Highlands Blog

Standing Firm When You Feel Shaken

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Posted in Highlands Blog under Culture, Faith, Social Issues

Man's bare feet standing still.

Most of the time living a fearless life seems impossible. Things go wrong, plans fail, we start second-guessing. We sink into confusion and worry and shamefaced retreat when the troubles of life come upon us. At some point, they always come, the Lord even said, “In the world you will have tribulation” (John 16:33). Our tribulations wear many faces. They may look like cancer, or an empty bank account, or your name slandered because you spoke for righteous morality.

In the not so distant past I weathered a time when confusion and worry reigned supreme. My troubles were lurking on every side and colored everything in view. I could see no apparent solutions. I started to dread the friendly question, “How are you?” because my options were to lie and say “fine,” change the subject, or admit to someone who merely asked a casual question, that things weren’t going so hot.

All of this confusion drove me to the Word where I read about times much more troubling than my own, and yet God’s people were still supposed to live with strong trust in their God to save them and care for them. “Fear not,” said Moses as the people of God heard the thundering chariots of Egypt hemming them in by the sea, “Fear ye not, stand still, and see the salvation of the Lord” (Exodus 14:13). I also saw the confidence of the Psalmists prayers, ” In Thee, O Lord, do I put my trust: let me never be put to confusion” (Psalm 71:1).

Whatever the physiognomy of our troubles, God’s Word is clear that, “He will never allow the righteous to be shaken” (Psalm 55:22). Trials will come and the righteous will not be shaken. These are unarguable truths. So, why do we feel so shaky?

There are two things I’ve found that bring on a trembly frame of mind.

First, we simply don’t believe God when He tells us we are secure.
He says, “you will never be shaken” and we continue wallowing in worry and anxiety with every nervous breath declaring to the world that God is a liar, that He cannot be trusted. We are sincerely afraid that the Lord will leave us and forsake us, that everything does not work out for the good of those who love Him, and that He will not provide for all our needs according to His riches in glory. We just don’t believe it. We live out our unbelief with every restless night spent in sleepless anxiety over our circumstances, and with each hour of the day given to fretful worrying. The answer to this problem of wayward feelings is, of course, to repent and believe praying, “Lord I believe, help my unbelief.” Believe that the Lord is righteous and true, that His word will never fail, that He will accomplish all that concerns us, and that His lovingkindness is everlasting. Then, perhaps we can say with David, “He has made me bold with strength in my soul,” (Psalm 138).

Second, feelings of insecurity and fear can flow from disobedience to God’s Word.
Our personal obedience to the commands of God isn’t complete or perfect and does not buy our eternal security, only the blood of Christ can do that. Obedience, however, does flow out of the work of Christ in our lives. 1 John tells us,

The one who says, ‘I have come to know Him,’ and does not keep His commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him; but whoever keeps His word, in him the love of God has truly been perfected.

Rejecting the commandments of the Lord turns our feet toward stumbling. The moments we reject the commands of the Lord, choosing our own way, are the same moments our ankles take to weakness and turning. Feelings of insecurity, in this case, are a blessing. They warn us to return to the righteous way of the Lord where He will protect our steps and keep us from falling. When we are standing in a place of obedience to the faithful Word of God, we are always standing in a secure place. We do not have to spend our lives cowering in fear that we will come to shame and ruin if we spend them loving and doing the commands of the Lord.

We live in a culture that knows not right from wrong. They are so confused by their vanity and pride, they can no longer even tell the difference between man and woman. Following the ever-changing “truths” offered by the world will not firm up the ground beneath our feet, it will only cause our foundations to crumble. Our God, however, was and is the same. The truth of His Word is everlasting. We need not live in confusion and fear if we will simply trust and obey. If we are to have confidence in this life, it has to be all about Him, and He has given us Himself and His Word. This should assuredly give us boldness with strength in our souls.

What gives boldness and strength to your soul? We would love to hear from you in the comments below.

  • Sam

    “And when the servant of the man of God arose early and went out, there was an army, surrounding the city with horses and chariots. And his servant said to him, ‘Alas, my master! What shall we do?’ So he answered, ‘Do not fear, for those who are with us are more than those who are with them.’ And Elisha prayed, and said, ‘LORD, I pray, open his eyes that he may see.’ Then the LORD opened the eyes of the young man, and he saw. And behold, the mountain was full of horses and chariots of fire all around Elisha.” — 2 Kings 6:15-17

    Those who are with us are more than those who are with them. Moreover, it is WHO is with us that emboldens and strengthens my soul all the more. “If God is for us, who can be against us?” — Romans 8:31b

  • tionico

    What gives me boldness and courage under fire? The endless accounts of God’s faithfulness to others…. both those of old, as we read in the two Testaments, those of history, as we read in the works of past centuries, and those with whom I come face to face myself, and have weathered fierce storms, or, even more effective, are in the midst of turmoil even today. To know of these faithful who have gone before me, and/or are now blazing the trail as I watch, gives me courage to press on when things seem oh-so-hopeless to me. Being closely knit to others and walking together along the Path is one of the critical keys to our own strength. The COMMAND to comfort others with the comfort you have been given is not just a nice set of words. We are to use our tongues (pens, keyboards) to build one another up… lest we die. IAnyone who is NOT in close and deep fellowship with other believers is like the man setting out on a journey alone, having no kit with him for his travels, and no plan as to where he will go. The blind can lead the blind into the ditch easiy enough, but the blind on his own will almost surely end up in the ditch, just as surely as if another blind one led him there.
    Hold fast to the fellowship of the saints (and by that I do NOT mean “hanging out together”, I mean being open to speak and hear and learn from those who God has placed in front of you. It is the unhealthy lone sheep that WILL become supper for the wolf….. or simply become entangled in the thicket or barb wire fence and perish alone.

    • I too have received much encouragement from stories of the faithful, and enjoyed the benefits of close fellowship with the saints. Endeavoring to overcome sin and selfishness and grow the type of relationships which can be described as, “iron sharpening iron” is well worth the effort. It is so easy to grow discouraged and weak when facing any kind of trouble. One of the unexpected blessings of fellowship with God’s people is that they often inspire us with greater courage and steadfastness than we would live out on our own! And, as you said, they can be a hedge of protection for us also.

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