Trials

A Rock-Solid Faith According to Jesus

The late and longtime newscaster David Brinkley said, “A successful man is one who can lay a firm foundation with the bricks others have thrown at him.” Chew on that for a second. Brinkley understood that we don’t get anywhere unless we learn to overcome our weaknesses by endeavoring to make them our strengths.

As a Christian our devotion to God will be challenged in various ways (Matthew 4:1-11). Bricks will be thrown!

Although we may love and want the best for our family, friends and co-workers, they can all become stumbling blocks that create weaknesses in our relationship with God (Matthew 10:37; 1 Corinthians 15:33).

False doctrine, evil aspirations and a lack of self-control can also cause our spiritual house to crumble and fall into disrepair; possibly even putting our entire foundation into peril (2 Timothy 4:3-4; 2 Peter 1:1-10).

These situations are not the desire of God. He desires a relationship (a house) that is “framed” on Earth and “finished” in Heaven. But for that to happen we must desire His desires, we must trust His grace, and we must have a rock solid faith to build our house on (Hebrews 11).

The foundation of our faith is vital to our spiritual survival. Contrary to the ideas of some, one foundation is not as good as another (1 Corinthians 3:10-11). A solid foundation is essential! A faulty foundation can be deadly!

Our faith’s foundation must have depth. Jesus used a parable to describe a spiritually wise person by saying, “He is like a man building a house, who dug deep. . .” (Luke 6:48, NKJV).

Pleasant weather brings easy care in our relationship with God, but the storms will eventually come. Troubles and temptations are going try our faith according to James 1:3. But according to James 1:12, standing strong in the storm will be worth it.

If our foundation has no depth, our house will have no strength. When storms strike a house sitting on shallow foundation, the house loses. A fickle, effortless or non-existent foundational faith will get the same result every time. 

Our faith’s foundation must also be made of the right material. Jesus said not every house would fall. The house that lasted would do so because the wise man “. . . dug deep and laid the foundation on the rock” (Luke 6:48).

Our foundational faith must not be built upon family traditions, opinions, church creeds or what we “feel in our heart” (Jeremiah 17:9; Romans 16:18; James 1:26). These can be bad building materials. Yes, we must have a foundation built in our heart (Romans 10:9-10), but the foundation must come from God’s word (Acts 20:32; Psalm 40:8).

Jesus had this idea in mind when he said the wise man was the person that heard his words, followed their blueprint and then built a house that could provide shelter through the coming storms (Luke 6:47). Remember, when it comes to the spiritual storms, Jesus said “when” and not “if” in his parable. We must build wisely.

A strong foundation of faith does not just happen overnight; worthy foundations take work, time, patience, humility, knowledge and confidence (Hebrews 11:6).

Trials will come and they will go, but we must not allow our faith to do the same. If we expect our spiritual house to last through the spiritual storms, then the only foundation worth building on is one that is “rock solid” according to Jesus. EA

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GOD problems

Look at that title…what is it saying to you…does it make any sense? Look at it one more time. There is a sentence and a lesson in that title of two words. It’s a sentence that is easy to say, but a lesson that’s hard to remember; but the lesson is a fact nonetheless. If you have figured it out great! If not, here is a hint – which one of the words is bigger? Do you see it now? “God” is bigger than the “problems.”

God is bigger than our problems! I told you it was an easy sentence to say but a hard lesson to remember. God is big, very big! The Earth is compared to His footstool (Isaiah 66:1; Matthew 5:35). God’s hands made the dry land the way we might make a sandcastle (Psalm 95:5). The Bible describes God gathering the sea together in a heap and breathing the host of the heavens into existence (Psalm 33:6,7). These are the four biggest things we can see on or from the Earth: the dry land, the oceans, the Earth itself and the heavens above. These things are huge! And yet they are all very small compared to our God; but let a problem come knocking and we soon forget all about that.

God made us and we often (not always! but often) make our own problems. I could’ve easily made the word “problems” bigger than the word “God” in the title. But who’s really bigger? The One that made us – or the problems we make? I know the answer and I hope you do too, but that question still manages to stump me from time to time.

Remember the man possessed with the legion in Mark 5? In verse nine Jesus asks the demon his name and the demon answers, “Legion.” In case you don’t know, the word legion is a military term representing a group of several thousand soldiers. Most people agree it probably meant about 6,000 around that time.

So here is Jesus facing a demon several thousand strong – He’s got a big problem on His hand’s right? Wrong! Why not? Because Jesus had more than twelve legions of angels from the Father that would’ve taken care of that problem! (Matthew 26:53) Put that number in your calculator and tell me which is bigger.

Sometimes we may wish that God would just come down and take care of all our problems in a snap, but our problems are often lessons reminding us to rely on Him (James 1:2-4). Let’s all do our best to encourage and remind each other that God really is bigger than our problems. Think about it.  EA

“…He who is in you is greater than he who is in the world.” (1 John 4:4)