by Dr Ramesh Richard (Ph.D. Th.D.)
How to rebuild your life
Standing strong on the right foundation
October 16, 2008. A German stock trader expresses disappointment as the German DAX index fell by more then five percent in early trading. Photo Martin Oeser/AFP/Getty Images.
There once was a notorious Filipino village thief who was given his last warning by villagers that they would get rid of him if he stole again.
When he robbed again the villagers chased him up a coconut tree. They were going to wait until he came down but a clever man decided to cut down the tree with a chainsaw. The thief fell to his death still clinging to the coconut tree. He had chosen the wrong foundation.
As I travel the world I find many options for foundations. I heard that around 2,300 Koreans took their lives because they did not have enough money to provide for the basic needs of their families during the recent financial crunch. Money cannot make a foundation.
What about fame? There are so many famous people in the world today that we probably have not even heard of half of them.
Pleasure is not a good foundation either because for any addiction you choose it is easy to fall prey to the boredom paradox. You are bored when you do not obtain it. You are also bored when you do obtain it because it did not deliver what it promised.
Religion cannot be a foundation. There are many religious people who attempt to find God by climbing mountains barefoot or by walking on hot coals. There is nothing worse than trying very hard and yet still not being sure that you have arrived.
None of these foundations are strong enough to hold your life.
You may have heard of the Golden Rule: "Do to others even as you would have them do unto you." It comes from a talk that the Lord Jesus Christ gave.
He concluded this talk with a story of two men. A storm of high waters came upon a wise man and a foolish man. The wise man had set his house upon a rock, while the foolish man had built his house upon sand. Only the house of the man with a rock foundation survived the storm.
Through this story Jesus asks us: "By what foundation are you living your life?"
Both were building a house, a metaphor for the life we build. Both also heard the same wisdom so their problem was not a lack of awareness.
Both experienced the same storms as they touch every person: wise, foolish, rich, poor, old and young. Some of you are experiencing storms that relate to marriage, career, relationships or finances.
Whether your house survives depends on what foundation you have chosen.
Jesus did not say that being wise means to have great knowledge, brainpower or data under your belt. Neither did he mean being educated or prescribing solutions for the rest of humanity.
A wise man, according to the Lord Jesus, is a sensible man. A person who pays careful attention to their life and acts on what they know.
The wise man and foolish man also chose different authorities because foundations stand for authority.
The foundation of a house is where its lower structure meets what it is built upon.
Unless we build upon the rock, and the lower structure of our house is strong, we are not going to survive.
If your life feels like an empty plastic water bottle and flies according to the wind, you are a foolish person. You are building your house on loose rock and sand.
I once bought my children an inflatable punching bag. My kids would ram and box this bag and it would rise up again because it had a weight at the bottom.
You need weight at the bottom of your life otherwise when the storm strikes you will be blown to pieces.
What is the authority, the standards, the principals and the weight at the bottom of your life?
I was about to speak at a financial club of very elite business people in Indonesia when the former head of a $20 billion company stood to speak. At that time Indonesia's currency had deflated 30%, and people who were normally solvent were now 30% in debt and paying interest on money they had not borrowed. Not one bank in the country was working.
This prominent man said, "You've been following my story in the newspapers, last week I was relieved of my chairmanship of this company but ladies and gentlemen I am here to tell you that God was with me when I was at the very top and God will be with me at the very bottom."
That man's house was built on the rock because God is the only one that qualifies as an adequate, strong, comprehensive foundation for life.
The Lord Jesus Christ was not only speaking about circumstantial storms but also one that will touch all of humanity one day. That is the day of God's judgment of all mankind. How will you stand up against His perfect law?
The Lord Jesus had the answer, 'If you hear my word and act upon it then you are building on the rock, the right foundation. If you heard my word and do not act upon it then you are building on sand, the wrong foundation.'
God is the ultimate foundation of your life because He created you in a unique and specific way. He carries you because, by definition, a foundation is that which carries you. He can carry you. He created you and He cares for you, otherwise you would not be alive today.
Best of all; Jesus covers for you. In our foolishness we have done many evil things against God that have separated us from God. The Lord is the one who covers you in your sin, your wrong doings and moral rebellion against God Himself.
The Lord Jesus has taken the punishment for the human race, which includes you who are reading this, because He lived a perfect life and then died on a cross for the sins we committed against God.
Let me ask you, which God has covered for you, taken what you deserved on Himself? Which God was raised from the dead, securing victory over death for those who believe in Him?
With a warm embrace, it is as if Jesus is saying, 'I created you, I care for you and will cover for you if you truly trust Me. Entrust your life to me as your only God and Saviour and I'll be the right foundation for the rest of your life and grant you eternal life with me.'
On what foundation are you building your life?