Jesus had just finished speaking to a group of people as He sat on the side of a mountain. In His sermon, He had given His blessing to those who were mourning, to those who were being peacemakers, to those who were poor in spirit. He admonished the crowd to check their hearts to be sure their anger wasn’t taking them down a path of destruction. He encouraged them all, letting them know that they were the salt and the light, created to be a blessing to those around them. He counseled the crowd not only to love their enemies, but to pray for them. He spoke to them about prayer, about giving, and about seeking the Father and storing up treasure in heaven.
Perhaps you’re quite familiar with this “Sermon on the Mount” as we often call it. You can find it in Matthew 5-7.
What strikes me most about these words of Jesus is how He ends His speech: “Therefore anyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock.”
I pause to emphasize that He does not say “a rock” but “the rock.” THE rock. Shall we continue?
“The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against the house; yet it did not fall…” Why?? “…because it had its foundation on the rock.” Jesus, of course, goes on to say that the foolish fella who does not listen to Him and put His words into practice is like one who built his house on the sand. The rain came, the streams rose, and the winds blew, and the house fell to the ground with a crash.
What do the wise man and the foolish man have in common? They both experienced the rain and the wind that beat against their house. Jesus does not tell us that if we listen to Him, obey Him, and “build our house on the rock” that we will not be hit by a storm. He tells us that if we plant ourselves firmly on the Rock, then our house will continue to stand strong through each storm.
Instead of being discouraged, I am comforted by the fact that Jesus says “when” not “if” in regard to life’s storms. Why should I be naïve or in denial about the fact that there’s always going to be something going on in life that is (from our perspective) less than ideal? We aren’t in heaven yet, after all. Sometimes the storm may be mild, coming in the form of a few sprinkles that spit against the windows and make them smudgy. Sometimes the storm rages, appearing as a hurricane that seems to have no ending. It’s not fun. It hurts. It’s hard.
So we obey Jesus’ teaching, look up toward the Father who promises to hold us fast, and build our house on the Rock. When the rain and wind come, we stand firm. And we look forward with hope toward the promise God gave us. We’re not gonna fall. Our Foundation is mighty!
Now your turn. Share what you’re thankful for! Leave a comment on this post letting us know how God is working in your life. If you’ve written a blog post about what you’re thankful for, leave the link in the comments so we can visit your blog to read about it. We love sharing and reading about God’s blessings!