Well, it happened again. Another worship time, another song chosen by my kids. “The wise man built his house upon a rock and the house on the rock stood firm/the foolish man built his house upon the sand and the house on the sand went splat.”
Later I found the parable in Matthew 7 and reread it. What jumped out at me this reading was not the house on the rock, the foundation of building a life on the words and life of Jesus. I totally believe that. It was what happened to the house after it was built on the firm foundation:
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.
It may be obvious, but in this day of some preaching the false Prosperity Gospel, it bears repeating. The rains came, the streams rose and the winds blew and beat against that house. Regardless of the foundation of the house, whether on rock or shifting sands, there were the storms of the world.
Having a house built on the foundation of Jesus and His Word does not exempt us from the rains, the floods or those winds that beat against the house.
Just because you’re a believer in Jesus, doesn’t mean you get a free pass from the hurricanes of life. Remember “These things I have spoken to you, so that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will have trouble (or tribulation), but take courage; I have overcome the world.”( John 16:31) Not “in this world you’ll get to skip the trouble if you believe in me”–nope. You will have trouble. You will. Look for it, expect it, don’t be surprised by it–and be prepared for it. It’s “I (Jesus) have overcome the world, so in the midst of all the trouble and tribulation that is surely coming your way, you will have My peace.
It reminded my of “How Firm a Foundation,” a hymn we used to sing in the Baptist church I attended as a child. I hadn’t thought of it in years, but thinking about both the foundation and the storms and rain and wind beating against my “house” brought it back to my mind. It’s so full of truth and assurance in hard times:
“How firm a foundation, ye saints of the Lord,
Is laid for your faith in His excellent word!
What more can He say than to you He hath said—
To you who for refuge to Jesus have fled?”
“Fear not, I am with thee, oh, be not dismayed,
For I am thy God, and will still give thee aid;
I’ll strengthen thee, help thee, and cause thee to stand,
Upheld by My gracious, omnipotent hand.
“When through the deep waters I call thee to go,
The rivers of sorrow shall not overflow;
For I will be with thee thy trouble to bless,
And sanctify to thee thy deepest distress.
“When through fiery trials thy pathway shall lie,
My grace, all-sufficient, shall be thy supply;
The flame shall not harm thee; I only design
Thy dross to consume and thy gold to refine.
“The soul that on Jesus doth lean 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.” (John Keith, 1787)
Wow. All kinds of goodness in that one: He causes me to stand, upheld with His gracious, omnipotent hand. He will be with me, to bless my trouble and sanctify my deepest distress. God’s grace will allow the fiery trials, not to harm me, but to consume the dross (impurities, waste or scum) in my life and refine me to purest gold. He will not desert my soul to my enemies; instead He will never forsake me despite all efforts of hell to shake me from His grasp.
So in those hours or days when the rains threaten to flood your “house,” in the winds that beat against you and feel like they may rip you apart, trust in that firm foundation of Jesus, in that peace that only He gives, and have faith in God’s assurance “I will never leave you or forsake you.” (Deuteronomy 31:6)