Contending for the faith | Making Disciples | Equipping the Saints for Ministry


By Jeannette Haley

“From the end of the earth will I cry unto thee, when my

heart is overwhelmed: lead me to the rock that is higher than I.

— Psalm 61:2


      The word “shock,” according to the Mirriam Webster Dictionary, has seven primary definitions, the first, which is the subject of this article, is: (1): a sudden or violent mental or emotional disturbance (2): a disturbance in the equilibrium or permanence of something b: something that causes such disturbance. My personal definition of “shock,” which is based on my own experience goes something like this: A sudden intrusion into my life or reality that causes an instant emotional drain and resulting numbing sensation. Of course when that begins to “thaw out” you are left to deal with a number of conflicting emotional responses that can sometimes be compared to trying to tame a swarm of bees, one bee at a time.

      At such times, a good motto to remember is: When in shock, run to the Rock. “In thee, O LORD, do I put my trust; let me never be ashamed: deliver me in thy righteousness. Bow down thine ear to me; deliver me speedily: be thou my strong rock, for an house of defense to save me. For thou art my rock and my fortress; therefore for thy name’s sake lead me, and guide me” Psalm 31:1-3.

      As many of you know, I recently performed an unplanned foot-fumble, flip, twist, up-over-and-out gymnastic performance in our garage that ended with a very undignified crash on the two steps that descend from the house to the garage. The whole thing was shocking, to say the least in more ways than one! First, it’s a “shocking” miracle that nothing major was broken, although my tailbone became the center of the whole painful situation, which is shocking in itself; but, my body, mind, and emotions suffered a bit of shock for a while afterwards. On top of that, my two faithful friends (and others who obviously love me) made sure that I was soundly rebuked for being up on a kitchen step stool! Ouch! But, praise the Lord—thanks to much prayer (and God-given comfrey salve) I can now bend over without excruciating pain, and I am oh-so-thankful! I have never been good at gymnastics, and obviously never will be (nor want to be)!

      I was more shaken than I cared to admit, and the terrible pain caused me to shut myself in with my Rock where I totally surprised myself when I started crying my heart out like a little kid, “I want my daddy!” (Which I can’t recall ever doing.) Then it became very personal with God—“I want my Daddy!” I have never, ever in my life called Him “Daddy” and not very often even “Father” but, the wonderfully amazing thing is, He heard my cries, and instantly His overshadowing presence descended and comforted me as only a loving Father could a hurting child. What I learned in those unforgettable moments is this: God is indeed our “Daddy” when we are reduced to the state of a helpless, little child. It is only when we are in a totally broken, needy, humble, hurting position and call out to Him that He becomes our “Daddy”.

      It turns my stomach every time I hear people running around flippantly calling the Rock of Israel and the Rock of our salvation “Daddy.” The connotation is that he is just like any indulging, smiling, easy-going earthly father who exists just to give us our every whim, which is demeaning to the Majesty in the heavens! He is not our “Daddy” for every situation in life!  What zealous people without knowledge seem to forget (if they ever knew it) is that when Jehovah God powerfully manifests one of His attributes in a given situation, it doesn’t mean that any of His other attributes become less “important,” or are somehow “insubordinate,” “diminished,” or “unimportant”. God never changes. In other Words, if you have a personal experience with the Lord as your “Abba Father,” that does not mean He is “only” your “Abba Father” every moment of the day for the rest of your life at the expense of all of His other attributes. This type of thinking is common among undiscipled, unlearned, inexperienced Christians and is dangerous because it produces an unbalanced, lopsided Christian who only relates to God based on their own limited definition of Him based on their own experiences, preferences, limited beliefs, or emotional needs. In other words, when a person focuses and overemphasizes any one of God’s attributes (such as His love, for example) by taking it to the extreme and building his or her entire life, way of thinking, conclusions, beliefs and decisions on that one particular attribute results in bringing God down to our human level, thus changing Him into a god of our own making to be worshipped. Whenever we take any truth to the extreme, it becomes an untruth.

      God is All-Sufficient for every occasion, aspect and situation. No problem, difficulty, tragedy, or event is beyond what God is because God is omnipotent, omniscient, omnipresent, immutable, and sovereign. God is the great I AM THAT I AM; Elohim, Powerful God; Adonai, Lord; El Elyon, God Most High; El Shaddai, Almighty God; Yahweh, Israel’s Covenantal God; Jehovah Jireh, The Lord Provides; Jehovah Rophe, The Lord Heals; Jehovah Nissi, The Lord is My Banner; Jehovah Mekadesh, The Lord Who Sanctifies You; Jehovah Shalom, The Lord Is Peace; Jehovah Tsidkenu, The Lord is Our Righteousness; Jehovah Rohi, The Lord Is My Shepherd; Jehovah Shammah, The Lord Is There; El Roi, The God Who Sees; Jehovah Mekoddishkem, God Who Is Our Santification; El Olam, The Everlasting God of Eternity, The God of the Universe, The God of Ancient Days. Hallelujah! Praise the LORD forever for “The LORD liveth; and blessed be my rock; and exalted be the God of the rock of my salvation” 2 Samuel 22:47.

