Stability In Unstable Times


“Therefore,  my  beloved brethren, be ye  steadfast,  unmoveable, always abounding in the work of the Lord…”  1 Cor.15:58 (KJV)

In other articles I have referred to this age as the  “Jello Era”  of human history.  In the last twenty or thirty years we have seen many things shake and tremble before our eyes.  These are things  we  used  to  trust  in,  like  banks,  jobs,  companies, governments, family values, etc.  In all these areas, and in  many more,  our  world is beginning to look about as stable as  a  big bowl of Jello.

Eruption of Mt. St. Helens (US) in 1980

Indeed, the prophets and biblical writers speak a great deal about these times.  Isaiah describes this era for us.  He says: “The earth reels like a drunkard, it sways like a hut in the wind; so heavy upon it is the guilt of its rebellion….” (Isa.  24:20).  The Bible says in Hebrews 12:26-27: “…now he has promised, ‘Once more I will shake not only the earth but also the heavens.’  The words ‘once more’ indicate the removing of what can be shaken—that is, created things—so that what cannot be shaken may remain.”  And then the beloved John assures us: “The world and its desires pass away, but the man who does the will of God lives forever.” (1 Jn. 2:17).

Let  us  try  to  make  some  observations  concerning  both instability  and stability, and how the latter can be gained  and preserved.


Satan  is like a giant low pressure center on a  weather  map.  His  negative  force creates storms and disturbances  in  all  of nature  and in our lives.  We might simply say that Satan  equals instability.   We can also say the same thing about sin,  whether the  sin be great or small.  We may think that a tiny sin like  a “little  white  lie” is of small consequence.  However,  we  know today  that even a little lie creates enough instability  in  our bodies that the changes can be scientifically measured with a lie detector.

All other sins likewise create instability in our lives, and the  shock  waves of these sins also create  instability  in  the lives  of  those around us.  There is great instability  in  sins like   slander,  gossip,  wrath,  double-mindedness,  etc.  For instance,  the  Bible tells  us that  the  double-minded  man  is unstable  in  all his ways (Jas. 1:8). Absolutely  everything the double-minded person does  brings instability into his own life and into the lives  of those around him.

Let  us consider some of the sins of the so-called  “sexual revolution”  which has been so touted  for years on TV, in  films and  elsewhere.   In  the last twenty years or so,  many  of  the precepts  of the Bible, as well as age-old traditions  concerning the  sacredness of marriage and family life have been tossed  out in  favor of this “new morality.”  We are constantly sold concepts like “free love,” “meaningful relationships,” “alternate
life-styles,” etc.

Now  we  are beginning to realize the  enormous  instability these  things  have brought to our world.   They have generated emotional, psychological, physiological, financial, spiritual, and many  other  forms of instability in their  participants.   These abuses have also cruelly touched the lives of untold millions who were not even participants.

Today  our  world  is being wracked  with  new  and  strange sexually-transmitted  diseases.    The number of  those  infected with the AIDS virus alone is now reaching apocalyptic proportions of some forty million in  our  world.  The  divorce  courts  are  jammed  with   broken marriages.  In  the US, marriages now have only a 50%  chance  of survival.   It has been estimated that half of American  children who were born since the 1980s will spend part of their childhood  with  only one  of  their  natural parents.* All  over  the  world  unwanted children  are  simply  aborted, most often with little remorse.  In the US, the abortion figure has already reached  1.5 million  per  year.   In tiny Israel,  where the Law  of  God  was  first established, there is an extremely high abortion  rate, running at last count around 50,000 each year.

We  are in a world-wide mess!   The glib preachers  of  this new  “gospel”  continue to hawk their wares, but already  we  can barely  pay  the financial cost of all the instability  and  ruin that has been caused, much less the  emotional,  psychological, and other costs.

Sin   literally creates such instability in the sinners  that their lives come crashing down around them.  Indeed, their lives almost self-destruct.  Jesus illustrates this truth in his parable of  the house  on the sand in Matthew 7:24-27.  The house built upon  the sand may appear strong and lovely in the bright sunlight, but  in the coming hurricane its foundation will literally melt away  and the  house will collapse into smithereens.  A world  filled  with sin, suffers much the same fate as the house.

The  clear message of both the Tanakh (Old Testament) and the New  Testament is  that  God will increase the pressure on the  wicked  of  this world.   They  will be cut off and rooted from  the  earth  (Psa. 37:9-10).  This will happen in God’s fiery end day judgments (cf. Mal. 4:1-2).

There  is surely no stability in evil.  The wicked are  like the  troubled  sea (Isa. 57:20).  The wicked are “… like chaff that the wind blows away.” (Psa. 1:4).  They will be  shaken  to pieces because of their sin, and because of the voice of the Lord which  is  about to shake all nations.  Not only will they not stand  in  the world to come – they will not even stand  in  this world.


What  a contrast the Bible makes between the wicked and  the righteous!   While  the wicked are pictured in Psalm 1  as  chaff which  the wind drives away, the righteous are pictured as  trees planted by streams of water.  While the wicked are shaken out  of the world and forgotten, the Bible says of the righteous: “Surely he will never be shaken; a righteous man will be remembered forever.  He will have no fear of bad news; his heart is steadfast, trusting in the LORD” (Psa. 112:6-7).   The Bible also says  that those who trust in the Lord are like Mount Zion  which cannot be removed forever (Psa. 125:1).

