How Firm a Foundation

Our modern, technological age speeds us up. In many respects, this is good: we get more good things done in less time. 

But one downfall is that we forget ourselves, and we forget God. In this sense, it’s true: speed kills. Actually, that’s not quite right. To quote an old comedian, it’s not the speed that kills you - it’s the sudden stop. We don’t realize how fast we’re going until life pulls us up short, and we are forced to take stock. The test results are ambiguous, and you require more. Your spouse is not the person you married. The job has turned out much differently than you hoped for. 

What to do, in these or lesser or greater sufferings? We all have our own sufferings to face; yours are significant before God, regardless of how they compare to others’. So then, what to do?

The book of Amos in the Old Testament gives us a simple axiom: whatever you do in your sufferings, go to God. 

Let it humble you (Amos 4:1a). 

Don’t use others for comfort (4:1b).

Don’t turn to food and drink (4:1c). 

Don’t keep on with busy religious activity (4:4-5).

“. . . [R]eturn to me.” (4:8)

“Seek me and live.” (5:4)

Don’t keep on keeping on. Speed doesn’t solve this. Slow down.

What threats and sufferings do you face today? Where are you turning? Before everything else, go to God. To help, consider the phrases of  “How Firm a Foundation”. Map them onto your life: 

Fear not, I am with you, O be not dismayed; 

for I am your God, and will still give you aid; 

I’ll strengthen you, help you, and cause you to stand, 

upheld by my righteous, omnipotent hand. 


When through the deep waters I call you to go, 

the rivers of sorrow shall not overflow; 

for I will be with you, your troubles to bless, 

and sanctify to you your deepest distress. 

- Anonymous


When through fiery trials your pathway shall lie, 

my grace, all-sufficient, shall be your supply; 

the flame shall not hurt you; I only design 

your dross to consume and your gold to refine. 


E’en down to old age all my people shall prove 

my sovereign, eternal, unchangeable love; 

and when hoary hairs shall their temples adorn, 

like lambs they shall still in my bosom be borne. 


The soul that on Jesus has 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.