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REJOICE ALWAYS!
January 20, 2021, 11:00 AM

“The rains came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house...”
(see Matthew 7:24-27)

Jesus once told a parable of two builders. We often miss this fact: the external circumstances were exactly the same for both. Both experienced a tsunami of chaos, rising devastation, and tremendous loss. The difference wasn’t external. The difference was in their response - based on two very different foundations.

There’s no health and wealth, material “prosperity gospel” nonsense, in the True Gospel. Trying external circumstances are God’s gracious provision - serving to expose our internal relationship with King Jesus.

Jesus told us to expect sufferings. (Matthew 10:16-23)

The Apostle Paul wrote we should examine ourselves to see whether we are truly in the faith (2 Cor 13:5). It's best exposed in times of trials, sufferings, and loss (Pr 25:4).

Job took the news of his children's deaths as an opportunity for unapologetic, unhindered worship in spirit and truth: He fell to the ground and worshiped, saying: “Naked I came from my mother’s womb, and naked I will return. The LORD gave, and the LORD has taken away. Blessed be the name of the LORD.” In all this, Job did not sin or charge God with wrongdoing (Job 1:20-22).

If you’re not going through something today, you have... or you will. That’s reality this side of eternity. How we respond exposes whether we are a wise or foolish builder. It exposes our foundation. The Rock or sand.

The news of a terminal disease, the loss of a loved one, our home destroyed by fire, a brutal attack... all reminders this fallen world is a temporal cesspool riddled with sin because it’s riddled with us - rebels who have rejected King Jesus. "For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God" (Rom 3:23).

God’s mercy and patience are unwarranted. That’s why it’s called grace. "While we were still sinners, Christ died for us" (Rom 5:8).

All the chaos and turmoil serves to remind us this temporary testing ground isn’t our forever home. King Jesus made a way there exclusively through the cross. King Jesus is The Way, and no one comes to the Father but through Him.

We can turn from sin to Him as Lord and Savior, or we can embrace an eternity filled with more of the same: disappointment, pain, loss, regret, emptiness... unending torment in a self-imposed lake of fire: Eternal separation from God, the wellspring of everything good.

How we respond to the external chaos and loss exposes our relationship with King Jesus. It exposes if our foundation truly is The Rock or something else, anything else, all shifting sand.

Do we rejoice always?
Do we pray without ceasing?
Do we give thanks in everything - even in THIS?
Even now?
Do we do all things as unto the Lord (Col 3:32)?

If the answer is no, find peace in the fact He died to flip the script. There is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. "Come to me all who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest" (Matt 11:28-30)

Turn from sin and call out to Him who calms every storm and wipes away every tear from our eyes, for the One sitting on the throne says, “Behold! I am making all things new!” (Rev 21:4-5)

Blessings,
-PK

(See 1 Thess 5:16-18)