by Henry T. Blackaby Return to Articles

“. . . the heavens and earth will shake; but the Lord will be a shelter for His people . . .” (Joel 3:16b)

If a person does not have a real or close relationship with God, the incredible “shaking” of our day will be a time for anger, bitterness, cynicism and even deep unbelief in the very existence of God!

What do we see being shaken in the world today? — homeland security since the 9/11 tragedies; terrorism and its constant destabilizing threats; the downturn and uncertainties in the economy; wars in Bosnia, Afghanistan, Kuwait and Iraq; death in our military and its effect on their families; changing standards, including the debate over marriage; breakdown in family life; bankruptcies and unemployment; rising costs in education and other aspects of life; corporate fraud and scandals; and many more life-changing and unsettling aspects of life that are touching all of us.

Hebrews 12:25-29 has much to say, in such times as these, to one who deeply believes God and is in daily fellowship with Him.

First, there is a clear word NOT to “refuse Him Who speaks” in times like these.

Second, God HAS spoken before, and it happened just AS He spoke it. People then did not escape the consequences of refusing to hear God.

Third, God is once again speaking, saying He is going to shake both the earth and heaven — so that only what CANNOT be shaken will remain.

Fourth, He states that only the Kingdom (or, rule) of God cannot be shaken, and will remain.

Lastly, He then urges — even us today — “… to have Grace by which we may serve God acceptably with reverence and Godly fear …”

It is precisely in times like these that those who know Him intimately must serve Him with all their heart. For it is, and will be, His Presence (His rule and Grace) that will be enabling us, so a world that is watching may see the difference God really does make in the lives, families and workplaces of His children who know and trust Him.

To many, these are changing, shaking and even unsettling times. But it is always times like these that define for us where we are putting our trust. If our trust has been in government, political solutions, military protection and the “solutions” of men, then we may find ourselves also shaken.

But if our trust has always been in God and His intimate care for us and His personal control over our lives, then when much around us is being shaken our lives will remain steady, certain and confident with hope from His presence with us. This is a choice we make! This choice can be made even now, for the future does not seem to be looking much better — rather, much more may be shaken, nationally and even globally. God is present and He is in control so that what is being shaken will only reveal what cannot be shaken — His Rule in our life and our world.

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