One of my favorite verses in the Bible is Psalm 61:2,
“when my heart is overwhelmed: lead me to the rock that is higher than I.”
Life doesn’t have to be filled with suffering or hardship for me to feel overwhelmed. It is often the result of all the regular day-to-day demands of life or the little curveballs that are thrown into my week that can get to me. Throw into those days, my sins and temptations and it is easy for me to feel like giving up, to lose my joy, and to forget where I am really standing. As the child of God I have been set upon the Rock. This is the place where the overwhelmed find refuge.
I find the picture of Christ as a rock comforting and reassuring. It suggests strength, durability, shelter, safety, peace, and wisdom.
This rock is no some small stone we can easily step onto. It is huge, like an enormous mountain (Ps. 36:6), so massive that we cannot climb it on our own. But what I often forget is that when God saved me, he not only lifted me out of the pit of death, out of the mud and mire, but he also placed my feet on Christ, my Rock (Ps. 40:2). All Christians need to remember the character of this Rock upon which we stand.
1. Our Rock is Strong
For who is God, but the LORD? And who is a rock, except our God,
The rock upon which we stand is immovable. It holds all strength and cannot be chipped away at, cracked, or broken. Not one can climb it and reach the top. It is impenetrable (Psalm 18:2) This Rock is my sure footing when I feel like sinking down and supports me together when I see everything around me falling apart.
2. Our Rock is Durable
We are people who change all the time. We have fickle, temperamental hearts and unfaithful, foolish minds. Through tears and raised hands we declare our undying affection and allegiance to God (usually during awe-inspiring worship services) and the next moment we are bowing to idols. But our God is the same and does not change. He is durable and steadfast. He is trustworthy, and though our heart and flesh (Ps 73:26) will fail he remains steadfast and true.
"Trust in the Lord always, for the Lord Jehovah is the ROCK OF AGES." Isaiah 26:4
3. Our Rock is Our Shelter and Safety
We are hunted by Satan, persecuted by the world, deceived by our hearts, and tempted by all three, but on this Rock we find shelter and safety from all of it. Not only do our feet stand on unshakable ground, but we are hidden in the strong arms of God, inside our Rock, so we sing, “Rock of ages, cleft for me, let me hide myself in thee.” We may feel as though the storms of life will tear us to shreds, but our souls are kept safe in the cleft of our Rock. Nothing can blow, shake, or push us off of our safety.
"As the mountains surround Jerusalem —
so the Lord surrounds His people both now and forevermore!"
4. Our Rock is Our Peace
If you haven’t already you will one day go through frightening and hard times. Death is everywhere waiting to claim its next victim, disease has left its mark on many, the cares of this world can wear us out, conflict has claimed friendships, and immorality has left families broken. There are many difficulties we won’t be able to escape, but we are given the ability to say with Chrysostom, “I stand upon a Rock, let the sea rage, the Rock cannot be disturbed.”
The beauty of our Rock is that it brings with it a peace that surpasses all understanding.
So the next time you sing the hymn “On Christ The Solid Rock I Stand” sing loudly the verse
“When all around my soul gives way,
He then is all my hope and stay.”
5. The Rock is our Wisdom
When standing upon Christ, our Rock we have the vantage point that allows us to see the dangers that surround us. We will be able to see the two sidedness of the world and the lies that the Devil holds out as truth. We will have perspective and wisdom that comes from standing high on the Rock who is himself wisdom.
With Jesus Christ as the Rock upon which we stand how should we respond?
"Let the inhabitants of the rock sing, let them shout from the top of the mountains!" Is. 42:11
Thanksgiving, joyful song, and confident faith belong to those who stand secure upon Christ.
"Come, let us shout joyfully to the Lord, shout
triumphantly to the rock of our salvation!"