Everyone is building on some foundation.  The only question is how secure is that foundation and will it be able to withstand the trials of life.  Trials come in many forms. They may be in the form of issues within your family, your job, your neighbors, your friends, and even issues within yourself, but how you handle those issues will determine if your house will crumble into a thousand pieces or remain intact after the storm passes you by.  The bible tells us that in times of trouble, we should be steadfast, unmovable, always abiding within Christ, but how many of you know, at times we falter and stray away from this instruction that we find ourselves weathering the storm without a life vest or a raft in sight to keep us afloat.  Many of us proclaim that we are strong, when indeed our actions resemble the very opposite and we find ourselves questioning, “where is God” in all of this.  My brothers and sisters, the very fact of the matter that this question is proposed signifies that we are in jeopardy of being knocked down if we are incapable of withstanding the trials of life.

Look at Matthew 7: 24-27 (KJV)

24 Therefore whosoever heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them, I will liken him unto a wise man, which built his house upon a rock:

25 And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell not: for it was founded upon a rock.

26 And every one that heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them not, shall be likened unto a foolish man, which built his house upon the sand:

27 And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell: and great was the fall of it.

When we examine this text, the first thing to note is there are two types of persons being described in this text; one that is wise and one that is foolish.  The one who listens builds his house upon rock, while the other builds his house upon sand.  When the rain falls and the water rises, the winds blow and storms shake the ground, the house that is built by rock is able to withstand, while the house built of sand, withers away and falls to the ground.  One may not believe this has anything to do with the trials of life but in reality it has everything to do with how we should govern ourselves when the trials of life come to tear us down and lead us from the path that Christ has laid before us.  You can not expect to overcome your trials if the first thing you do when trouble arises, is run and hide.  Nor can you expect to defeat your enemies when you rush to fight your battles with unplanned strategies and improper training.  One must strategically placed themselves in a position that will enable them to withstand any and everything that comes along with the right equipment to underestimate the challenges that oh so surprisingly unveil themselves before us day to day.

Like a lighthouse that is positioned either by or in the water, you must stand proud and tall and shine as a beacon of light before your enemies.  You must not be afraid to let your light shine before man.  Like the roaring winds and the rushing waters that clash against the lighthouse, your life must still shine bright so others may see their way to God through you.  Though it may seem dark, know that God has not given you the spirit of fear.  Stand up for right, join in the fight and be a soldier for Jesus.  If you dare to be a beacon of light then understand you must possess these three key elements in order to keep from being knocked down by everything.

I.  The Word of Life- Luke 8:13, Ephesians 3:17, Matthew 13:5-6

The Scriptures warn us of what happens to those who are not deeply rooted in Christ. “They on the rock are they, which, when they hear, receive the word with joy; and these have no root, which for a while believe, and in time of temptation fall away” (Luke 8:13).

In what Jesus taught about being rooted in the truth we find that there are those who start the journey in Christ in a good way. We find they receive the truth with joy. Yet, the truth is not rooted in them deeply enough. Thus, when temptation arises, that person falls away.

Root yourself in the word of God.  Christ wants to have a relationship with you.  In order for your relationship to be effective, you must get to know him and spend time with him daily.  Through praying and reading your word, you are equipping yourself with the tools and the strength to defeat your enemies and deal with the issues that come your way. Many times we ask God to handle our storms, when he promised to never leave nor forsake us, nor would he put more on us than we could bear.  Having the word in your heart enables you to respond to the enemy in tough times.  Spending time with him solidifies your relationship and enables Christ to know, this is an equal partnership and not one that solely is benefited by one person’s actions.

II. The Armor of God- Ephesians 6:10-18

Put on the whole armor of God.  Let nothing of this world come against you and steal you away from reaching your destiny.  If you are going to stand and handle your issues, you must first be equipped with the right tools.  Know just showing up doesn’t mean you will win.  The enemy anticipates you to show up but by having the armor of God you will already have enough to withstand the perils of this world.  Our issues come in many forms.  Therefore it’s important to realize that we wrestle not against flesh and blood all of the time, but against principalities and rulers of darkness.  Though you may walk in the flesh, be ye not afraid.  For the weapons of our God are not carnal but they are mighty before God through the pulling down of strongholds.  Though you may be at war with your issues, know that you can find peace through Christ Jesus and he will give you peace if you keep your mind stayed on thee.

III. Steady Feet-Psalms 46:10

Finally, stand firm and know he is God and he will do just what he said.  God is in control. Standing with God on your side will enable you to refrain from being knocked down by every situation that comes your way.  It amazes me how often people try and put the blame of their failure on obstacles and things when the reality is their faith was not strong enough.  Have faith and trust in God that he will fight on your behalf.  Christ wants to see us prevail through our situations but this can not happen when we constantly stand in the way of God moving on our behalf.

Today I challenge each of you to write down the issues that are standing in your way.  After writing them down, fold the paper in half so you can not see them.  Lay them near an alter, or before you in your secret place where you pray.  Ask God to grant you the strength to stand still and know that he will make everything alright.  After you pray about it, stop worrying about it, for God does not want you to pray and worry.  Finally, understand your issues will not disappear overnight.  In fact, the closer you walk with Christ and the stronger your bond is, the more issues you will start to face because let’s face it, the enemy does not want you to prosper.  His task is to simply distract you from anything that relates to having peace and a relationship with Christ.  I hope today I inspired you to hold on just a little while longer.  I hope today that I encouraged you to press on just a little bit further.  I hope that you will choose to stand and not be afraid.  To shine bright and lead a life that is pleasing in the sight of God.  For if you stand, let not your heart be troubled, but stand on the promises that Christ will keep you and never let you fall down by the wayside.  Be encouraged.