The news today here in Europe is about the most recent earthquake in Italy. The upheaval has destroyed a number of villages and towns in central Italy. The death toll is over 250 people and rescue operations are ongoing. These now levelled mountaintop villages were hundreds of years old. It’s tragic to watch the devastation. It’s also a reminder of how fragile our temporal world is.
Sometimes, we face earthquakes and tremors of a different kind. Our jobs are terminated, relationships are shattered, a loved one passes away unexpectedly…and our world seems to be demolished. These events can shake our faith and trust in the things of God as well.
The writer of Hebrews had such people in mind when he wrote these words: “Therefore let us be grateful for receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken, and thus let us offer to God acceptable worship, with reverence and awe.” (Hebrews 12:28)
In Hebrews 11, the writer talks about people of faith – some who saw great victories and some who died for their beliefs. What we see with our eyes is so often misleading. We should keep our focus on Jesus who endured suffering in order to win glory. He reminds us to not grow weary in being faithful. Although we will be shaken in this life, we are inheriting an unshakeable future. When we are anchored in this understanding, it’s easier to pass through life’s difficulties.
Life here on earth can be challenging and discouraging…but it is not our destiny. Keep looking to Jesus, ‘the author and perfecter of our faith’. Train your eyes on that which is unseen and rest in the strength and grace that God provides. The unseen reality of the kingdom is more solid and secure than this old world.