The Lord established the earth upon its foundations, so that it will not totter forever and ever.

Psalm 104: 5


Am I alone in wondering about the accuracy of this comment? The world that I live in seems to be spinning far off of its axis. It seems to be so wobbly that I am amazed when there is a day where I don’t hear about some sort of major natural disaster. Our news is filled with unending accounts of lives turned upside down and whole countries thrust into chaos by what seem to be the whims of climate and instability of the earth. Additionally, these natural events aren’t even the most terrifying and disturbing of happenings, for the cruelty, anger, and hatred that people act out against each other leaves the destructive forces of nature in their wake.


Yet, as simplistic as this might sound, I trust God to be true to His word and to follow through with what He pledges. Thus, my mind needs to reconcile the fact that the earth seems to be totally off its foundation with God’s commitment to keep it firmly rooted there. My greatest challenge in understanding all of this is my own lack of perspective and my tendency to get caught up in the wrong things. The Lord is looking at this world from a viewpoint that sees its beginning and that contemplates the glory of its restoration through Christ’s return at the end of this age. He is allowing all of this current upheaval so that we will understand the severity of the consequences of our sinful disobedience to His creation plan. Additionally, the disastrous mess that we people cause when we operate outside of God’s will does tend to lead some of us to seek the Lord and to desire His loving involvement in our lives.


Although the world around me continues to be touched by earthquake and flood, by disease and famine, and by the horrors of violence and oppression, my understanding of these events is made clearer by my relationship with Christ. He grants me perspective, hope, and confidence in facing today. He also implores me to be involved in doing something about all of the related suffering. As I seek Christ’s perspective, my own world is truly set on its foundation, and nothing can knock me out of the grip of my God. In a day when many of the people around me are shaken and disoriented, the Lord wants me to use my voice to tell about the solid rock that my soul stands upon and of Christ who cares for and comforts the injured, sick, and oppressed around me.



I called out to the LORD, out of my distress,

and he answered me;

out of the belly of Sheol I cried,

and you heard my voice.

Jonah 2: 1


Everyone experiences difficult times and bad days, but no one that I know has ever had one quite like Jonah’s. He had been literally voted off of the boat and tossed into the ocean. Then what might have seemed like a relatively quick end to his misery by way of drowning had turned into a prolonged time of suffering while a giant fish digested him. The depths of Jonah’s despair had a strangely factual element to it, and there were certainly no people around who were going to hear him or who could possibly come to his help. Not only was he at the end of his proverbial rope, but also that tool would have been useless even if he had one with him. This left him with one place to go for resolution and relief or even for the certitude of an end to his misery. He turned to God with a plea for either a merciful end to it all or for the miracle of being saved out of the situation that was surrounding him.


Now for Jonah to call out to God took more than a little humility and some real turn about in his heart and mind. The boat trip that Jonah was taking was a journey away from God and from the path that the Lord had clearly determined for him to take. Our lost mariner was fearful and concerned about doing what God had set out for him as his calling and mission; so, it must have seemed to him that there was no way that God would come to his aid. Jonah was the rebellious one, the disobedient child, and the lost soul who had turned away from God in the course of losing his way. Yet, where was he to turn if not to the only ears that could possibly hear him at that moment? Jonah’s faith had been insufficient to trust God enough to take him through the task at hand to conclusion, and he just really didn’t want to do what the Lord told him to do; however, God was faithful to His mission of saving this difficult man and of using him to bring saving knowledge of God’s loving truth to others.


The Lord had a plan and a purpose for Jonah. He has the same for everyone on this earth. Almost no one is sent across an ocean to bring the message of the Gospel of Christ to a far off nation; yet, we are all given the opportunity to share our faith with someone who we encounter in our journey through the day. Most of us do not turn away from God in the dramatic manner that Jonah did, but everyone has been rebellious and almost all of us continue to struggle with God and with engaging in His will for us after we come to know Christ. Still, the Lord stays committed to us and to saving us from the deep and the dark places where we have gone. Whether this place of seeming burial that we are experiencing is caused by our own actions or is the result of the way that evil attacks our bodies, minds, and spirits, it is a real and an oppressive place to dwell. Christ desires to save each of us from these times and these places. He will bring relief and restoration to us. He asks us to do as Jonah did by recognizing the need that we have for our Savior. Generally, this recognition of need and of the absence of internal resources to meet it leads to speaking up and sharing the pain that is present with God and with someone else. This leads to vulnerability that is answered in trust of God and of His working through His body, and it may place us on a journey that will be hard and taxing. However, on that journey Christ joins us, and we are taken in faith into the peace that only His presence can provide in this life.

To you, O LORD, I lift up my soul.

O my God, in you I trust;

let me not be put to shame;

let not my enemies exalt over me.

Psalm 25: 1, 2


Trust is a part of our everyday lives. We place a form of trust in many things that we encounter along the way. This all starts when we climb out of bed in the morning and trust that the floor beneath our feet will hold our weight today, and it continues in like manner throughout the day. We also trust in institutions such as banks and governments, and for most of us, people form the most significant of categories of recipients of our trust. Yet, the trust that David describes here is even greater than all of that above. He trusts God with the care, the protection, and the nurture of his most precious of possessions, his soul.


Like David, I have no doubt that God cares about and for me totally. His presence is real in ways that go beyond and that are more deeply seated than any other reality that I experience. Yet, life has a way of throwing curves my way. Not everything makes sense, and many events and situations arise that bring about a form of disorientation and that cause me to momentarily lose sight of God’s presence and His purpose for my life. I think that these are the sorts of times that David is concerned about when he speaks about God providing protection from shame and the triumphal dance of his enemies. Although I, too, share his plea for God’s mercy and protection, I am fully aware of the fact that Christ has fully secured those things for me. I am saved, and I am free!


