Surely the righteous will never be shaken…They will have no fear of bad news;
their hearts are steadfast, trusting in the Lord. Their hearts are secure, they will have no fear;
in the end they will look in triumph on their foes.
Psalm 112:6-8 NIV
It was a beautiful December morning on the island of Oahu, Hawaii. The U.S. Naval base in Pearl Harbor was slowly stirring. Some sailors had gone off base to attend church services and others remained behind having breakfast or showering. Suddenly, the drone of a large multitude of aircraft engines was heard in the distance. At 7:48am Hawaiian Time, a squadron of over 180 planes from the Japanese Imperial Naval Air Service commenced a surprise attack against the U.S. Naval base. The devastation on the base was horrific including the sinking of 4 battleships and the destruction of 188 aircraft and the loss of over 2,400 lives. A declaration of war against Japan was issued by the President within 24 hours, on December 8, 1941. America was deeply shaken.
Sixty years later, another shock wave struck America. It happened on a sunny Tuesday morning in New York City on September 11, 2001 under a beautiful blue sky. Like any weekday in New York, horns were honking, people were exiting subways and many hurried toward workplaces. In a shocking sight witnessed by countless people on the streets of the city, a hijacked Boeing 767 with over 20,000 gallons of jet fuel on board, crashed into the North Tower of the World Trade Center at 8:46am. This was the first of four jets hijacked the same morning by Islamic extremists for the purpose of committing terrorist attacks on U.S. soil. Seventeen minutes later a second aircraft crashed into the World Trade Center’s South Tower and its impact was televised live all over the world. The twin towers collapsed in less than two hours, resulting in thousands of deaths. A third plane crashed into the Pentagon and a fourth into a Pennsylvania field, as passengers bravely fought with the terrorists to prevent a planned attack on Washington, D.C. In a single morning, nearly 3,000 people were killed and more than 6,000 injured, the results of a murderous terrorist plot. America was deeply shaken AGAIN.
In March of 2020, news was spreading across the globe that a virus which began in Wuhan, China was quickly becoming a world-wide pandemic. In a matter of weeks, international travel was halted and borders between nations were slammed shut. Fear was as epidemic as the virus itself and people cowered indoors as information being circulated about COVID-19 was confusing and hard to verify. Businesses were shuttered and schools were closed in an effort to stem the tide of transmission of the virus. The whole world was shaken – and as you know, the shaking has not ceased.
All the world-shaking events described above have three things in common: they were sudden, they were unexpected (by most) and they were life changing. We cannot predict when the next major SHAKING may take place in the earth, but I can assure you such events will certainly come.
In the 21st chapter of the Gospel of Luke, Jesus told His disciples about many events which would occur as signs of the times marking the “end of the age.” We find this prophecy in the 26th verse:
People will be terrified at what they see coming upon the earth…
Luke 21:26a NLT
We have already seen tremors of fear washing over the world because of what people “see coming upon the earth.” But as believers, we are commanded hundreds of times in the Word of God to “fear not.” This command applies to every situation we may face in life. But how can we avoid being “SHAKEN” by fear and anxiety?
There are several key spiritual secrets we can uncover in the Book of Psalms which will help us remain unshaken when the pressure is on. King David was the author of many of the psalms and his close relationship with God brought him divine insight. He faced many fearful situations in his life, being hunted by enemies and even by the king he had served so well. Yet he maintained an amazing stability in the face of continuous troubles. Here are a few of David’s spiritual secrets to remaining unshaken that you can apply to your own life:
- Learn to cast your burden on the Lord
In American culture we have been taught to “pull ourselves up by our own bootstraps” and “pull our own weight” – two colloquial expressions that indicate a drve toward self-sufficiency. This has its positive aspects, but the negative side of this cultural mindset implies you must handle your problems by yourself. King David learned that he couldn’t handle every problem that came his way and he needed to be able to cast his burden on the Lord. He discovered that by doing so, he would obtain God’s strength and in turn be unshaken.
Cast your burden upon the Lord and He will sustain you;
He will never allow the righteous to be shaken. Psalm 55:22 NASB
- Set God in the “first place” position in your life
Often when people face a crisis, they try everything else they can think of to resolve their problem before they cry out to God in sheer desperation. By this point they are exhausted and fearful of what the future holds for them. But King David learned to put the Lord in first place in his life and the resulting strength and stability allowed him to remain unshaken in the worst of times. Many people feel like they can’t find God in their crisis – but it is because they have placed the problem between themselves and God. David learned to put God in between himself and the problem by keeping his eyes continually on the Lord.
I have set the Lord continually before me;
Because He is at my right hand, I will not be shaken. Psalm 16:8 NASB
- Allow God to be your “Rock” of stability - not some human being
I have heard people refer to a spouse or a parent as the “rock” in their life. They intend it as a compliment to the stabilizing influence of that person. But if you rely on anyone other than God as your “rock,” the day will come when you will be cast adrift when your “rock” dies or in some other way leaves you. King David understood that God is the only ROCK that can be depended upon to never forsake you.
He only is my rock and my salvation, my stronghold, I shall not be shaken. Psalm 62:6 NASB
God desires for you to possess all that is promised in the Bible verses that adorn the top of this page. He wants you to have “no fear of bad news.” He wants your heart to be “steadfast, trusting in the Lord .” He wants you to feel “secure… having no fear.” And last of all, God wants you to be able to look in triumph at your foes. You can have these things. Take King David’s spiritual secrets and make them your own. Then you too can face this shaky world and all the trouble it brings and still remain UNSHAKEN.