      God, our Rock, is never shocked at anything. “He is the Rock, his work is perfect: for all his ways are judgment: a God of truth and without iniquity, just and right is he” Deuteronomy 32:4.e He Shock definitely affects our “mental equilibrium” (which also affects us physically) as we scramble to “get ahold of ourselves” in whatever situation has been thrown at us. There is no getting around it that the sudden death of a loved one has to be the greatest shock a person can experience. None of us wants to be shocked by unexpected tragedies, destruction, great losses, or devastating news that deeply affects us, breaks our hearts, destroys or drastically alters our way of life, and shakes our faith and beliefs to the core. It’s a shock when you receive a medical diagnosis that foretells suffering and death for a loved one or yourself. It’s a shock when a spouse is unfaithful, or when there is a divorce, or even the death of a beloved pet. It’s shocking when someone you trust, and who claims to be a Christian, “throws you under the bus.” It’s shocking to be the victim of abuse, or witness any kind of violence, or feel violated by a burglary, or learn of the deep roots of evil in our own government, or a host of other things that we witness on the daily news.

      Therefore, we humans instinctively try to prepare ourselves for anything that might throw us into a state of shock. We have our psychologists ready to counsel us with their worldly “wisdom” in case there is a traumatic event such as a school shooting, terrorist attack, or other public tragedy. People who live in tornado alley try to build reinforced homes and underground shelters in preparation for the super storm; and, plans are made in earthquake-prone areas for the “big one.” Israel has taken the precaution of insuring that gas masks and bomb shelters are accessible to civilians. Our President is working hard to build our military and defenses in the event of an attack on America. Others are stockpiling gold and silver, food and survival gear, and the list goes on. The whole world is scrambling to be “prepared” for the worst, be it from outer space, from the earth’s molten core, from biological nasties, or from the designs of evil men, such as the antichrist. The question is, how prepared are individuals in the world today who may suddenly, without warning, find themselves out of the body and into the presence of God? We need to also ask ourselves just how prepared God’s people are if they were to unexpectedly find themselves “absent from the body, and . . . present with the Lord (2 Corinthians 5:8b)?

      When life shocks us, loved ones can hold our hand, but only God can hold our hearts.

      One of the most overlooked, least studied, least understood, and least appreciated books in the Bible is the Book of Job: yet this book is invaluable in helping to prepare the believer for life’s devastating intrusions. God Himself said this to Satan concerning Job: “Hast thou considered my servant Job, that there is none like him in the earth, a perfect and an upright man, one that feareth God, and escheweth evil” Job 1:8? After Job lost his animals, servants, property, livelihood and sons and daughters, he “arose, and rent his mantle, and shaved his head, and fell down upon the ground, and worshipped, And said, Naked came I out of my mother’s womb, and naked shall I return thither: the LORD gave, and the LORD hath taken away; blessed be the name of the LORD. In all this Job sinned not, nor charged God foolishly” Job 1:20-22. Then the Lord allowed Satan to touch his body, yet in spite of intense physical suffering, Job never “charged God foolishly” or cursed God, or lost his faith in God. In Ezekiel 14:14 we read, “Though these three men, Noah, Daniel, and Job, were in it, [the earth] they should deliver but their own souls by their righteousness, saith the Lord God.” What could be more shocking than all that Job suffered, and yet his faith stood firm because he maintained an upright relationship with God that nothing could destroy; he possessed faith that could not be shaken; he kept a heavenly, eternal perspective that could not be altered; and, he hated evil. Job overcame Satan because his heart was established in the Rock, as the eagle who “dwelleth and abideth on the rock, upon the crag of the rock, and the strong place” Job 39:28.   

      The subject of “shock” has come to mind a lot lately as two neighbors, and one dear friend left this world behind, all within a few days of each other. We are quite certain that one of these souls did not enter through the Gates of Heaven; another sometimes attended church, but we have no idea if she was truly born again; but, we do know without a doubt that the third person has definitely entered into the joy of his Lord. There have also been a number of very sudden fatalities on the highways in our area as well, leaving us to wonder about the state of these poor souls. For those who knew not the Lord, no doubt the shock they experienced, as they suddenly found themselves out of the body and in the clutches of mocking demons, was indescribably unbearable; the dreaded weight of the reality of their eternally lost state of hopelessness, like an anchor, descending with their tortured souls into the abyss.

      No doubt Adam and Eve, after they disobeyed God suffered shock when God cursed the ground and drove them out of the Garden of Eden to go work for their food until the day that they returned to dust. They must have been shocked and horrified when Cain murdered his brother, Abel; and Cain must have been shocked when God pronounced judgment on him saying, “And now art thou cursed from the earth….” (See Genesis 4:11, 12.) People in the days of Noah had to be shocked when God brought about the great worldwide flood, just as He told Noah He planned to do. No doubt Ananias and Sapphira went into shock when each was confronted and told that they were going to die on the spot, which they did. As we turn each page of the Bible from Genesis to Revelation while keeping in mind that the people recorded there are just as human as you and me, and if we put ourselves in their place, understand and relate to their plights, problems, and emotions, then we can surmise that they, too, experienced states of shock that they had to deal with.

