Many are the afflictions of the righteous, but the Lord delivers him out of them all.
Jesus closed the Sermon on the Mount with a dramatic illustration about two houses. Look at Matthew 7:24: “Therefore everyone who hears these words of Mine and acts on them.” It is not enough to hear the Word of God. To hear and not obey is not to hear at all. But those who do obey “may be compared to a wise man who built his house on the rock. And the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and slammed against that house; and yet it did not fall, for it had been founded on the rock. Everyone who hears these words of Mine and does not act on them, will be like a foolish man who built his house on the sand. The rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and slammed against that house; and it fell–and great was its fall” (vv. 24-27).
These two houses probably looked alike, and they suffered the same weather, but when the storm came, one house stood and one collapsed. Why? Because of their foundations.
Many of us get about seventy or eighty years here on earth to construct a life. Our lives are constructed out of the choices we make. We choose every day how to spend our time, our money, and our energy. We choose where our affections are directed.
You get to choose what foundation you are going to build your life on. Is it going to be obedience to Jesus Christ and His Word, or is it going to be your pleasure, your riches, and your popularity? It is one or the other. It cannot be both. Eventually, whether we are building on the rock of obedience to Jesus Christ or on the sand of pleasure, riches, and popularity, we are all going to experience a storm. Building your life on obedience to Christ does not exempt you from problems. Psalm 34:19 says, “Many are the afflictions of the righteous.” But notice the rest of the verse: “But the Lord delivers him out of them all.” The life of the righteous will not collapse in the storm because it is built on a strong foundation.
We all experience storms, but the greatest storm all Christians and non-Christians alike will face is our death and subsequent judgment. Hebrews 9:27 says, “It is appointed for men to die once and after this comes judgment.” And Hebrews 10:31 says, “It is a terrifying thing to fall into the hands of the living God.” How are you going to survive your inevitable death and judgment by God? There is only one way: to enter through the narrow gate that leads to eternal life by putting your faith in Jesus Christ. As the hymnist wrote, “All other ground is sinking sand.”
Today’s devotion is excerpted from “Straight Talk About Your Eternal Destiny” by Dr. Robert Jeffress, 2022.
Edward Mote, “My Hope Is Built on Nothing Less” (1834), Hymnary.org, https://hymnary.org/text/my_hope_is_built_on_nothing_less.
Scripture quotations taken from the (NASB®) New American Standard Bible®, Copyright © 1960, 1971, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission. All rights reserved. www.lockman.org.