By Dr. Robert J. Pacienza, Crosswalk.com
“How Firm a Foundation” has long been a popular hymn, especially in the North American Church. Charles Hodge, the great Princeton theologian, was so overwhelmed by the fourth verse that he could only gesture the words. This hymn speaks of the unshakeable nature of our faith in Jesus Christ. In an increasingly secular age, the Church needs to be reminded of this sure foundation.
But to stand secure on the solid ground of God’s Word, we must have a truly biblical worldview. And that means more than just knowing a body of content—it’s coming to know the Author of that content. It’s not just about discovering more truth—it’s coming to know the Truth, which by the way, is a person, the Lord Jesus Christ, who is the Way, the Truth, and the Life (John 14:6).
So if pursuing a biblical worldview simply makes us smarter, giving us knowledge that makes our heads bigger, we’ve completely missed the point. It should so transform every area of our lives that we’re not only thinking God’s thoughts after him, but we’re also acting in accordance with his Word. It’s the God of all grace who not only brings us in to his family but keeps us in his family by rooting and grounding us in that firm foundation, which is the Word of God.
I’d like you to consider three questions that will help to solidify these truths for your life—and not for your life only, but also for the lives of your immediate and extended families.
The first question is this: Are you studying God’s Word? Now, you may think that this question is so basic. But you’d be shocked to learn that of the many people I’ve counseled over the years, they all had one thing in common: They weren’t studying the Word of God. When I would ask them what Bible study they were in, the common response was that they don’t have time right now. Please hear me on this: you will not be able to form a truly biblical worldview unless you’re immersed in the study of God’s Word on a regular basis. And you won’t have a biblical worldview unless you understand the over-arching storyline of Scripture that begins with Genesis and concludes with Revelation.
We need to be a people of the Book. We need to study it, meditate on it, memorize it, and be grounded in it, as the apostle Paul says—rooted and built up and established in Jesus Christ. So, the first question is: Are you actively studying God’s Word? If not, then now’s the time to make the commitment. There are numerous opportunities for you to plug in to a Bible study. So please, take the first step and get plugged in.
Secondly, are you evaluating all of life according to God’s Word? Think about the daily challenges we face. For example, children come home from school. They have a problem. They’ve heard or seen something on social media. Or perhaps you’re deeply troubled by what you’ve been watching on the news and are becoming more and more disillusioned by this world and our culture. Where do your thoughts turn? Do you ask yourself, “What does God’s Word have to say about this? How does God’s Word speak to this challenge we’re facing as a family? What does it say about what my teenager is hearing at school or watching on social media?” When you’re sitting around the dining room table, how often do you pick up the Bible and say, “Let’s look at God’s Word. How should we evaluate this challenging situation according to God’s standards?” Are you truly evaluating all of life in light of God’s Word? Are you studying it? Are you evaluating life events on this basis?
And finally, are you looking to see God’s hand in the events and circumstances of your everyday life? What do I mean by that? How often do we pause to reflect upon God’s provision for our needs—the many times he has shown up in amazing ways, against all odds, when we least expected it? Have we paused to reflect with our children and grandchildren, and thanked God for his kind providence in our lives?
For you see, if we can’t recognize the hand of God in our lives, then we can talk all we want about worldview, but what does it really mean if we’re not applying these truths to our lives? We want to be able to show our children and grandchildren how God is at work in every facet of our lives, so that they too may come to know the sweetness of his providential ways.
I’m convicted of the many times I’ve rushed busily through life, failing to remember how often God has shown up for my family. In our darkest of moments, we’ve seen the hand of God provide for our family. That’s worldview in action. It’s when we begin to see the God of all grace, the God who we’ve come to know through Scripture, showing up in our lives in real, tangible ways, and providing for us and for those we love. This is the beauty of what it means to have a biblically sound worldview, a worldview in which Jesus Christ is preeminent in all things.
All this reminds me of a book that I would highly recommend. Entitled All the Light We Cannot See, it contains stories of hope during the Nazi era, which was a very dark time in history. It talks about light amid the darkness. And one of the stories in this book is about the recruitment of young German boys into Hitler’s army. The German soldiers would teach the boys to tie up prisoners and dump buckets of ice-cold water over their heads.
One story recounts the experience of a Polish prisoner who was tied up in a field. And there was a particular German boy who always seemed to stand out among the others. When it came his turn to take the water bucket, all the boys were cheering him on. But as he approached the prisoner, instead of dumping the icy water over his head, he dropped the bucket and said, “No, I will not do it. I will not do it. I will take a stand, and I will not do it.”
I ask you, “Do you have the courage to say, ‘I will not do it?’” In this moment, as the cultural winds are blowing and the storm clouds are approaching, do you have the courage to stand firm on a foundation that is informed by a biblical worldview, and say, “No, I will not do it. I will not go the way of ruin and destruction. But I will have the courage to stand, and say no”? People of God, the winds are strong, but we have a firm foundation, and it’s the Word of God. We may be weak, but he is strong. Thank God that we have the solid Rock on which we stand. Amen.
Excerpted with permission from How Firm A Foundation by Dr. Robert J. Pacienza, Senior Pastor of Coral Ridge Presbyterian Church, President and CEO of D. James Kennedy Ministries, and Founder of the Institute for Faith and Culture.
Photo credit: ©GettyImages/Bohdan Bevz
Dr. Robert J. Pacienza, is the Senior Pastor of Coral Ridge Presbyterian Church (Fort Lauderdale, FL), the CEO/President of Coral Ridge Ministries, and the Founder of the Institute for Faith and Culture. He serves on the General Council of the Gospel Reformation Network and is a contributor to WORLD Opinions.