      Even though Jesus plainly told His disciples “The Son of man must be delivered into the hands of sinful men, and be crucified, and the third day rise again” Luke 24:7, they were shocked when He was arrested, falsely accused, tortured, and crucified. Someone wrote, “The disciples were so stunned by the shock and defenselessness they experienced that, other than John, they abandoned Jesus during the trials and crucifixion, instead gathering together in hiding.” No doubt the disciples were also shocked at the news of His resurrection and when He suddenly appeared to them where they were assembled behind locked doors for fear of the Jews.

      Being shocked is not a sin, but unbelief is.

      I believe that death is the greatest cause of shock because God created us to live forever and put eternity in our hearts (Ecclesiastes 3:11). People cannot imagine not “being somewhere” when they die. Sadly, instead of believing the record that God has given us in His Word concerning life and death, heaven and hell, most of the world goes on to “rewrite the story” and make up their own happy ending. According to a 2009 survey, 25% of U.S. Christians believe in reincarnation. A 2011 Barna survey showed 25% of American Christians believe in Universalism. In a more recent survey (2016) 64% of evangelical Americans believe that all people will be reunited with their loved ones in heaven, which is evidence of the growing trend toward Universalism. The question is, if everybody is going to eventually end up in heaven, then why obey the great commission to go into the entire world and preach the gospel, and make disciples to Jesus? Why send out missionaries to bring the gospel to the lost? Why bother witnessing to people, praying for the lost and for laborers to go into the harvest field, or for that matter why work to do anything or donate funds to bring people to Christ?

      It must be a terrible shock for the unsaved in the moment of their death when they suddenly find themselves “absent from the body” and falling into hell.

      But, let’s face it. We all love a happy ending; however, what about Truth? Hebrews 9:27 says, “It is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment.” Jesus said that He is “The way, the truth and the life” John 14:6a, and John 1:1 declares, “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word is God.” Therefore, Jesus is the living Word, and the written Word is life and truth. Nevertheless, there exists in these end days an insidious spirit over the world that has redefined the Jesus of the Bible, the Rock of our salvation, into “another Jesus” who is more like us than the coming King and Judge of all mankind. This new Jesus is our pal and buddy, our “doting Father” and will never do anything to “shock” our frail feelings concerning heaven and hell. This is an insidious lie from the devil. The Apostle Paul warned, “But I fear, lest by any means, as the serpent beguiled Eve through his subtility, so your minds should be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ, For if he that cometh preacheth another Jesus, whom we have not preached, or if ye receive another spirit, which ye have not received, or another gospel, which ye have not accepted, ye might well bear with him” 2 Corinthians 11:3, 4.

      The truth is Jesus Christ cannot be separated from the Word, or the Word from Jesus. Therefore, when Jesus declares that He is the “The way, the truth and the life. No man comes to the Father but by me” He is making it clear that He is the only way, the only truth, and the only life. As much as our emotional sensitivities, imaginations, and personal leanings want to change and “improve” reality in order to avoid any sudden, shocking intrusion into our personal worlds, the fact remains that the Jesus of the Bible is still the Jesus of the Bible. Jesus said, “I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the ending, saith the Lord, which is, and which was, and which is to come, the Almighty” Revelation 1:8. “Jesus Christ the same yesterday, and to day, and for ever” Hebrews 13:8. “And did all drink the same spiritual drink: for they drank of that spiritual Rock that followed them: and that Rock was Christ” I Corinthians 10:4.

      Perhaps the greatest shock of all is when “many” who think they are saved stand before Christ and hear Him say, “I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity” Matthew 7:23b. After Jesus spoke these words, He told us the means of preparation for that day when we stand before Him. He said, Therefore whosoever heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them, I will liken him unto a wise man, which built his house upon a rock: And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell not: for it was founded upon a rock. And every one that heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them not, shall be likened unto a foolish man, which built his house upon the sand: And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell: and great was the fall of it.”

      Are you established on the Rock and prepared for the stormy shock? Or is your life built on shifting sand so when the storm hits, and it will, you won’t be able to stand?

“My Hope is Built on Nothing Less”
by Edward Mote, 1797-1874

  1. My hope is built on nothing less
    Than Jesus’ blood and righteousness;
    I dare not trust the sweetest frame,
    But wholly lean on Jesus’ name.
    On Christ, the solid Rock, I stand;
    All other ground is sinking sand.
  2. When darkness veils His lovely face,
    I rest on His unchanging grace;
    In every high and stormy gale
    My anchor holds within the veil.
    On Christ, the solid Rock, I stand;
    All other ground is sinking sand.
  3. His oath, His covenant, and blood
    Support me in the whelming flood;
    When every earthly prop gives way,
    He then is all my Hope and Stay.
    On Christ, the solid Rock, I stand;
    All other ground is sinking sand.
  4. When He shall come with trumpet sound,
    Oh, may I then in Him be found,
    Clothed in His righteousness alone,
    Faultless to stand before the throne!
    On Christ, the solid Rock, I stand;
    All other ground is sinking sand.