance, greed, and corruption. But those who put their trust in Jesus will never be ashamed, neither in this life nor in the life to come! Do you hear Him today, knocking at the door of your troubled heart? Listen to Him speaking to you:
Copyright ©2007 Christopher N. White