Solid, Steady, Resilient

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I am sure you have already figured this out  – but just in case – here goes:  Storms are going to come your way in life. Regardless of your preparations, your defenses, your strategies, and your plans it is impossible to eliminate all risk, to avoid the hard things. About twelve years ago, life was rolling along. I loved the pastoral work that I was privileged to do.  Bev was enjoying her teaching career immensely. We had purchased the home we thought would be ‘just perfect’ for retirement, at that time just a distant thought.

Then…

Dad got cancer and died after a long struggle. Two years after his death, Mom’s doctor called me to tell me that she had advanced lung cancer.  There were still adopted children in her home. Bev and I turned our lives upside down to buy a larger home, moved Mom in, and to start over with her family in our care.  She died and life was complicated, to say the least. Just when that storm was subsiding, Bev learned that she had end stage cancer and left for Heaven two years later! That’s not to seek sympathy, just to remind you that in spite of your best laid plans, things go awry.

What then?  Jesus reminds us that we need to be building life on a foundation that can keep us from falling apart when the tempestuous winds of life blow over us. “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)

What or whom is the foundation of your life, friend?
Is your security resting on your financial resources?
The economy can change, the job can go away, in the blink of an eye.
Is your life wrapped up in a great loving relationship?
Celebrate it, but be honest enough with yourself to remember what the Psalmist wrote: “Teach us to realize the brevity of life, so that we may grow in wisdom.” (Psalm 90:12, NLT)

Perhaps you are ready to stop reading today, convinced that Jerry is too grim, a terrible pessimist. No, I have experienced the reality of life’s uncertainties of which Jesus spoke. Yet, here I stand, as Paul said,  How? It is not just because of courage, or grit, or denial. I stand because my foundation of life rests squarely on the eternal promise of God that life is more than my stuff or even those I love.

Life’s only true and lasting hope is found in Christ – knowing, serving, and loving the Living God as we anticipate that moment when we transit from this world into His Presence, beyond the reach of sorrow, disappointment, or suffering. Is your hope resting on the salvation that is a gift of an eternal God?

The word from the Word is FULL of hope. Make it yours today. Writing from a prison, confined on false charges, Paul says: “That is why I am suffering as I am. Yet I am not ashamed, because I know whom I have believed, and am convinced that he is able to guard what I have entrusted to him for that day. What you heard from me, keep as the pattern of sound teaching, with faith and love in Christ Jesus. Guard the good deposit that was entrusted to you—guard it with the help of the Holy Spirit who lives in us.” (2 Timothy 1:12-14, NIV)

_____

Living Hope
(Listen, learn, love)

How great the chasm that lay between us
How high the mountain I could not climb
In desperation I turned to heaven
And spoke Your name into the night
Then through the darkness Your loving-kindness
Tore through the shadows of my soul
The work is finished the end is written
Jesus Christ my living hope

 Who could imagine so great a mercy
What heart could fathom such boundless grace
The God of ages stepped down from glory
To wear my sin and bear my shame
The cross has spoken I am forgiven
The King of kings calls me His own
Beautiful Savior I’m Yours forever
Jesus Christ my living hope

 Hallelujah praise the One who set me free
Hallelujah death has lost its grip on me
You have broken every chain
There’s salvation in Your name
Jesus Christ my living hope

 Then came the morning that sealed the promise
Your buried body began to breathe
Out of the silence the Roaring Lion
Declared the grave has no claim on me (REPEAT)

Jesus Yours is the victory
Jesus Christ my living hope
Oh God You are my living hope

Brian Johnson | Phil Wickham © 2017 Phil Wickham Music (Fair Trade Music Publishing [c/o Essential Music Publishing LLC])

Simply Global Songs (Fair Trade Music Publishing [c/o Essential Music Publishing LLC])

Sing My Songs (Fair Trade Music Publishing [c/o Essential Music Publishing LLC])

CCLI License # 810055

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