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  • Writer's pictureAdelee Russell

Being Still = Looking to God Alone for Hope and Security

Updated: Sep 8, 2022

This week in our “Being Still =” series we’re talking about hope and security. In Psalm 62:5-6 it says, “For God alone, O my soul, wait in silence, for my hope is from Him. He alone is my Rock and my Salvation, my fortress; I shall not be shaken” (ESV).

Here we see that being still before God can mean turning away from every other earthly source of hope and security and looking to Him and Him alone for salvation and refuge.

1 John 5:21 really hits home when it says, “Dear children, keep away from anything that might take God’s place in your hearts" (NLT). What are some things that can keep us from looking to God for our hope and security? Let’s look at a few:

Jobs: Jobs can easily take the place of God in hearts when it comes to hope and security. Our hope for significance. Our security in an uncertain economy. When our souls are weighed down by poor self-esteem; or words like “inflation” and “shortages” fill us with the fear of not having enough, our jobs are an easy thing to turn to.

If we get recognized for our performance at work or manage to accrue enough over time it can fill us with a false sense of hope. And that hope is false because the foundation it’s resting on is as fickle as shifting sand.

God created humankind to be drawn to work. He takes pleasure in our diligence and accomplishments like a Father takes pleasure in the stick figure drawings of his four year old child. But our jobs were never supposed to take our Heavenly Father’s place.

We were never supposed to cling to them for provision more than we cling to God. We were never supposed to place our identity in them instead of in God.

Family: Families can be a gift. But they were never supposed to be viewed as the ultimate gift. Relationships with loved ones can be a blessing, but they were never supposed to become our source of hope and security.

When Jesus was asked to choose between pleasing His family or pleasing God He replied, “’Who is my mother, and who are my brothers?’ Pointing to his disciples, he said, ‘Here are my mother and my brothers. For whoever does the will of my Father in heaven is my brother and sister and mother” (NIV).

Family can be a beautiful gift. But it cannot give us hope and security. Our hope and security are found in Christ alone. And when we allow family to take God’s place in our hearts it leads to sin, and co-dependency, and distraction from the work God has for us.

Friendships: Just like family, friendships can easily take God’s place in our hearts. And honestly, as the state of families decay in our broken world, friendships seem to be moving further up the list.

We were created for community, yes. But we were not created to be fulfilled and made whole by community. Fulfillment and wholeness come from God and God alone. Our hope to be understood and to belong can be temporarily satiated by people, but never fulfilled.

God is our greatest companion and confidant. He alone understands every thought that passes through our minds. His loving arms are the only place we truly belong. When we look to friendships to do what only He can do it can lead to co-dependency and other toxic behaviors that end in crippling disappointment and emptiness.

Romantic Relationships: Perhaps the single most powerful force that can take God’s place in our hearts is romantic relationships. We love to be loved. And we humans have a particular preoccupation with being loved in a romantic way. We love romance, and we love sex. We want to be pursued. We want to be chosen. We want to be the object of someone’s longings and affections. And we can chase romantic relationships in a way that results in devastating effects.

Romance and sex are gifts from God, and are meant to be enjoyed in the loving perimeters of His will. But they were never meant to fulfill us. They were never meant to become our hope and security.

People are people. And at the end of the day even lovers will hurt us and betray us at times. God is our only constant lover. He is the only One whose love does not fade with the passing of time. His love does not hurt or use. It does not take for granted. It does not shame. It is always faithful.

The base desires that formulate romantic attachment: the desire to be pursued, the desire to be the object of someone’s longings and affections, the desire to chosen and wanted and loved… those desires—deep down—are meant to draw us to God.

They were only ever meant to reflect His love for us. They were never meant to take the place of it. And they can only be enjoyed fully if His love comes first in our lives. Anything else leads to chaos, exhaustion, and despair.

Ministry: We are wired for purpose. It boils just beneath the surface, and if we believe it is unfulfilled it can crush us. Ministry is a beautiful outlet for purpose. God gave us the purpose of ministry when He gave us the great commission to spread the hope of His Gospel to every corner of the world. But ministry is not our ultimate purpose.

Just as disordered loves can breed idols and ruin our lives, so can disordered purposes. Yes, God has prepared good works for us to do (Ephesians 2:10), but that is not our ultimate purpose. Our ultimate purpose is to know God intimately through an even deepening exploration of His love, and to be transformed more and more into the reflection of His Son Jesus. (Ephesians 3:16-19, 2 Corinthians 3:18).

Skills: Our talents and skills can also become a source of hope and security. God has given them to us as gifts, but they were never meant to take His place. Often I cling to my talents and skills as proof of my worth. But my worth is not found in those things. I can cling to them as my source of significance—but my significance is not found in those things. My worth and significance come from God alone. And nothing else can give me the hope and security of knowing I have infinite value like His life-transforming love.

Popularity: There’s an assumption that only teenagers thirst for popularity. But that’s not true. You don’t have to look any farther than our social media accounts to discover we’re all in the same boat: we all want people to like us. We all, deep down, want recognition and admiration from people.

But the recognition of the world fades. It’s as valuable as dust. And the admiration of the world is fickle. It rests on the fragile foundations of people’s emotions and perceptions. That yearning for recognition and admiration is to be found in one place and one place alone: the loving eyes of our Heavenly Father who has elevated us to the highest position possible through Christ: children of God (John 1:12).

So how do we keep from letting all these things from taking the place of God in our hearts and stealing our hope and security? I take comfort from Psalm 16:8 which says, “I keep my eyes always on the LORD. With him at my right hand, I will not be shaken” (NIV).

Keeping our eyes on Jesus. That's the key to not being shaken and distracted by the things of this world? Not doing better or striving more—simply looking into His eyes and keeping our gaze on His. Resting in His presence. Quieting our hearts before Him on a daily basis so HE can renew our hope and trust in Him.

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