These days of a viral pandemic have been a time of unsettling personal and global shaking. Throughout the world, people are severely shaken because of Covid-19, a highly contagious virus.  Lives have been lost, people have been hospitalized or quarantined, many have lost jobs, some have seen their businesses closed or shuttered, and nations have witnessed their economies crippled. Even some food supplies sources have become fragile. The things that seemed important just a few months ago have faded into the realm of insignificance. Lives have been uprooted and many are left wondering where they can turn in the face of uncertainty in the days ahead. We can feel as if the foundation of our very lives has been rocked to its core.

In times of shaking, it’s time to take stock of on what—or better yet, on who— we will hang our lives. Whether it is a savings account, retirement plan, health, a job, a person, or an institution, sooner or later the thing or person we think will take care of us will not be there. The truth is that the things of this world are like a flower that blooms and then fades. That which we build our lives on can be swept away like a sandcastle.

There is only One who is unshakeable and unwavering: God, who stands above and beyond all created things, both seen and unseen.  God is never taken by surprise and is totally in control through whatever circumstances we find ourselves in. By His very nature, God is unfailing and steadfast. God will never fail to accomplish all that He has determined and said He will do: It would be a violation of His very being to do otherwise!

The best news for you and me is this: God’s steadfast love is there for us!  His unshakeable, ever-faithful love is available for all those who turn to Him in the person of Jesus Christ, His Son.

The Psalms put it this way: “God’s love endures forever! ” There is a Hebrew word that is key to this phrase: Hesed. Here’s a definition of this word:

“…the consistent, ever-faithful, relentless, constantly-pursuing, lavish, extravagant, unrestrained, furious love of our Father God!” (source: Hesed.com)

In the 1780s a worship leader wrote a hymn that has been sung through numerous plagues, wars, and upheavals since its creation. It brought together soldiers from the North and South on a Christmas morning during the bloody Spanish-American war.  The song was a favorite of President Woodrow Wilson’s through the tumultuous times of World War 1, and has been sung in churches, hospitals, homes, and battlefields for over 200 years. It was sung during the Spanish Flu pandemic and through once-untreatable diseases like polio.

It became a favorite of mine as I awaited surgery a few years ago. I sang it as a prayer and declaration of God’s faithfulness in an uncertain time in my own life. I love the song because it not only points to God’s faithful love, but also opens the door to God’s voice speaking directly to us:

“Fear not, I am with you, O be not afraid, For I am your God and will still give you aid…”

The song reminded me of God’s promise to never forsake me. That promise is still true for you and me every day, all the way into eternity. 

As I sang the hymn, the only words that I felt were missing in it were my own, so I penned a chorus to accompany the song:

“I will stand upon the rock of Jesus, call upon His Name, I will rest upon my risen Savior, unshakeable He reigns”

I recently recorded that song (“I Will Stand / How Firm a Foundation”) and have included it here:

I hope this song encourages you to trust and rest in the unshakeable love and power of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ, who is more than able to see us safely through and beyond any threat that we may encounter. 

In unsettling times God is unshakeable, all-powerful, and available to you and me. Call upon His name and trust in God’s Hesed, faithful love.

God bless you.

Chris Atkins