I don’t know about you but my life sure feels shaken up over the last three years. Dealing with chronic pain and enduring six major surgeries over 25 months has taken a major toll.
How about you?
If you are a person with a disability, the feeling of being shaken up is all too familiar for you. Finding a place of meaningful belonging can be so challenging whether it be in school or places of worship. Or finding meaningful community employment. I am sure you can easily pinpoint the times you were told you were not welcome. How jolting that must have been.
If you are a parent of a child with a disability, I know you can identify with the feeling of being shaken up. The experience of receiving a diagnosis for your child is rattling. Then working a lifetime to overcome obstacles can feel like pushing a boulder up a hill while the ground is rattling underneath your feet.
If you are a ministry leader, being shaken up is somewhere in your job description. If not, it should be! As if ministry isn’t hard enough you now have to navigate a post-pandemic world where people’s devotion to worship in person is fading. Budgets are shrinking. Volunteers are even more difficult to find.
If you don’t identify with any of the people groups above, I am confident that you can still identify with the feeling of being shaken up. All you need to do is turn on the news or scroll through social media. The world seems to be willing to march into World War 3. Hate is celebrated in the streets. And depending on where you live you may not even feel safe leaving home.
Where is our hope in a world that shakes us to the core?
Our hope is in the promises of God. God promises a time in the future when we will receive a kingdom that can not be shaken. A world where we can take a deep breath and know that nothing lurking around the corner will shatter our worlds. No pain. No fear. No rejection. No uncertainty. No chaos. How amazing does that sound?
This is exactly what God promises in Hebrews 12:28.
“We are receiving a kingdom that can’t be shaken. So let us be thankful. Then we can worship God in a way that pleases him. Let us worship him with deep respect and wonder.”
We can be thankful because God always keeps His promises and one day, we will receive this unshakeable kingdom.
One thing that should not be overlooked in this verse is the importance of our thankfulness. It doesn’t say to be thankful after we receive this unshakeable kingdom. It simply says to be thankful because we are receiving it. That means this unshakeable reality is not here yet. We must be thankful no matter our circumstances. This is made clear in 1 Thessalonians 5:18.
“Give thanks no matter what happens. God wants you to thank him because you believe in Christ Jesus.”
Our thankfulness is a prerequisite for our ability to worship God in a way that pleases Him.
So, my question for you is what are you thankful for amid this shaken-up world? If you are struggling to find things to be thankful for turn your attention to 1 Chronicles 16:34.
“Give thanks to the Lord, because he is good. His faithful love continues forever.”
God is good. His love for you is far greater than you could ever fathom.
Trust me, I know that life is hard. I could never have imagined the difficulty my life has dealt me over the past three to five years. Yet I hold onto the goodness of God. His grace has been sufficient for me. His mercies new each day. And I give thanks to God.
I encourage you to make a list of ten things you are thankful for. Post it somewhere you will see it daily. Each time you run into it pause and just say “Thank you, God.” When you have something new to be thankful for, add it to your list. If you can’t come up with ten things start with five. If you can’t come up with five things start with one.
Until that day when God brings an unshakeable Kingdom give thanks and worship Him. He is faithful and loves you.