Elder Diane Huff
“Everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock. The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house; yet it did not fall because it had its foundation on the rock.” Matthew 7:24-25
In the 1990s, a serious problem surfaced in a popular Chesterfield County neighborhood that affected the very foundation of many homes. It’s called shrink swell soil. This condition happens when soil which contains certain minerals and salt can absorb a lot of water and expand up to 15 times its dry volume. The soil then presses against a home’s foundation to create cracks and other problems. As the soil dries, it shrinks and allows the foundation to move, which undermines the support and causes additional serious damage. It affects the entire integrity of the foundation on which the home is built and can be extremely expensive to fix. The solidity of the ground on which a home is built is essential to its stability.
These are troubling times. Our country is overcome by fear and anxiety on a scale unprecedented in our lifetime. This presents an opportunity for the church to show who God really is, to share truth,and show compassion. But it is also times like these that test whether we are on solid footing in our relationship with God.
Scripture tells us that we will face crises in our lives. Isaiah 43:1-2 says “Do not fear, for I have redeemed you; I have summoned you by name; you are mine. When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you.” Notice that Isaiah 43 uses the word when, not if. This is a clear indication that we can expect trouble to happen, but we need not fear because God will be with us to protect us. During His final night with His disciples, Jesus told them “In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” (John 16:33) Jesus wanted to reassure His disciples that they could have peace in Him in a hostile world. He wanted them to remember His victory over the world, even as He tried to prepare them for what was coming. But as we know, it wasn’t until later that the disciples fully understood the implications of all Jesus told them. As we fast forward through Scripture, we see that some of the disciples were martyred, some were beaten and imprisoned, and some lost or gave up all their worldly possessions and even their families. They faced persecutions and trouble on a scale that we have never experienced. But they stood firm through it all because they understood Jesus was with them and would help them overcome. They had developed a solid faith that saw them through.
So, how is your foundation? Because it’s what we do, not what we say, that’s important. It means putting into practice what we believe about God. God’s Word is the solid foundation on which we build our lives. As Jesus tells us in Matthew 7, by practicing obedience to Him and His Word, by developing a strong relationship with Him and trusting in Him as our rock, we are wise and build that solid foundation to withstand the storms of life.
Going through difficulties in our own strength means we’ll likely falter. At the very least we’ll be anxious and afraid. But with the Lord at our side we’ll prevail. It is our relationship with our Lord that provides us strength for living life. Out of the depth of that relationship will come the resources we need to live through life’s ups and downs, and for living a life that makes a difference in the world. This deep relationship with Him will become the root relationship out of which all other relationships will grow and bear fruit (John 15:5).
The Lord never said there won’t be storms. As a matter of fact, He said the opposite. But He promises to be with us through all of it. He promises to protect us. We can stand firm in His promises, and we can show those around us what true faith and a solid foundation looks like.
Dearest Lord, we are so grateful that you tell us you will strengthen and uphold us with your righteous right hand. We know we can count on you through every storm if we stand on the promises in your Word and keep our eyes fixed firmly on you. Thank you that you have overcome this world and through it all you give us peace as we trust you. In your precious name Lord Jesus I pray.