We continue our series from the book by Dr. Tony Evans, “Can God be Trusted in our Trials?”
Today we’ll keep our focus on laying a foundation that can withstand any trial.
Dr. Evans says being blown by the winds of a difficult trial is a poor time to discover that your spiritual Foundation is shaky or weak. Last week we talked about the house in Matthew 7 being built on sand or on rock. The difference between acting from a divine standpoint and a human standpoint.
So what is that difference?
A human viewpoint is one where we believe whatever we’re told by others to believe. A human viewpoint may make a person feel comfortable for a while (sand), but when the tide of life comes in, it gets swept away. The divine standpoint allows you to take the Word home and apply it (rock). Many times, the issue of whether we are wise or foolish is not what church we attend or how often we attend; but instead, what we do with God’s truth.
Hearing God’s word is not enough. In James 1:25 he reminds us that it is not the forgetful hearer, but instead the effectual doer, who will be blessed in what he does.
Dr. Evans reminds us that the storm that battered the two homes in Jesus story did not determine the two men’s foundations, it only exposed them. When you find a storm like this or run into a storm like this, you’d better have the right foundation. If Jesus is your foundation, you’ll be able to withstand the storm. But if he isn’t your foundation, you need to get started pouring a new one today. The middle of a crisis is a bad time to figure out that your house is shaking and shuddering as the foundation washes away.
Now you might be thinking, “I think that Jesus is my foundation but I’m really being battered by this trial. I’m scared to death and to be really honest, I’ve kind of been wondering if Jesus really knows what I’m going through.” If you’ve ever felt that way…you are not alone! Many Christians have had the same questions in the storm, which is why Mark 4 verses 35 through 41 are so important. They are a real life episode with Jesus and his disciples.
When Jesus and the disciples went over to the other side of the Sea of Galilee, a huge storm came up and they were in trouble. The Greek word for the storm emphasizes that it came out of nowhere; one of those completely unexpected storms that the Sea of Galilee was famous for. The disciples were experienced fisherman, but they panicked. They turned around and looked at Jesus, but he was asleep in the stern of the boat. The disciples were upset and said in verse 38, “teacher do you not even care that we are perishing?” Dr. Evans paraphrases this: “Jesus we hate to bother you, but we could use a little help here. If you really care about us, get up and do something!”
Here’s the good news. Jesus got up and stilled the storm. That was the easy part. Then he turned to the Twelve and said in verse 40: “why are you afraid? How is it that you have no faith?” Jesus’ question may seem a little harsh, but he said it because his men had forgotten what he had said before they ever got in the boat. He said, “let us go over to the other side.” He did not intend for his disciples to go out halfway in the water and drown. Once again the Twelve had heard Jesus say this, but in the middle of their crisis they forgot what he said. So when you seem to be drowning, remember what Jesus said.
Did Jesus know that storm was coming? Of course. Did he send the disciples into it on purpose? Yes, he did. Why? To teach them the same lesson we need to learn over and over again: when you have Jesus, you have a foundation that is built with the storms of life in mind. Nothing surprises or overwhelms him. With Jesus as the foundation of your life, you can endure the storms of life and the battering that it brings. Nothing can tip over your boat when Jesus is in it.
Thanks for listening!
– Joe and Todd