Life is full of uncertainty (Prov. 27:1). At any given moment we may receive news that shakes the very foundation of our lives (e.g., Job 1:13-19). Our doctors may give us devastating news about our health. Our employer may give us unwelcome news about our jobs. Our families may be challenged by loss or suffering. Spouses may prove untrue. Nature’s forces may deal us a blow and deprive us of our substance. So many things to trouble us, so many things about which to worry, so many things to shake us.
And yet as uncertain as life often is, there is a confidence we have as Christians which transcends all the worries, trials and heartaches we face (Rom. 8:18). Just as Paul and Silas could pray and sing praises to God at midnight in a damp and dark Philippian jail, even when all seemed bleak (Acts 16:25), so, too, can we face the anguish and disappointments of life courageously and with great inner joy. From whence is this unearthly confidence and joy derived? Paul wrote:
“Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God. And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus” (Philippians 4:6-7).
Though everything about us seems as uncertain as the shifting sands, as Christians we have a confidence and joy derived not from our own sense of ability or power (Jer. 10:23), but from trusting in the One who holds the world in His hands (Ps. 92:4). Those who build their lives on the uncertain sands of mere mortal merit are sure to ultimately find disappointment and collapse. But those who build upon the solid Rock foundation can rest assured that their labors will not fall (Matt. 7:24-27).
The apostle Paul declared that though the world devolves into ever increasing ungodliness (II Tim. 3:13), and many people’s faith is overthrown, there is one thing we can trust, one verity of life that never changes–the foundation of God (II Tim. 2:16-19). Paul further declared that, as Christians, we are of the household of God and are built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ Himself being the chief corner stone (Eph. 2:19,20). For other foundation can no man lay than that which is laid which is Jesus Christ (I Cor. 3:11).
Throughout the Old Testament, our God is described as a Rock. The Mighty God of Jacob brings forth the Shepherd, the Stone of Israel (Gen. 49:24). “He is the Rock, His work is perfect” (Deut. 32:4). “The Lord is my Rock, and my fortress, and my deliverer” (II Sam. 22:3). “The LORD liveth; and blessed be my rock; and exalted be the God of the rock of my salvation” (II Samuel 22:47). The Rock that was cut out of the mountains without hands was to break in pieces all the kingdoms of the world (Dan. 2:44,45).
The prophet Isaiah declared, “Therefore thus saith the Lord GOD, Behold, I lay in Zion for a foundation a stone, a tried stone, a precious corner stone, a sure foundation: he that believeth shall not make haste” (Isaiah 28:16). Jesus Christ is that “foundation…stone, a tried stone, a precious corner stone, a sure foundation” (Is. 28:16). In the words of Peter, he that believeth on Him, “shall not be confounded” (I Pet. 2:6,7; cf. Rom. 10:11). If our lives are built on the solid foundation of Jesus Christ and His teaching, there is nothing that can move us, as long as we choose to remain there.
We express our confidence in our Rock when we sing our hymns, which are replete with references to the Rock. “He hideth my soul in the cleft of the rock, that shadows a dry, thirsty land.” “Rock of Ages, cleft for me, let me hide myself in Thee.” “O Thou blessed Rock of Ages, trusting now dear Lord in Thee, Keep me till my journey’s ended, Till Thy blessed face I see. Hide me O Blessed Rock of Ages, Till Thy blessed face I see, When the storm around me rages, Rock of Ages hide Thou me.” “The church’s One Foundation, is Jesus Christ her Lord…” “On Christ the solid Rock I stand, all other ground is sinking sand.” Do we believe what we sing?
If you would find stability in your life, if you would have confidence that you cannot be moved (Heb. 12:28), then build your life on the solid rock foundation of Jesus Christ. “Nevertheless the foundation of God standeth sure, having this seal, The Lord knoweth them that are his. And, Let every one that nameth the name of Christ depart from iniquity” (II Timothy 2:19).
Eric L. Padgett