|Today’s reading is drawn from Jeremiah 15:15-21.
IN OUR LITTLE POCKET OF THE WORLD, Bibles are plentiful, churches are protected, and those who identify themselves as Christians are many in number. But how many in our ranks would slip away if we were invaded by armed soldiers, pushed up against a wall with the barrel of a gun, and told that this was our last chance to renounce our faith in Christ? Would you stand firm, or would you disown Christ? How could any of us know for sure? Even Peter denied the Lord Jesus in a moment of crisis, though he had been by Jesus’ side every day for three years of ministry.
Coming closer to home, I say to my own embarrassment that there have been occasions in my life when it would have been most appropriate to stand up and clearly identify myself as a Christian, but I didn’t. It could have been a powerful witness, but for fear of embarrassment, I held back. Jeremiah also experienced times like that, and God called him on it (Jer. 15:19). Maybe God is speaking to you today about this.
How can we gauge the depth of our foundation, the solidity of our willingness to take a stand for Christ? I think of the great hymn “How Firm a Foundation”:
How firm a foundation, ye saints of the Lord,
Is laid for your faith in His excellent Word!
What more can He say than to you He hath said,
To you who for refuge to Jesus have fled?
A foundation in Christ is never as firm as when it is laid in His excellent Word. It is impossible to have a firm, unshakable foundation without a firm, unshakable trust in the Scriptures. Jeremiah looked at God’s words as sustenance (Jer. 15:16). We need the same attitude. The deeper we are in the Word of God, the less we’ll rely on our emotions or on making our way from Sunday to Sunday. Instead, we will rely more on what God has said.
That hymn also connects the Word to our refuge in Jesus Christ. The foundation of our hope in Christ Jesus is as solid as a rock. As the old saying goes, “I may tremble on the Rock, but the Rock never trembles under me.”
Earlier in the book, God challenged Jeremiah’s resolve: “If racing against mere men makes you tired, how will you race against horses?” (Jer. 12:5). To paraphrase, “If reading through the Scriptures is hard for you in a time of peace and prosperity, how would you expect to do such a thing when all hell breaks loose? If it’s tough for you to stay true to Christ when it’s popular, how could you possibly stay true to Him when it’s unpopular?”
Verses like Jeremiah 12:5 convict me and make me uneasy. How about you? When you decide you’re not going to live a hypocritical Christian life, verses like this one remind you that the time to secure your foundation in Christ and in the Word of God is always right now. You may be called upon to stand up for Him at any moment.
[call out text: Our hope in Christ Jesus is as solid as a rock.]