Certainty In Uncertain Days
Certainty is in short supply these days. Over the past several weeks, most of our lives have been turned upside down in ways we could not have imagined. Most of the things we took for granted a few weeks ago, we have discovered, can no longer be depended on. Instead, we have learned just how frail our world is, and how easily life can dramatically change for us all. Even with all the changes that have taken place, still none of us yet know the full impact the coronavirus will have on our lives, our livelihoods, our families, and our future.
The words of Hebrews 6:17-18 stand in sharp contrast to the great uncertainty that has swept into our lives: “When God desired to show more convincingly to the heirs of the promise the unchangeable character of his purpose, he guaranteed it with an oath, so that by two unchangeable things, in which it is impossible for God to lie, we who have fled for refuge might have strong encouragement to hold fast to the hope set before us.” With these words, the writer to the Hebrews reminds us that, in the midst of uncertainty, there is something that can absolutely be depended upon, and that is the promises and the purposes of God. They are backed by two unchangeable things: his own eternally perfect nature, and his word. In other words, God’s purposes and his promises are as good as his own perfect nature and, though the fulfillment of many of his purposes still remain in the future, they are as good as done, simply because he is determined to do them!
So, when God says something, when he gives his word, we can be sure that it is as good as done. In the Psalms, David repeatedly found strength and courage in the certainty of God’s promises. When he had fallen into enemy hands he found courage by remembering: “When I am in trouble, I will trust in you. In God whose word I praise, in God I trust; I will not be afraid. What can mortal man do to me?” (Ps. 56:3-4). The writer to the Hebrews used these same words to encourage his readers (He. 13:6, cf. Ps. 118:6, 7), recalling also God’s promise to Joshua: “I will never leave you; never will I forsake you” (He. 13:5, cf. Dt. 31:6, 8).
The Apostle Paul also makes a powerful case for the confidence we can have in God during uncertain days. He points out that if God has already shown the level of his commitment to us by allowing his own son to be crucified for us, we can certainly trust him to make good on the promises he has made (Rom. 8:32). Further, if God had the power to raise Jesus from the dead, we can certainly be confident that he has the power to make good on whatever he has told us he will do.
Over the past few weeks we have been reminded that the institutions of men, on which people hope to build their lives, are only so much sand (Mt. 7:24-27). But God’s promises and purposes are the bedrock on which we can build our lives with confidence. They are indeed an anchor for the soul (Heb. 6:19)! As the storm-seas of uncertainty swirl around us, may we all sink our anchors into the solid rock of our gracious, unchanging and unchangeable God.
Pastor Jon EnrightApril 1, 2020