I’m a planner. I have more calendars than I have time, and I write things down that I’ve already done just so I can cross them off my list. I plan my year, my month, my week, and each day in advance. And I always buy a new planner months before I finish the one I’m using. I thrive in organization and plans and lists.
So what happens when the world seems out of order and chaotic–when my plans for the future seem so uncertain? How do we deal with the confusion and instability that are all around us?
Stability means “resistance to change; constancy of character; reliability.” For most of us to be emotionally stable, we need to know there are some things we can count on not to change–a spouse, a friend, a home, a job. But none of these things are guaranteed in life. We must find our security in something more stable. We need spiritual stability. Jesus told a great parable about just that thing.
“Therefore everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock. The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house; yet it did not fall, because it had its foundation on the rock. But everyone who hears these words of mine and does not put them into practice is like a foolish man who built his house on sand. The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell with a great crash” (Matthew 7:24-27, NIV).
You see, following Jesus is the only sure foundation in a time of chaos and confusion. The One who created the world is the only One Who can guide us through times of instability and change. So how do we navigate the stormy waters?
Pray! I know in today’s world, that almost seems trite. Everyone prays, right? But the key here is to be in fellowship with the Lord, spending time with Him daily–not just crying out when we are in trouble. We have to build a foundation of faith and trust in the Lord Jesus Christ, surrendering our lives to Him and walking with Him.
“Devote yourselves to prayer, being watchful and thankful” (Colossians 4:2).
Listen! Remember the parable we just read about the wise man who built his house on the rock? He heard the words of the Lord. We need to spend time in the Word of God every day. God’s Word has much to say about the times we are living in. The more we read and study the Bible and listen to preaching and teaching on the Word, the more we will understand how to respond during these times.
“My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me” (John 10:27).
Obey! Jesus said in the parable that those who hear His Words and “[put] them into practice” are the ones who are on the rock. God’s Word is full of instruction, guidance, direction, and encouragement, but we have to obey what His Word says. When we do, we stay firmly planted on the rock of stability and safety.
“Do not merely listen to the word and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says” (James 1:22).
We are surely living in interesting times, but nothing takes God by surprise. Nothing shakes Him. Nothing can defeat Him. He is sovereign over all things. In times of uncertainty, there’s no better place to be than firmly anchored in the Rock.
My lists don’t always get crossed off; my plans in my calendar sometimes change. But I don’t have to be shaken because my stability is not rooted in my planner; it’s rooted in the character of my God. And He never changes.
“Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever” (Hebrews 13:8).