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July 20th, 2011

“Like an ocean wave tossed around in a storm.” James 1:6 CEV

“Doubts create questions and uncertainty; faith stabilizes the soul.”

My thoughts today are about “instability.”

Storms are a bit unsettling wherever they occur, but a storm at sea seems especially frightening. A few years ago, Gayle and I were with friends on a cruise that was to take us from San Diego to Miami, through the Panama Canal. Prior to our first port of call, our ship encountered a severe storm; only later did we learn it was a category 4 Hurricane Juliette which had hit our port and bounced back out to sea directly across the path of our ship. Trust me; though every effort was made by the seasoned captain to stabilize that massive ship and lessen the effect of the winds and waves, that ship did a lot of rocking the next 36 hours. The storm and sea caused the ship to be more unstable than was comfortable during those hours, and every person aboard felt that shifting instability with every step they tried to take.

Some people’s lives seem like that in lots of ways – shaken by circumstances and left unstable in their personal lives, marriages, families, relationships, jobs, politics, finances, schedules, or religious beliefs. There is little consistency, with whimsical changes of attitude, intention, or direction. You can have opinions without convictions, intentions without discipline, routines without priorities, and wishes without effort. A life that lacks a solid foundation on the Word of God will not withstand the storms and struggles that occur. Read Matthew 7:24-27 NIV.

The Bible says, “He who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind. That man should not think he will receive anything from the Lord; he is a double-minded man, unstable in all he does.” James 1:6-8 NIV. Doubt and fear create questions and uncertainty; faith stabilizes the soul.

You will lack stability in your personal and spiritual life, if you lack faith. Read Hebrews 11:1-3/6. Faith is the stabilizer when everything else is shaken and unsure. Life will have those moments. Some of those are just life happening; some of those moments are God’s doing. “I shake not only the earth, but also heaven . . indicates the removal of those things that are being shaken, as of things that are made, that the things that cannot be shaken may remain . .” Hebrews 12:26-28 NKJV.

It’s confusing and disconcerting when your life and assumptions are shaken. That’s when you hold fast to what cannot be shaken. “This confidence (of hope) is like a strong and trustworthy anchor for our souls. It leads us through the curtain of heaven into God’s inner sanctuary, (where) Jesus has already gone there for us.” Hebrews 6:19-20 NLT.

Faith prevents panic, providing stability in insecure times. “Thanks be to God, who gives us victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. Therefore . . be steadfast, immoveable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that your labor is not in vain in the Lord.” 1 Corinthians 15:57-58 NKJV.

My prayer for you today is that you will be rock solid in your faith and convictions.

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