Fresh Hope – 29th June 2018

 ‘Therefore 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.But everyone who hears these words of mine and does not put them into practice is like a foolish man who built his house on sand.The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell with a great crash’ (Matthew 7:24-27).  

 Imagine two houses. They both look exactly same from the outside – they both have white-picket fences, and a carpet of lush, green lawn leading to a red front door. The frame of both is built with the same timber as each other and the exteriors made of grey-painted weatherboard. The only difference between the two is that one house is stronger than the other. You wouldn’t be able to see from the outside. Until a storm applies pressure to the structure of the houses, you can only then see which of the two is the strongest house – the one with a sure foundation.  

 Jesus told this parable as a metaphor for our lives. From the outside, we may not look any different from the person next to us, but it is when the storms of life come, and the pressure is applied, that the true strength of our character and quality of our relationship with God is displayed. The foundation of our life is often hidden, until storms expose what we are really made of.  

 Both builders of both houses would have worked hard. Both would have carefully considered design. Both would have spent hours contemplating a place of rest and safety. But only one was sure to survive – the one built on the rock. Perhaps the one who didn’t build on the rock thought he would never face storms. Maybe he thought he could survive them through his own ability to design a house. Maybe he knew of storms, but didn’t bother doing anything about preparing for them. But it was the wise builder who knew that to have a safe, and secure refuge, there was only so much he could build in his own effort, the foundation of the house needed to be on something greater to outlast – it needed to be built on the rock – which is of course a metaphor for the unchanging, steady, strong and secure nature of God.  

 The application for us is that we are guaranteed to face storms. John 16:33 says, ‘In this world you will have trouble’.  

BUT if we have built our lives on the foundation of Christ, the rains, streams and winds of life are no match to the strength and security we have in Him. Hence why Jesus said, ‘But take heart! I have overcome the world’.  

 If you are in denial that your life will be without difficulties, or that you can build a secure life without God, or that you can hear about God as your Rock, but not bother building on it, then you will find that the winds of life will knock you down. You will find yourself tossed and turned, confused and eventually all that you built in your own effort will be gone. It the words of Jesus, ‘it fell with a great crash”. Save yourself the confusion, heartache, wasted-years and turmoil. Don’t wake up one day wondering how everything you have built has gone. Start building your life on the foundation of Jesus today. Embrace the storm, with a life that is built on the sure foundation of Jesus!  

Emma Burchell

A daily devotion for a better way of living.