1. What would you say forms the foundation of your life? Upon what have you been building your life to this point?
In the classic movie Hoosiers, the basketball team from the tiny town of Hickory is preparing to play for the high school state championship – against the biggest school they’ve ever faced, in the largest basketball arena they’ve ever seen. This has them feeling overwhelmed and shaky. As his players walk dazed into the arena in which they’ll soon play, Coach Dale has them measure the distance from the basket to the free throw line…and it’s 15 feet, just like always. He has them measure the height of the rim…and it’s 10 feet, just like always. Coach Dale wisely recognizes this: when circumstances threaten to shake us, we need to return to what’s foundational and remains the same.
The COVID-19 pandemic has created unexpected changes and an uncertain future, including in the arena of sports. There’s a very real threat of being shaken because of this. Trials like these offer us an opportunity to examine the foundation upon which we’re building our life. Is it unshakeable even when everything else seems up for grabs?
Read Psalm 119:89-96 and Matthew 7:24-29
What is the unshakeable foundation upon which we need to build our lives? God’s Word, which culminates in Jesus and his teaching. God’s Word, the Bible, is eternal and stands firm (Psa. 119:89), meaning the Bible is true, foundational, and applicable to our lives at all times and in every situation. Jesus is the ultimate fulfillment of the Scriptures (Matt. 5:17-18). When we look to Jesus (who is revealed to us in God’s Word), following him and his teaching (which is given to us in God’s Word), we’re building our life on the solid rock that will not be threatened by the very worst storms.
Conversely, Jesus makes it clear that to build our life on anything else is like constructing a house on sand. When storms hit, the inability of these other foundations to give us lasting stability and significance is revealed. The coronavirus tsunami has certainly done that. If our sense of identity and value has been built upon our performance as an athlete or coach, that’s suddenly not available to us. If our sense of security has been built upon economic stability, that’s now been pulled out from under us.
2. What difference does building your life on God’s Word rather than other foundations make for you? How and when are you most tempted to build on “sand” rather than on the immovable rock of what God’s Word shows us about who Jesus is?
How can you make the most of the opportunity to learn through this coronavirus trial? One step is to honestly examine your foundation. Make sure you’re building your life on God’s Word. The unchanging God reveals himself to us through the Scriptures, culminating in how he makes himself known through his Son, Jesus Christ. While trials can make many things fuzzy, the Bible shows us clearly who God is and how he desires to be known by us (John 1:1-5, 14).
Trials create uncertainty about the future. However, God through his Word points to his ultimate purpose and plan for us and his entire creation. His promises will not fail and his plans will not be thwarted (Isa. 55:10-11). Trials can stir a sense of instability in the present. In his Word, God calls us to build our life on him so that we will not be shaken (Psa. 62:1-2).
The coronavirus trial may be giving you extra space in your schedule that normally would be filled with now-unavailable activities. Take advantage of this by spending time reading and reflecting on God’s Word. Start a Bible reading plan if you’re not currently doing one. Facetime a friend to discuss what you’re learning from the Scriptures. Build your life on the only foundation that is truly unshakeable: God’s Word.
3. Thinking practically: how specifically can you take advantage of this unique season to consistently read and reflect on God’s Word? Commit this plan to the Lord, trusting him to empower you as you take steps to pursue your plan.
89 Your eternal word, O Lord,
stands firm in heaven.
90 Your faithfulness extends to every generation,
as enduring as the earth you created.