In a world full of shaky promises, shocks and surprises, we can rest in the firm grasp of an unshakeable God. Truths to reset your soul on a Saturday!
So don’t turn a deaf ear to these gracious words. If those who ignored earthly warnings didn’t get away with it, what will happen to us if we turn our backs on heavenly warnings?
His voice that time shook the earth to its foundations; this time—he’s told us this quite plainly—he’ll also rock the heavens: “One last shaking, from top to bottom, stem to stern.”
The phrase “one last shaking” means a thorough housecleaning, getting rid of all the historical and religious junk so that the unshakable essentials stand clear and uncluttered.
Early in the morning of January 2nd, 2018, I was on the Tube in London, heading to my first day back at work after a great Christmas holiday. There was that classic sense of my feet coming firmly back down to earth after the festive time celebrating Christmas and New Year with wonderful family and friends. All of a sudden, I was back to leaving the house long before sunrise, dashing up the road wearing as many layers as I possibly could fit under my coat to protect me from the icy morning breeze, before jumping onto a hot, crowded tube, crammed full of people hurrying to start their day.
I, too, was eager to get on with my first day back in the office and hit the ground running - I needed to get on with the emails that had built up while I was away, make a start on my 2018 task list and was looking forward to catching up with colleagues to see what people had been up to over Christmas.
About halfway along my journey, the Tube suddenly seemed even hotter than it had before, my head started to spin and I realised that I wasn’t quite with it. The next thing I knew, was that I was being carried off the train by some very kind people at South Kensington station, having blacked out and fainted in the carriage. This hadn’t been the start to the year that I’d hoped for…! I hadn’t been able to make it into the office conscious, let alone make a start on any of the goals I’d set for myself!
The verses we’re looking at today, from the incredible chapter of Hebrews 12, speak encouragement into the start of 2018 for all of us - no matter what our circumstances look like.
These verses tell of a powerful God, a God who has complete control over the heavens and the earth. At first glance, if we look at these verses on their own, they can seem stern, even scary, but let’s not forget who the God is that we’re talking about. This is the same God who earlier in this same chapter is described as loving us in the way that a father loves a child - a deep, caring, vast and overwhelming love.
So actually these verses are a great encouragement, because they tell of a God who holds all of heaven and earth in his hands, nothing is outside of his control. What is of God is permanent, strong, sure and dependable - unlike anything else in this world. So we can relax in the knowledge that nothing will be a surprise for God this year. And these verses don’t shy away from the truth that difficult times will come - in fact rocky times are promised. But God promises that there is a purpose in this - “so that the unshakable essentials stand clear and uncluttered”.
My prayer for 2018 is that God would help me fix my eyes on the true source of unshakable faith, hope and joy: himself. For 2018, I want to have a clear and uncluttered view of him, because I know that he holds me in his hands.
Emma grew up in Bath, before moving to Cambridge as a teenager and staying on to study Law there at university. Since graduating, Emma has worked in the finance industry and is the More Precious Development Manager. Emma is so loving seeing God use More Precious to grow his kingdom, and her prayer is that He would continue to use it for His glory. Emma is married to Luke, and they go to church at Holy Trinity Brompton in London.