“Therefore, since we are receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken, let us hold on to grace …”
Two beautiful people, a handsome young man and a strikingly attractive girl, both in college, met at a Christian summer camp. It was love at first sight. Both returned to their respective campuses and continued to date, planning their future together. Suddenly a strange sickness caused the young woman to see a doctor, who told her it was acute leukemia—terminal, a very rare type of leukemia that ends life quickly!
The two met again, this time in the hospital; the mood was serious and somber. She said to him, “Have you ever been totally without hope?” He wiped away tears and said, “No.” She then said—“Neither have I, I have Jesus in my life and I am unshaken!” “… we … cannot be shaken …”
When I first read that story, I was overcome with powerful emotions. I have never been able to dismiss that true happening from my mind. The English preacher said, “The more a tree of righteousness is shaken by the adverse winds, the more its roots sink deeper into the soil and rock of Christ.” For a true Christian—our troubles are intended to make us think, it weans us from the world, it sends up to our Bibles and drives us to our knees. These things make us better—not bitter!
And let us then resolve the issue—adversity will come to all of us! It’s not if, but when! God’s goodness and grace does not mean we are exempt from the troubles of life. Nobody ever got to heaven unscarred! All those who wear crowns in heaven above carried crosses on earth below!
And so we are unshaken as we realize God is with us “through it all.” In fact, nothing indicates the reality of our faith more than how we respond to trials and trouble, the avalanche of adversity. Here is what we realize that makes us unshaken and unshakable. “God does not mock His children with a night that has no ending; and to every man who stands resolute while the darkness lasts,” said James S. Stewart of Edinburgh, “there comes at length the vindication of faith and the breaking of the day.”
And it all goes back to the way we are looking at life—that, of course, determines everything, understanding and action; it conditions our attitude and decisions—everything! And without a Christian mindset it will be basically a matter of chance and accidents; all of it is disconnected and uncontrolled. We become mastered by circumstances and situations. So that, life is not more than a game of checkers played out night and day. There is no plan or purpose, there is no rhyme or rhythm; to say it as some have said it, life is only a human tangle like a jumbled up fishing line.
I believe you can see it played out in John Bunyan. Locked in Bedford Jail, yet he writes a Christian classic, and he says by his effort, my faith is unshakable. He pressed on inspired by an inner strength which cannot be explained! Let me attempt to say it as compellingly as I can. What does the word “unshakable” mean in everyday life? It means in spite of everything there is one tremendous fact—there is a God that loves us, who will never forsake His own so He is there penetrating, supporting, overruling everything committed to His eternal purpose. So, that promise runs right through life, through time and space, history and experience, our ups and downs. His will is to never abandon His own. This is the greatest living truth, He makes us unshakable, and nothing compares with it!
And no matter what happens to me or in me, the work of God goes forward—it is an awesome thought. He can do it with me or without me, but what He cannot do is forget me or abandon me. Jesus promised His Father that He would see all those given to Him safely home. He has not lost one yet. “He does not crush the weak, Or quench the smallest hope; He will end all conflict with his final victory” (Matthew 12:20, TLB).
But if you and I look and listen, we hear the voices of the faithful who go through long years of frustration yet they cling on doggedly to a belief that God can bring good out of evil and light out of darkness—they were unshaken! They refuse to believe that they are the victim of cruel and savage injustice. These are people of grace amazing who refuse to sour into bitterness of their soul and become filled with cynical rage at life. They overcome. Professor James S. Stewart asks us to compare, is life “the sport of fate or the plan of God”?
Our world population is without God—so it breeds insecurity and instability resulting in loneliness, aimlessness, despair, and self-pity, but what a difference the kingdom of God makes. So if I bring all I am to the Lord Jesus, committing my soul to Him, there are no difficulties that cannot be transformed. There can be no trials that cannot be without meaning. It also indicates I am not haunted by my past sins, for they are forgiven never to be brought up again; they are obliterated forever, I am not haunted by that! And then when death comes with its dark shadow, I remain unshakable for He leads me into the sunburst of everlasting life.
Yes, unshakable we are! For after death has done its worst, I will triumphantly say, “Death, thank you for you brought me into His presence to enjoy Him forever! You came as an enemy, but you became a friend!”
But I must admit—if what I am built around is not the result of the Good News of Jesus, there is nothing in the world that is good news, not anywhere, not anytime! The world is cold and bleak and shadowy.
Yes, here we are “strangers and pilgrims on the earth … (But) God is not ashamed to be called their God: for he hath prepared for them a city.” (Hebrews 11:13, 16) Do I hear a shout? Do I hear the word come from your heart, “Glory!”? Think of that, God is not ashamed to call us His!
We may be pilgrims and sojourners and admit, “Here we have no continuing city, but that does not mean we are insecure because ‘he hath prepared for them a city.’” And when it’s time, it will be ready and waiting for us. Now do you understand why we are unshaken by life and unshakable about the future? I wait patiently for anyone to tell me anything that is better than this! Jesus, “where I am, there you will be also.”
And we see the unshakable qualities in Joseph in Egypt as he realized he was dying, yet, he made plans for the future, not only for his remains but for all the whole nation of Israel. This means, of course, that he was the absolute master of the situation. Let me show you as I quote from Hebrews:
“And it was by faith that Joseph, as he neared the end of his life, confidently spoke of God bringing the people of Israel out of Egypt; and he was so sure of it that he made them promise to carry his bones with them when they left!”
Hebrews 11:22, TLB
Notice the wording, “he … confidently spoke …”
Spurgeon phrased it another way about the same amazing confidence. He said that God “will make out with other means, when He decides to cut me out.” Now, that is unshakable confidence expressed in both Spurgeon and Joseph in Egypt. We are confident because we know, no matter what, that what God chooses is better than what we would choose, even if it does not make immediate sense to us at the moment.
That was finely said by J. I. Packer, “The only person in this world who enjoys complete contentment is the person who knows that the only worthwhile and satisfying life is to be a means, however humble, to God’s chief end—His own glory and praise.” This means we embrace the providence of God. The less we plan our own life, the more we enjoy the life God has for us. This approach to life is an inexhaustible treasure for we are unshakable.
Finally, what has been laid out on paper is Biblically balanced and it is absolutely vital to our spiritual health, and it “cannot be shaken.”