Psalm 127:1 Unless the LORD builds the house, its builders labor in vain.
Matthew 7:24-27 “Therefore whoever hears these sayings of Mine, and does them, I will liken him to a wise man who built his house on the rock: and the rain descended, the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house; and it did not fall, for it was founded on the rock.
“But everyone who hears these sayings of Mine, and does not do them, will be like a foolish man who built his house on the sand: and the rain descended, the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house; and it fell. And great was its fall.”
- Reflect On: Matthew 7:24-27
- Praise God: Because He cannot be shaken.
- Offer Thanks: For all the ways Christ has steadied you in times of trouble.
- Confess: Any fear you may have about the future.
- Ask God: To increase your confidence in His love and care.
[The] principle of building a strong foundation underlies much of life. Build your house on a sandy cliff and it may one day come toppling down. Build your marriage on distorted expectations and it may not last. Build your investments on faulty information and they may soon amount to nothing. The truth is, we often do not know how sound anything is until it is tested by various kinds of stress and trouble. But how on earth can we withstand all the troubles that may assail us in a lifetime? We can’t possibly plan for every contingency—or can we?
Jesus tells us there is a way. But it is not a way that squares with our own intuition about how the world works. It has nothing to do with building on our personal strengths, insights, or efforts. Self-reliance isn’t a strategy for ultimate success. Nor can we build on the institutions of this world, however good they might be—marriage, family, higher education, work. If we want to build something that in the end will last, there is only one way. Forsake ourselves and follow Christ. We put our faith in Jesus and express that faith daily through what Eugene Peterson has called (borrowing a phrase from the philosopher Nietzsche) “a long obedience in the same direction.” That’s how our lives become joined to the One who is the tested cornerstone, perfectly shaped, solid, and strong.
When I think of how God holds us when we build our lives on His Son, I think of that building. There will be times when we will feel shaken to the core, perhaps even terrified… . But basing our lives on Him through faith will enable us to stand rather than collapse in the face of unbearable pressure. Our standing will have nothing to do with luck but everything to do with where we are standing—on the cornerstone, tested and true.
Ask yourself today whether you need to shift your priorities in order to stand more squarely with Christ. As you let God’s Spirit probe your heart, take up the words to the old hymn “How Firm a Foundation”:
How firm a foundation, ye saints of the Lord,
Is laid for your faith in His excellent word!
What more can He say than you He hath said,
You, who unto Jesus for refuge have fled
Fear not, I am with thee, O be not dismayed,
For I am thy God and will still give thee aid;
I’ll strengthen and help thee, and cause thee to stand
Upheld by my righteous, omnipotent hand.
The soul that on Jesus has leaned for repose,
I will not, I will not desert to its foes;
That soul, though all hell should endeavor to shake,
I’ll never, no never, no never forsake.