"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 hath fled."
I have warm memories of hearing this old hymn on the radio many evenings when I was a young child. My dad would tune in to listen to the “Through The Bible” radio program, with J. Vernon McGee. At the time, I didn’t understand why Mr. McGee spoke so strangely, although many years later I recognize a deep Texas drawl when I hear it.
At some point in life, every person reaches their own limits; revealing the character of what they have built their life on. For some, frantically accumulating money and material goods brings little comfort when they desire love and companionship. Others realize that the maximized pleasures of today swiftly succumb to the emptiness of mere memories tomorrow. Still others never receive such a chance; they are used, abused, and abandoned. This leads them to bitter resentment, never understanding that they are valuable.
The Bible is God’s supernaturally revealed inerrant message to us. Other articles on our website go into more details on certain points, but here I want to give a very broad description of how the Bible is our foundation. It tells us who God is, who we are, and our purpose in this life. It tells us our own story, from God’s perspective. Sometimes my story seems pretty lousy, but that is only my perspective – it is not God’s.
Why the Bible? Why Jesus? To put it simply, I was lost and drowning. I have this problem – I keep wanting and doing things that I know are morally wrong – and I know I am guilty. This guilt isn’t just an emotion; I know that I have transgressed a transcendent Moral Law. Sometimes I’ve tried ignoring the guilt, but it never fully goes away, and I always wind up hurting people in the process. That results in even more guilt! Should I punish myself? Would the world be a better place without me? Sometimes it can seem that way. But if that is true, why do I still want to live?
It was in the Bible that I found answers to these problems. It tells us that the one true God, the Lord, is the creator of each one of us. He is good, loving, faithful, and just. When the first man and woman God created rebelled against him, that set in motion the catastrophe of sin, suffering, and death. But God, in his perfect wisdom and love, also provided a redeemer: He came to us as a man – Jesus – when we were unable to come back to him. Our guilt warrants death and separation from God. But Jesus took that death for us, and conquered it by rising to life again. This is God’s ultimate demonstration of his love for us (Romans 5:6-8).
"Fear not, I am with thee; O be not dismayed, for I am thy God and will still give thee aid. I'll strengthen thee, help thee, and cause thee to stand, upheld by My righteous, omnipotent hand."
I don’t know about you, but fear easily paralyzes me. I especially fear losing my family or friends, failing on a multitude of fronts, and rejection. I’ve experienced some of these already in my life, and it feels devastating. And even so, God is still by my side. The Bible contains numerous accounts of people whose sole strength was God, and He was consistently faithful (2 Corinthians 4). I know that God is not nefarious, nor is he neutral and far-off – no, my Shepherd is with me (Psalm 23). Sometimes pedophilia feels like the valley of the shadow of death, but even there, I can walk safely in his light (1 John 1:5-7).
"When through fiery trials thy pathway shall lie, My grace, all-sufficient, shall be thy supply. The flame shall not hurt thee; I only design thy dross to consume, and thy gold to refine."
Living with pedophilia can also feel like a fiery test. I believe that God could simply heal me or take away this temptation, but he has not done so thus far. As I read the Bible, I find story after story of God’s people slogging through pain, loss, and seemingly arbitrary hardships. But as I look deeper, I can see that God was working and shaping these people, to clean sin and impurity from their hearts, and to build an unshakable faith in him (Deuteronomy 8:3-4). If I’m honest about myself, I have an abundance of impurity – dross, as it is called in metal-working – that I carry around and cling to. Things like pride, unbelief, disordered lusts, and envy. God, in his good grace, means to purge me of these things (Zechariah 13:9).
"The soul that on Jesus hath leaned for repose – I will not, I will not – desert to his foes. That soul, though all hell should endeavor to shake, I'll never, no never, no never forsake!"
Satan, our enemy, is real and active. He has one singular goal: to attack God by perverting humanity to join in his pride and rebellion. For those of us who have already put our faith in Jesus, Satan’s primary goal has failed. However, he is not content to accept defeat and leave us alone. Satan still tries to render us ineffective in faithfully following Jesus, and sharing love with those around us. He does this through all manner of schemes, temptations, and attacks from the people around us whom he has deceived (Luke 22:31-32).
But we have the assurance of Jesus that these attacks from hell will fail in the end! We have the Holy Spirit himself living in us, guarding us and holding us firm (John 14:15-21). We can rest and have peace, even when there is fear and turmoil all around us (Isaiah 43:2). Stand strong on our firm Foundation, men and women of God!