I’d hate to try and think how many sermons I’ve listened to in my life. It would easily be in the thousands! But there is one sermon that tops the list. It is the most famous sermon in the Bible, preached by Jesus as He began His public ministry, the Sermon on the Mount. You can read it in Matthew chapters 5, 6, and 7.
In this sermon Jesus outlines what the Kingdom of God is like. He speaks to the heart of the Law that was given to Moses, and the higher standard of the New Covenant. Jesus addresses many day-to-day struggles we face as we seek to live as His disciples. He talks about anger, adultery, divorce and love. Jesus teaches about prayer, fasting, giving and worry. Point after point, Jesus outlines the simple yet demanding truth of what it means to follow Him.
And then at the end, like many preachers I know, Jesus finishes with a story that wraps up the main point of His message. It is a story about two builders.
“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 NIV)
We need to build our lives on a strong foundation, so when the storm comes our house will stand strong.God impressed on my heart a couple of key points as I meditated on this simple story.
Everyone’s life gets stormy sometimes
There are times in everyone’s life when the storm clouds close in, the rain comes down, the streams rise, and the winds beat against us.We can’t avoid storms in life. Sometimes we see the clouds brewing on the horizon, sometimes these storms hit with no warning; a simple phone call turns out life upside-down.
I want a divorce.
I have to let you go.
Sometimes, storms come in the shape of a global pandemic that stops life as we know it, fills us with fear and uncertainty and spins our world out of control.
Our lives can stand strong against the storm
Jesus tells us clearly how to build a house on a foundation strong enough to stand against the storm. We have to hear Jesus’ words, and put them into practice. When we fill our lives with God’s truth, and obey that truth, our lives will withstand any storm.
In this season of fear and anxiety, when I am feeling overwhelmed by the scope of the challenge our world is facing, when my heart is overcome with grief for the loss of life around the world, I meditate on these scriptures and fill my heart with faith.
Cast your anxiety on him because He cares for you. (1 Peter 5:7 NIV)
Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. (Philippians 4:6 NIV)
On my bed I remember you; I think of you through the watches of the night. Because you are my help, I sing in the shadow of your wings. (Psalm 63:6–7 NIV)
Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight. (Proverbs 3:5–6 NIV)
God’s word is full of hope, comfort, peace and power to overcome the challenges we face. Now, more than ever, let’s prioritize time in Scripture every day. Read it with your family, write it in prominent places around your home, memorize it together.
Turn off the news and play some worship music. Fill your home and heart with songs of praise and worship; songs that stick in your head and remind you constantly of God’s victory over death, His love and care for you, and the comfort we have in knowing we are His children.
Let’s be people of faith rather than fear. When the clouds feel overwhelming, cling to the Rock; trust in the foundation and stand strong. Let’s build our lives on the Rock, the firm foundation, knowing our lives will not crash in this storm.
Christine is a wife and mother of three adult kids, who lives in an apartment full of potted plants and drinks more coffee than she’d like to admit. Christine works full time in ministry at her church and writes about faith, self-care, and simple living in her blog, Living with Margins. For more blogs from her, click here. You can listen to our Bible studies by tuning in to your favorite radio station, listening to our podcast on iTunes, or listening through TuneIn, Spotify!, or Stitcher online radio.