Points Of Reference


Once, in reply to a delegation of bank presidents who urged whether it was not time to give up all thought of the Union, President Abraham Lincoln told the following story (as penned by Walt Whitman): 

“When I was a young man in Illinois, I boarded for a time with a Deacon of the Presbyterian church. One night I was roused from my sleep by a rap at the door, and I heard the Deacon’s voice exclaiming, ‘Arise, Abraham, the day of judgment has come.’ I sprang from my bed and rushed to the window and saw the stars falling in great showers! But looking back of them in the heavens, I saw all the grand old constellations with which I was so well acquainted, fixed and true in their places. Gentlemen, the world did not come to an end then, nor will the Union now.”

As Abraham Lincoln proves, in a world that is constantly turning and churning, it is a good thing to be able to get your bearings from a fixed reference point. Life is forever in flux. Therefore, you and I need anchor points that will steady our faith and calm our nerves. 

Reference point number one is the person of God. In a world that changes by the minute, we can focus our faith on the immutable nature of God (Mal. 3:6). God does not atrophy or age (Ps. 102:24–27). His love for us is unchanging (Rom. 8:35–39). His mercies toward us are new every day (Lam. 3:22–23). As A. W. Pink notes, “God cannot change for the better, for He is perfect; and being perfect, He cannot change for the worse.”

Reference point number two is the promise of God. In a world of broken promises and shattered dreams, we can focus our faith on the eternal Word of God (Matt. 24:35). The psalmist tells us that God’s word is forever settled in heaven (Ps. 119:89). God’s Word never ceases to be true, trustworthy, or timely. It has been said that a man with a Bible could stay in a cave for a year, and at the end of that time, he could know (from his reading) what everybody else in the world was doing. 

Reference point number three is the providence of God. In a world that is spinning out of control, we can focus our faith on the unstoppable will of God (Eph. 1:11). Whatever man does, God does something with it, even that which does not conform to His moral will (Prov. 16:9; 19:21; 21:1, 30–31). God has His providential hand on the tiller of history. God’s sovereignty is the Christian’s North Star.

Whatever is going on in this world or your life, always remember that God, His Word, and His plan are still in their places!