Now, how can we gain this stability in our lives?  We surely cannot  gain it from the philosophers of this age.  They are  all passing away just like the world system of which they are so much a  part.  They are like the grass and flowers of the field that all  wither in the heat of day.  Where can we turn?  We can  turn only  to the Word of God that lives and abides forever  (1  Pet. 1:24-25).

First and foremost the Word of God instructs us to build our lives  upon  the Rock.  As Christians, we are assured  that  this Rock  is  none other than Jesus, and we believe  that  those  who trust  in him will never be disappointed (Rom. 9:33).  Those  who build  upon  him  and his word will be kept safe  in  the  coming storms.  Perhaps the Psalmist was looking forward and speaking of him when he uttered these words: “If you make the Most High  your dwelling –  even the Lord, who is my refuge – then no  harm  will befall  you, no disaster will come near your tent” (Psa. 91:9-10).

Those  great men of faith in the past knew that by  trusting God they could be kept secure.  Psalm 46 reads like  a  Psalm for the Great Tribulation.  The Psalmist says: “God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble. Therefore we  will not  fear, though the earth give way and the mountains fall  into the  heart  of the sea, though its waters roar and foam  and  the mountains quake with their surging…. “ (Psa. 46:1-3).  O for such  a faith which would not tremble even when this world begins to come apart at the seams!  Regardless of our end-time theology, we  can all  surely  agree  that  the fabric of  this  world  is  already starting to tear.  We must now begin to cope with this reality.

The Word of God assures us also that the unshakable faith of our  fathers in days gone by was not just some  glib  confession.  It  was  a whole way of life that touched every  fiber  of  their beings.   It  affected the way they lived every moment  of  their lives. The Psalmist said, “I have set the Lord always before  me. Because  he  is  at my right hand, I will not  be  shaken”  (Psa. 16:8).

To  have  God  at  our right hand  is  to  consult  him  in everything and to depend upon him at all times.  The faith of the Tanakh  dealt with the way a man walked, the way he  talked,  the way he rose up and sat down, the way he wore his clothes, the way he  married and raised children, the way he built his house,  the way he farmed, the way he cared for his animals, etc. It  touched and  regulated his whole life.  Today our faith in Jesus must  be exactly this same kind of faith.  It absolutely MUST be a way of life.

God’s Word further instructs us to be completely obedient to God  and  his  will.  In Psalm 37:28-31, we  are  told  that  the righteous will be protected forever, while the wicked will be cut off.   We are told that the righteous will inherit the earth  and dwell in it forever.  In verses 30-31, we learn what it means  to be righteous: “The mouth of the righteous man utters wisdom,  and his  tongue  speaks what is just. The law of his God  is  in  his heart; his feet do not slip.”  The righteous person is thoroughly steeped  in the will and ways of his God.  He is a doer of  God’s word and not a hearer only.

Christians  commonly  object at this point, saying  that  we live  by faith and not by the law.  This is certainly  true,  yet when we take a look at the final judgments in Revelation we see a New  Testament people who have somehow managed to put God’s  laws into  practice.   In  Revelation  12:17 we read  of  a  group  of Christians who have managed to “…obey God’s commandments and  hold to the testimony of Jesus.”  Remember, Jesus said in Matthew 5:17 that  he didn’t come to destroy the Law but to fulfill it.   Just because we live under grace it does not give us license to  break God’s  laws.  Paul responds with “God forbid!” to such a  thought (Rom. 6:15).

Last  of all, the Word of God teaches us to have  a  certain mind-set.  The righteous has his mind set upon God and upon God’s ways (Isa. 26:3).  He meditates in those ways day and night.   It is  interesting  that in the book of Revelation  we  also  see  a whole  company of people who have been sealed in their  foreheads (7:3). I personally believe this is a reference to the sealing of minds.  They are kept secure in the midst of God’s fire storm  of judgment because they have set their minds upon God and him only.  We must begin to do that today, even if the world mightily seeks to distract and allure us.

Fortunately God’s Word has some wonderful promises for us in regard  to all these things.  While Hebrews 12:28 speaks  of  the world  and its systems being shaken by God’s Word, it also  tells us  that  we believers are receiving a kingdom that cannot  be shaken.   We  need to fix our eyes firmly upon this  eternal  and unshakable kingdom.  We need to remember that the scepter of this kingdom  is  a  scepter of righteousness  (Heb.  1:8).   For  all eternity,  there  will never be even a hint of  scandal  in  this kingdom.   We  need  to  remember  that  in  this  kingdom,   the government  will be upon the shoulders of Jesus (Isa.  9:6).   We must remember also that of the increase of this government, there will be no end (Isa. 9:7). The kingdom of God has never  suffered a bad day and it never will. Neither will there be an end to its peace,  for its peace will not be the peace of this world, or  of its “peace plans,” but of God.

We need to remember these things and speak about them often to one another.  We need to meditate upon them constantly lest the sights that we are beginning to see drive
us mad.

                                                                                                                      – Jim Gerrish


*A  Jewish Conservative Looks at Pagan America, by Don  Feder, 1993, Huntington House Publishers, Lafayette, LA. p 20.

 This updated article is presented courtesy of Bridges For Peace, Jerusalem. Original publication date, 1993.

Picture credit: Wikimedia Commons, USGS Cascades Volcano Observatory 1980-07-22, photo by Mike Doukas