When the storm has swept by, the wicked are gone, but the righteous stand firm forever. (Proverbs 10:25)
Throughout the Bible, there are many promises for the righteous. One that stands out for me is the promise in Psalm 1:
That person is like a tree planted by streams of water, which yields its fruit in season and whose leaf does not wither—whatever they do prospers. Not so the wicked! They are like chaff that the wind blows away. (Psalm 1:3-4)
In Jeremiah 17 there is a similar promise:
“But blessed is the one who trusts in the Lord,
whose confidence is in him.
They will be like a tree planted by the water
that sends out its roots by the stream.
It does not fear when heat comes;
its leaves are always green.
It has no worries in a year of drought
and never fails to bear fruit.” (Jeremiah 17:7-8)
The righteous are not uprooted by their circumstances. They are standing on an everlasting foundation. The righteous will stand firm forever. Jesus sums up all these promises when He explains:
“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.” (Matthew 7:24-27)
When we receive the righteousness of Christ by faith in Him, we are standing on this Rock. With this righteousness comes a desire to please God in all that we do, think or say. We desire to walk as Jesus did. We desire to practice daily what He taught us. “Everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice…” Jesus is referring to His teachings before then, which includes His instructions for life in His Sermon on the Mount. The difference comes not only in the hearing, but in the “putting into practice.”
Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says. Anyone who listens to the word but does not do what it says is like someone who looks at his face in a mirror and, after looking at himself, goes away and immediately forgets what he looks like. But whoever looks intently into the perfect law that gives freedom [the Law of Love and Grace], and continues in it—not forgetting what they have heard, but doing it—they will be blessed in what they do. (James 1:22-25)
Jesus said He is the Way to the Father. The way Jesus lived is the way that will take us to the Father. Therefore, if we desire to be with the Father, it makes sense to closely study the way Jesus lived and to take His teachings seriously and practice living them out in everyday living. Jesus lived a selfless life and He promised those who are prepared to live His way that they will find their life –not lose it.
Once we let go of our own way and our own ideas and our selfish desires to get on top at all costs, we are on the Way and we can be assured that our circumstances will not uproot us. On the contrary, having received the righteousness of Christ, we will stand firm forever –in this life and the next.
- Avoid Sand Castle Faith (ptl2010.com)