And the rain fell and the floods came and the winds blew and beat against that house; yet it did not fall, because it had been founded on the rock.

Matthew 7:25

Regardless of our station in life, our background, our hopes and aspirations, whether we are intelligent or slow, educated or untrained, regardless of friendships or hatred toward us, we each shall experience hardships in life. Not a single one of us can avoid this fact.

As a pastor I have known many people whose lives were envied by others, who seemed to have it all – wealth, health, attractiveness, friends, success – yet in their private lives they each carry burdens and hurts that the majority of people were unaware of. It may be an unfaithful spouse, or the pain of spurned parental love, or the fear of failure, or the pain of false friendships and betrayals. In fact, so far as I know, no person on earth can avoid this matter described by Jesus as “rain, floods, and winds.”

Like houses, the difference is found in the material out of which we are built, not the conditions we endure. The Scandinavians have a saying, “There is no such thing as bad weather, only bad clothing.” We may take the words of Christ and say that there is no such thing as a problem-less life, only lives that are not prepared to deal with the problems they face.

The difference will be in our foundations. Christ outlined in His sermon true character in the Beatitudes, then true inner personal righteousness, and a true relationship with God through faith and surrender to His rule and reign. We see on this side of history that the cross of Christ – which was the center of His ministry – enables us to leave our failures there and to live a new life in hope and in the power of God. Old foundations of selfishness can be removed and a new foundation of grace and strength can be received through Him.

Then we lay all of our hopes on Him – every part of our lives is built with obedience to Him, faith in Him, love toward Him – as He is the foundation, then truth becomes the structure of our lives. We do not compare ourselves with others, rather we trust that God will watch over us. So we keep on asking, seeking, and knocking, keep on depending on Him, keep staying connected to Him our Vine so that His character can flow through us.

This is the strength and resiliency of love in our hearts shaped by God’s truth, that endures the storms. Whatever shape the rain, floods, and winds take in your life – are taking right now in your life – remember that this life on earth shall end for us all one day. Only eternity and only Christ will remain, along with those who trust in Him and seek to follow Him. The two things we deal with on earth that are eternal are His Word and the souls of humans. In our lives may these two be perfectly blended – “Your word have I hid in my heart that I might not sin against You” (Psalm 119:11).

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