Did you ever hear about Lady Wisdom and Sir Fool? “Lady Wisdom builds a lovely home; Sir Fool comes along and tears it down brick by brick” (MSG). How does one build a lovely home? How does a woman build a great household? Only with a strong foundation. A Strong Foundation.
We have the opportunity to build our life on the Rock or to build our life on something else. If we build upon the Rock, the storms can rage around us but the house will stand. If we build upon the Rock, it doesn’t matter what comes blowing on by because the house will not be moved. If we build on the sand, if we build our life as Sir Fool, we place our lives on the foundation of something other than Jesus. When the cookies crumble, oh how they crumble. A small breeze will knock us down. A storm will come and the house will fall, and it will be a great fall.
Folly hands are not hands that I wish to have anymore. I remember days when those were my hands. I remember when I tried to control everything. I remember when my foundation was myself. I remember when my foundation was money. I remember when my foundation was pleasure. I remember when my foundation was lies. Folly tears down brick by brick. Praise the Lord, He builds us up strong in Him. By His Truth and through His grace and because of His love, we can embrace Him and build on His Solid Foundation. Nothing will shake us. Nothing will break us. Nothing will snatch us from His hands.
“The wisest of women builds her house, but folly with her own hands tears it down.” – Proverbs 14:1 [ESV]
Many people will agree that the Bible mentions some type of “do not fear” phrase 365 times and these same people hold that God left us these phrases so we have one for each day of the year. The Bible verse I return to often is Isaiah 41:10 which tells us to “fear not.” That’s where FearNot Ministries was born.
In Mark 6, the disciples were in the middle of storm that produced great wind. The disciples were struggling. Through this storm, there was Jesus walking on the water. It frightened the disciples. Who can say what was going through their minds? But Jesus told them not to be afraid. Then he said, “Take courage! I am here!”
Take courage. Jesus is here. If you’ve accepted Him into your heart—if you believe in Him and He is your Lord and Savior, He promised that you would receive His Spirit. God is always with you. So take courage. No matter what you are going through. Take courage. He is with you.
“They were all terrified when they saw him. But Jesus spoke to them at once. ‘Don’t be afraid,’ he said. ‘Take courage! I am here!’” – Mark 6:50 [NLT]
As I was driving home from work, the sky looked scary. A storm was nearby and the sky was gray up ahead and promised a nasty storm. There was a rain shower that quickly passed. I drove toward the gray area after a long day at work. Third Day’s song “Lift Up Your Face” was playing on the radio. I was in pain and only wanted to get home and put my feet up.
I turned the corner and listened closely to the song lyrics: “Lift up your face / Salvation is calling.” I looked up and before me was this beautiful rainbow. I considered what the rainbow symbolized and remembered His promises. I thought of a day He promised where I would feel no pain—when things would be different. I considered His love- His salvation- His mercy – His forgiveness. I started to feel a lot better.
Today lift up your face. Focus on God. Remind yourself of His promises to you—His Word—His mercy—His love. Remind yourself that He makes all things new. Remind yourself that things will not always be like this—He has promised us restoration.
“Let your eyes look directly forward, and your gaze be straight before you.” – Proverbs 4:25 [ESV]
“About midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God, and the other prisoners were listening to them.” – Acts 16:25 [NIV]
Something stood out to me while seeing the news coverage of the Boston Marathon Bombing and the devastating Oklahoma Tornado. I witnessed so many people praising God amidst the storm. It reminded me of Paul and Silas singing hymns and praying to God amidst their own storm, while locked away in prison. They praised God during the storm and then came an earthquake which freed them from their chains.
Perhaps we haven’t experienced what the people of Boston and Oklahoma experienced, but we all have storms of some magnitude in our lives. We have suffering. We have pain. We have situations. We have troubles. We have difficulties. We have struggles. We have diseases. We have injuries. We have problems. These storms, small and large, come. Do we praise God during the storms? Do we sing to the Lord during the good and bad?
Paul and Silas sang to God and there came an earthquake. The news coverage showed a Boston victim praising God and walking the next week despite a leg amputation. A lady prayed to God amidst the storm and gave Him glory during the interview, and her missing dog was found in the rubble on live television.
Whatever storm you are going through today or whatever storm may soon come your way—keep on praising our heavenly Father. He is always good. He is always worthy of praise.
This morning I headed out to take the dog for a walk. Now I knew that the weather was not looking so good; there was a chance for rain. My luck is always something else. I drive halfway there and it starts to rain. I look around and say, “No! What do you mean? It can’t rain. I’m almost there.” Gas prices are pretty high so I decided to keep going in hopes that the rain would stop, that it was just a passing storm. Nothing big. No worries.
I got there and the rain continued. I decided that I needed fresh air and the dog needed a walk, so I was just going to get out and take a walk anyway, and walk through the storm. Now I had an umbrella. I was very lucky to have that umbrella so I didn’t get too wet.
What I was thinking about was how we often are going through these storms in life. We like to complain. We like to sit around and feel sorry for ourselves and we sometimes don’t say thank you to God, because we are in these storms of life and it’s like “uh, can it get any worse.” We don’t thank God because we are not liking how things are at the current moment, but yet it could get worse. Now there are people who have something bad happening in their lives and I’ll hear them say, “It can’t get any worse then this.” I say, “Watch your mouth, because it could get worse than that.” I think that we at times don’t realize how well we have things and when things dampen our situation we forget that we are blessed with an umbrella.
For me, I was okay with walking in the rain because I had my umbrella and I was not walking alone. We are not walking alone when we are in our storm in life. We have God there with us. I think whenever we go and do our little “oh pity poor me, when are things going to get better,” when we do that, when we complain, and when we moan and grumble about things that might not be that important and we fail to give God praise, what ends up happening is we are not thanking God for the blessings we do have. We pretty much sound like spoiled little brats.
Psalm 63:4 tells us something I think is very important. It says, “I will praise You as long as I live, lifting up my hands to You in prayer.” I will praise You as long as I live. It doesn’t say I will praise You when things are going good but when things are going bad You need to step back. It doesn’t say that. It says, “I will praise You as long as I live. I will praise You as long as I live.” Through the good, through the bad. When it’s raining, when it’s nice out. No matter what. When you have fifty dollars in your wallet, or a million dollars in your wallet, or you don’t even have a wallet. I will praise You.
When things aren’t going well at work. When you are having problems with your spouse. When you are having arguments with your family. When you wanted to go here for dinner and they wanted to go there and you got outvoted. No matter what– I will praise You. I think that is something that if we know that and if we do that and we follow that– if we give praise to God every day. If you wake up and say, “thank You God for this day.” For this time. For this opportunity. For my life. For this roof over my head. For whatever it is that you have to be grateful for. If you thank Him for that and you acknowledge that it is all His then you will actually have a much happier life because you will see the blessings He has given to you. Sometimes we have to be reminded of that.
What I think this walking through the storm is all about is making sure that we don’t limit God — that we give our things to Him when we have a storm. And that we still praise Him during the storm, because there is going to be many storms. We were promised there were going to be many storms. Life has ups and downs but in the end, no matter what, God is the same God and He will be with you right by your side. Always. Forever.