When I wrote my last devotional, I was sitting on a stationary train, my journey delayed by several hours because of a breakdown on the line ahead of us. Now as I write this, I am sitting with my injured foot raised, my journey back to the UK delayed by at least two weeks due to an accident resulting in torn ligaments. I would not have chosen either situation, but Romans 8:28 tells us that God works in all situations for good when we love Him, and certainly one benefit of both situations is enforced rest and more time than usual to think and pray.
My reading this morning was Psalm 15 and my attention was caught by the words ‘shall never be shaken.’ I looked up the word ‘shaken’ in the dictionary to start digging deeper into what it means not to be shaken, and then looked into God’s word to see what it teaches us about how we can counteract being shaken.
The dictionary gave various definitions such as ‘to be dislodged because a support has been moved; become unsteady; for one’s feelings to be profoundly disturbed or agitated because of fear; to cause to doubt or waver; to weaken; to disturb the poise, stability or equilibrium of a person or thing.’ As I read these definitions, I thought of the psalmist David, who many times was in a situation of desperate need. But he gave his feelings of anxiety to God, choosing to put his trust in God and to speak what he knew to be true, despite what his feelings told him.
I believe the words ‘who speaks the truth’ in today’s text concerns not only speaking honestly to one another, but also speaking the truth of God’s word to ourselves when our minds and emotions may be telling us something different, maybe causing us to doubt God’s goodness or making us fear. David stood firm in times when he could have been shaken, declaring:
‘‘My soul finds rest in God alone; my salvation comes from Him. He alone is my rock and my salvation; He is my fortress, I shall never be shaken’’ (Psalm 62:1-2).
Maybe you find yourself shaken in the same kind of situation from time to time. When you recognise that a certain situation makes you feel shaken, it’s often an indicator that God wants to heal you in some area. It may be because of a past experience, or just that God wants to grow your trust in Him in such circumstances, enabling you to find rest in Him alone.
God has promised to strengthen us, to hold our hand and give us the stability we need. He tells us not to fear because He will help us (Isaiah 41:10,13). We can rely on Him. He doesn’t break His promises. His support will never be removed.
In his letter to the Thessalonians, Paul writes about standing firm in the truth and not being shaken by false teaching (2 Thessalonians 2:15). God’s word is the plumb line. If we keep our eyes on Him and His word, we will not be swayed by the various voices of those who would change God’s word in order to appear more ‘politically correct’ in today’s society.
Paul also gives clear instructions in Ephesians 6:14-17 on how to stand firm in our faith, echoing the psalmist in our text for today as he emphasises the importance of truth, righteousness, faith and the word of God.
Scripture is full of very clear teaching on how to stand firm. With God’s help, we need never be shaken.
Prayer: Dear heavenly Father, thank You for Your promise to strengthen and help me in each situation. I pray You will guide me into all truth and enable me to live according to Your ways so that I will stand firm in You and not be shaken. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
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