When life is confusing and hard, when troubles seem to stack up like blocks in a child’s play set,
the foundation of one’s faith is critical.
Paul the Apostle was familiar with difficulties and trials. He described a few of his challenges in II Corinthians 11:
24 Of the Jews five times received I forty stripes save one. 25 Thrice was I beaten with rods, once was I stoned, thrice I suffered shipwreck, a night and a day I have been in the deep; 26 In journeyings often, in perils of waters, in perils of robbers, in perils by mine own countrymen, in perils by the heathen, in perils in the city, in perils in the wilderness, in perils in the sea, in perils among false brethren; 27 In weariness and painfulness, in watchings often, in hunger and thirst, in fastings often, in cold and nakedness.
Not an easy life by any definition.
How did he manage? How did he keep going?
Paul’s strong foundation of faith established on the truth of Who God is served to establish him through the worst of trials. In other words, there were some things that Paul knew – truths that held him fast when his world was turning upside down.
As Paul neared the end of his life, he passed the baton of ministry to Timothy. We find a record of his encouragements and instructions to the young minister in II Timothy. Here, Paul affirmed his faith by stating some of the truths upon which he had built his life.
- Christ saved me by grace and called me to serve Him (1:9).
- Christ abolished death (1:10).
- Christ will keep all that I have committed to Him (1:12).
- Jesus Christ rose from the dead (2:8).
- The Lord knows His children (2:19).
- God’s foundation is sure (2:19).
- Perilous times are coming (3:1).
- Those that live godly in Christ will suffer persecution (3:12). This is not one we like to remember, but it is an important truth to know when one’s world is crumbling.
- ALL scripture is given by inspiration of God (3:16).
- The Lord will strengthen and deliver (4:17-18).
- The Lord will preserve me for Heaven (4:18).
Truths that were important enough to pass on. Truths that had stood Paul in good stead to endure all that life as a Christian threw his way. Truths that are still true for me today.
Truth stabilizes and brings order into chaos. Truth strengthens and sustains. This is why God’s word (the Bible) is so important. It is where we find His Truth (II Timothy 3:16).
If one attempts to build a foundation on the ‘truth’ presented by the movers and shakers in this world, the foundation will be shaky indeed. Just look at the fluidity of the ‘truths’ that we have heard over the past few months. This is not an indictment but simply a realization that mankind does not hold truth – God does.
When I flounder and flail in confusion, as I sometimes do, I have learned to spend a few minutes in His word and list the truths I KNOW.
- I know that God is good.
- I know that God loves me.
- I know that God is working to bring good out of all the situations that confront me (Romans 8:28).
- I know that God is able to keep me.
- I know that I can trust Him.
- I know……you get the idea.
These truths reorient my perspective and help me crawl out of the pit of bewilderment. There is little certainty in this world, but the God of the Universe is a sure foundation (II Timothy 2:19).
Life is confusing, but God offers Truth. His Truth, a vital element of the Christian’s armor (Ephesians 6:14), enables us to stand in the battles we face every day.
What do you KNOW today?
John 8:32 And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.
John 14:6 Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.
II Timothy 3:14 But continue thou in the things which thou hast learned and hast been assured of, knowing of whom thou hast learned them; 15 And that from a child thou hast known the holy scriptures, which are able to make thee wise unto salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus.
By the way, II Timothy is a great read. These are just a few of the truths found there. Check it out!
Photo – Blowing in the Wind, Beth Mims