By Lysa TerKeurst
Matthew 7:24-27, "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 ." (NIV)
Do you know what amazes me about these Scriptures? Both the person doing right and the person doing wrong experienced hard times. In both cases, the rains came, the streams rose, and the wind blew and beat against the house.
Just because we're Christians living out God's principles for life, does not mean we won't face difficult circumstances. The difference being a Christian makes is how the difficulties affect us. If we are hearing and heeding God through our prayer time and reading His Word, then we will be able to stand strong in the storms of life. Our faith will not be shaken and our identity will not be rattled.
I once heard my pastor lament to my husband that sometimes he only feels as good as his last sermon. I can so closely identify with his comment because as a friend, wife, and mother, sometimes I only feel as good as my last interaction with someone close to me. A friend tells me I hurt her feelings and suddenly I feel like a bad friend. I forget to take the cookies I signed up to bring to the church nursery. Suddenly I feel unreliable and disorganized. My husband asks me where his passport is and when I can't find the file, suddenly I feel like a wife that can't be trusted.
The passport thing is still very fresh on my mind because it just happened yesterday. My normal reaction would have been to get frustrated, short-tempered, and beat myself up while tearing the house apart looking for it. But God's Spirit knocked on the door to my heart and said, "Let me invade your natural flesh reaction. Call your husband and pray about the passports instead of getting angry." So, Art and I prayed. I went from defining myself as a failure of a wife to being a godly wife who faces hardships in a godly way. The frustration was diffused and we determined to look at this from God's perspective. If we find the passports, we'll praise God! If we don't find them, we'll see this as God's protection not to go on a planned trip later this month and we'll still praise God.
When hard times come and beat against our stability, we must be determined to hear God's words and put them into practice. Then nothing can topple our peace, security, or true identity.