My soul is secure in the care of Christ who stands before the Father and proclaims the innocence that He gained for me on the cross. In light of my Lord’s great gift to me and His immense sacrifice for me, how can I not trust Him absolutely? Yet, in the moment and under the duress of life’s struggles, I do doubt, and I do allow shame and guilt to hold me captive. However, even in these times of my wandering away from God’s peace and joy, Christ is close at hand. In fact, it is in these darkest of days that the glory of my Lord provides those first glimmers of the light that leads me back into that soul-deep peace that comes from trusting God, and His presence warms the chill out of my heart. Like David, Lord I do trust you with my soul.


Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you at the proper time, casting all your anxiety upon Him, for He cares for you.

1 Peter 5: 6, 7


When I look at how hard I work to hold onto my fears, concerns, and anxieties, I am amazed. My mind continually goes back to these familiar old scripts where the behaviors that I exhibit are damaging, counter productive, and even harmful. Yet, these scenarios are the text of my life, and they have been constructed over time to form a very comfortable shell that surrounds my heart and my mind and that keeps me from straying too far into the risky waters of fundamental change. God sees this behavior as arrogance and as a form of pride.


By holding onto ways of thinking and behaviors that have proven to be unproductive in the past and by continuing to grasp them as if they were my greatest treasures, I am saying to God that I know better than He how I should live my life, and I am demonstrating to those around me that when I say that I trust God and that I desire to follow His will that what I really mean is that I do these things only to the extent and so far as my own definitions of what is safe and acceptable will allow me to venture. Unfortunately, this way of living is self-centered and hypocritical, and it shuts me out of experiencing the full extent of the wondrous blessing that God has in mind for me.


The answer to all of this seems to lie in no longer being concerned about what others will think about me or about my own sense of my short comings or weaknesses. God’s answer for me is found in the extravagant love that He has for me and through the moment by moment reality of His care for me. When I stop looking at myself and start focusing on God’s face, I see the way that His Spirit envelops me, and I hear the reassuring words of His counsel directing me to step forward and to engage the adventure that He has prepared for me in this life. Lord, God, I pray that as I go through this day I will continue to cast away the spirit of anxiety that keeps my eyes focused on myself and that I will continually gaze upon Your face and follow Your path into the Your perfect love has set out for me.


For the promise to Abraham or to his descendants that he would be heir of the world was not through the Law, but the righteousness of faith.

Romans 4: 13


When God asked Abraham to leave it all behind; leave his family, their ancestral home, the support that he received there, the counsel of his elders, the food that he had come to enjoy, the certainty of his future inheritance, and everything that provided context and concept for his own reality, the Lord also made some very powerful commitments of His own to Abraham. By accepting the faith challenge that God gave to him, Abraham was going to become much greater than he could ever have imagined. He would be blessed by God in ways and to depths that were beyond his capacity to dream of, and the impact of his life would extend far past any future that he could see.


Every step that Abraham took along the dusty trail that led from Ur to Canaan was fueled by the faith that God was going before him. Each misadventure that Abraham brought upon himself was the result of a time when he lost his focus on the importance of continuing to trust God to have all of the answers. As we know from the account of Abraham’s life, God did have of the answers, even the ones to the most unspeakable and unanswerable of questions. My life is too often a weak shadow of the one that Abraham lived. God calls upon me to undertake the journey along His path, He makes His promises very clear to even my thick sculled mind and wavering heart, and I step out with real resolve and conviction. Yet, my steps are diverted, my pace slows to a crawl, I follow the bright and shiny objects that catch my eye, and my fears and doubts obscure the resolve that the Lord empowered.


In these times of weakness and wandering, I need to realize that faithfulness is defined and it is modeled by God. He stays with me regardless of where I go, and He always has prepared for me the map that will lead my lost feet back to the center of His will. Getting back onto God’s path takes little more than my smallest measure of faith. Then a tiny particle of trust is all that is needed to empower my feet to step forward. In return for these small expressions on my part, the Lord promises the world.



Worthy are you, our Lord and God, to receive glory and honor and power, for you created all things, and by your will they existed and were created.

Revelation 4: 11


Perspective and point of view are invaluable in trying to understand how this world truly works and why things are as they are. It also helps in trying to sort out why things may seem to be one way while they actually are very different. People like to think that we are the great creators, the skilled developers, and the talented managers of our world. We like to think that we have control and can set our own courses through this life. Everything is ours for the taking; at least, this is what most of us are taught and encouraged to seek after. Yet, thinking like this and living as if this were truth leads to frustration, to a decreasing sense of worth over time, and to a never ending need to control and to dominate others.


When life is viewed from a different vantage point, my personal place in the world changes. When I recognize the fact that God is the creator, the developer, and the only One who is qualified to manage it all, the importance of my role and my need to be in control is absolutely altered. In order to take my hands off of the controls of my existence while still aggressively moving forward requires me to trust God and to have faith in His best intentions. It is in this arena of being trustworthy and true to His word that Christ excels. In ways that are amazing beyond understanding, God follows through with caring for my needs, in protecting me and my loved ones, and by establishing the importance and the value of my role in His world.


The heavenly point of view that is expressed in this verse from Revelation allows us to clearly see that God created everything and everyone. More importantly, it was all done by the will of the Lord. There is nothing in this world or in all of creation that is random or coincidental. God’s perfect will states that He desires for all of creation to be brought near to His heart again. Each of us moves closer to the Lord’s will and our world is also moved toward Him as we recognize God’s priorities and take personal action in living in the center of them.