Wyatt and I went to His schools science, engineering, and technology night this week; we had one of those proud moments that you just can’t plan for. One of the projects was to build a structure out of mini-marshmallows and toothpicks that could support a piece of paper, a box of Ziploc bags, and a book. Wyatt began his framework by making sure the base was well supported… the way we build tunnels for our trains at home. Not only did it support the box of Ziplocs, but it retained its form under the weight of the book! When the teacher asked him how that was possible, he replied: “it needs a strong foundation.” If none of my students ever listen to me at least I know Wyatt took to heart something I taught him.
How important is the work God does in our lives; a work establishing a strong foundation able to withstand the greatest of pressure and yet faithfully retaining its form. These things you have been facing are not random acts, but this is God at work, by His mercy, constructing a faithful framework of diligence, moral excellence, knowledge, self-control, perseverance, godliness, kindness, and love. “The more you ‘are framed’ like this, the more productive and useful you will be in your knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. But those who fail to develop in this way are shortsighted or blind, forgetting that they have been cleansed from their old sins.” (2 Peter 1:4-9)
Paul calls this work of God a treasure; more specifically, the light of the knowledge of the Glory of God in the face of Christ.
“If you were to only look at us, you might well miss the brightness. We carry this precious ‘work’ around in the simple clay pots of our ordinary lives. That’s to prevent anyone from confusing God’s unrivaled power within us. As it is, there’s not much chance of that. You know for yourselves that we’re not much to look at. We’ve been surrounded and battered by troubles, but we’re not demoralized; we’re not sure what to do, but we know that God knows what to do; we’ve been spiritually terrorized, but God hasn’t left our side; we’ve been thrown down, but we haven’t broken. What was done to Jesus, is being done to us—trials and hardships, mockery and the slaying of our lives; but what Jesus did among them, He now does in us—He lives! Our lives are at constant risk for Jesus’ sake, which makes Jesus’ life all the more evident in us. While we’re going through the worst, we are getting in on the best!” (2 Corinthians 4:7-12)
It wasn’t Wyatt’s structure that was so encouraging, it was his knowledge that the strong foundation was necessary, and had to be taken seriously if he wanted to stand firm in spite of the pressure. The same is true in our own lives; we must take seriously God’s will and work in our lives, if we don’t we will crumble under the slightest touch. “But those who trust in the Lord will find new strength. They will soar high on wings like eagles. They will run and not grow weary. They will walk and not faint.” (Isaiah 40:31)
Let God do the work necessary in your life that is required for you to stand fast. We do this by humbly trusting Him because He is faithful and good. If you’re discouraged, there are great examples of how He works recorded in scripture and in the testimonies of those who have gone before us. Don’t give up, don’t ever give in… He is at work and you can be certain He will complete His work until the day of Christ’s return to take us home.
“God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear though the earth gives way, though the mountains be moved into the heart of the sea,” (Psalms 46:1-2)
Written by David Brown: David Brown is a husband, father, grandfather, Pastor with a Masters of Religious Studies and a Professor of Philosophy and Comparative Religions. Dave is the Associate Pastor of Pemberton’s First Baptist Church. He is the author of two devotional books, “From a Chair by the Window.” And “#PrayerWinsThe Day”.