Pastor’s Corner: “The Two Foundations”

Matthew 7:24-27 (MSG) – 24-25 “These words I speak to you are not incidental additions to your life, homeowner improvements to your standard of living. They are foundational words, words to build a life on. If you work these words into your life, you are like a smart carpenter who built his house on solid rock. Rain poured down, the river flooded, a tornado hit—but nothing moved that house. It was fixed to the rock. 26-27 “But if you just use my words in Bible studies and don’t work them into your life, you are like a stupid carpenter who built his house on the sandy beach. When a storm rolled in and the waves came up, it collapsed like a house of cards.” 

The Shanghai Tower which was completed in 2014 represents the latest breakthroughs in skyscraper development. Designed to rise to a height of more than 2,000 feet over the city of Shanghai in eastern China, the tower embodies many innovations that required a careful design and plan. Every building is different and the soil must be analyzed carefully to determine how deep the foundation must be dug. The general rule is that no significant structure can be built unless it has a strong foundation, rooted firmly in the ground. 

But the Shanghai Tower presented special challenges. It was being built in an earthquake zone, in an area with “soft, clay-heavy soil.” So at the start of this project the engineers drove 980 foundation piles into the ground as deep as 282 feet. Then they poured 2.15 million cubic feet of reinforced concrete to create a 20-foot-thick foundation mat.” 

There are clear parallels in the spiritual realm. Strong spiritual foundations are essential for our Christian lives. Jesus warned that those without strong foundations can be shaken amid the storms of life. He described how building a spiritual foundation begins with knowing His Words, and by putting them into practice. There are no shortcuts to this process. We can’t just pray a few prayers or read a few passages. We can be certain that many kinds of storms will come. The way to be prepared is to have a strong foundation. This means digging deep just like the Shanghai Tower. 

At certain moments throughout history, God literally shook the earth. The ground quaked as His Son died on the cross (Matt. 27:51), and there will be an even greater upheaval in the future when Christ returns (Zech. 14:4). Even in our present day, the Lord often lets the various foundations of our world shake—whether political alliances, financial systems, or other forms of human security. That’s when we can see the flimsiness of the institutions on which we’ve based our hopes. Not to mention that our personal lives can also be rocked by financial crises, relational conflicts, illness, or loss. If we’ve relied on the fragile footing of human wisdom, achievement, or pride, things may look good for a while, but a weak foundation cannot withstand the storms of life. 

As believers, we can have peace even in the midst of instability. That’s because we know God always has a purpose for the upheavals He allows to occur. Hardships have a way of shaking us out of our apathy and self-centeredness, and they serve as reminders not to trust in ourselves or the temporary institutions of this world. There is only one secure foundation: a genuine, saving relationship with Jesus Christ, which will carry us through any and all turmoil! 

In His Grace 

Pastor Hamilton