When The Floor Crumbles, Climb To Higher Ground
By: Brian A. Yeager
The word of God teaches us to be aware of what foundation we stand upon (Matthew 7:21-27). Whenever you stand upon some surface that is unstable, you are likely to stumble and even possibly fall. Too often we get overly busy. We are not thinking about where we are right now. A lot of people spend too much time looking back or looking too far ahead. Sometimes you have to realize where you are.
Life in this world is full of instability. Jesus said this to His disciples: “These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world” (John 16:33). The faithful Apostle Paul said this: “For, when we were come into Macedonia, our flesh had no rest, but we were troubled on every side; without were fightings, within were fears” (II Corinthians 7:5).
When the world is crumbling beneath us you want to be able to go to the brethren for help. This is one reason we have each other (Galatians 6:2 and I Thessalonians 5:11-14). However, that is not always possible. Sometimes, in various ways, our brethren become our source of troubles (Acts 20:28-31, II Corinthians 12:15, Galatians 4:11-20, and James 2:1-9).
So, what do you do now knowing you cannot turn to the world and if your brethren are not there as they should be? Do you just accept defeat and allow your faith to crumble? Do you bow yourself to sin and become a servant of Satan (I John 3:8-10)? What did Jesus do when He was left alone in the world and when the disciples forsook Him? Did He just allow the ground beneath Him to crumble? No He did not! Let’s start our search for the solution right there with Jesus.
When The Ground Beneath Jesus Crumbled
Jesus had twelve Apostles that were with Him throughout His work on earth (Matthew 10:1-42). Clearly, they were part of His plan, even the foundation of His body the church (Ephesians 2:19-22). At the end of His life, one of the twelve sided with the world and the others did not stand with Jesus. The figurative ground upon which our Lord stood, in this world, was crumbling. Notice: “And while he yet spake, lo, Judas, one of the twelve, came, and with him a great multitude with swords and staves, from the chief priests and elders of the people. Now he that betrayed him gave them a sign, saying, Whomsoever I shall kiss, that same is he: hold him fast. And forthwith he came to Jesus, and said, Hail, master; and kissed him. And Jesus said unto him, Friend, wherefore art thou come? Then came they, and laid hands on Jesus, and took him. And, behold, one of them which were with Jesus stretched out his hand, and drew his sword, and struck a servant of the high priest's, and smote off his ear. Then said Jesus unto him, Put up again thy sword into his place: for all they that take the sword shall perish with the sword. Thinkest thou that I cannot now pray to my Father, and he shall presently give me more than twelve legions of angels? But how then shall the scriptures be fulfilled, that thus it must be? In that same hour said Jesus to the multitudes, Are ye come out as against a thief with swords and staves for to take me? I sat daily with you teaching in the temple, and ye laid no hold on me. But all this was done, that the scriptures of the prophets might be fulfilled. Then all the disciples forsook him, and fled” (Matthew 26:47-56).
You know what happened from there. Jesus continued the course and did not allow these things to sway Him (Hebrews 12:1-3). How? What preparations had Jesus made to be so strong? The world turned against Him. His brethren weren’t there. What mindset kept Him on the course? How did He go it all alone? Here’s the answer: “And he that sent me is with me :the Father hath not left me alone; for I do always those things that please him… Behold, the hour cometh, yea, is now come, that ye shall be scattered, every man to his own, and shall leave me alone: and yet I am not alone, because the Father is with me” (John 8:29 and John 16:32). Jesus set His feet upon higher ground that man cannot destroy – God!
You Can Be Troubled, But Not In Despair
Notice how one can be troubled on every side, but not in despair: “We are troubled on every side, yet not distressed; we are perplexed, but not in despair; Persecuted, but not forsaken; cast down, but not destroyed; Always bearing about in the body the dying of the Lord Jesus, that the life also of Jesus might be made manifest in our body. For we which live are alway delivered unto death for Jesus 'sake, that the life also of Jesus might be made manifest in our mortal flesh. So then death worketh in us, but life in you. We having the same spirit of faith, according as it is written, I believed, and therefore have I spoken; we also believe, and therefore speak; Knowing that he which raised up the Lord Jesus shall raise up us also by Jesus, and shall present us with you. For all things are for your sakes, that the abundant grace might through the thanksgiving of many redound to the glory of God. For which cause we faint not; but though our outward man perish, yet the inward man is renewed day by day. For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, worketh for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory; While we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen: for the things which are seen are temporal; but the things which are not seen are eternal.
For we know that if our earthly house of this tabernacle were dissolved, we have a building of God, an house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens” (II Corinthians 4:8-5:1).
Jesus and Paul were not destroyed when they were going through an “earthquake”, for their feet were planted on higher soil. Our conversation [citizenship] is not of this world (Philippians 3:20). This world will pass away, but if we do the will of God we have hope for eternity (I John 2:17). This life is not solid ground. Don’t count on it. Climb higher!
When you are facing things that are causing your ground to shake (so to speak), make adjustments. Start focusing your mind on things above so that anxiety will not be your ruin (Philippians 4:6-8). Draw your strength from our Lord (Philippians 4:13). Rest your mind on the fact that whatever is troubling you now is temporary. Regain solid footing on faith in Christ and then lift your eyes above and think of the trouble free life you should be working toward now (John 14:1-3). Don’t get entangled with the affairs of this life (II Timothy 2:2-4). Remember, you have ground to stand upon which cannot be moved (Romans 8:31-39).
Volume 15 – Issue 3 - October 5th, 2014