Summary: This sermon looks at our lives when the spiritual earthquakes of life hit, and our spiritual foundations begin to crumble, and then how do we rebuild. We look at Jesus as our chief cornerstone, how we are built as living stones one upon another, and how to find that new normal for life.
When Foundations Crumble
There’s a saying among seismologists: “Earthquakes don’t kill people. Buildings kill people.”
It’s not the enormous shock waves that cause most injuries and fatalities. It’s how the structures in which people live, work, and congregate react to those shock waves that literally spell the difference between life and death.
While all buildings can, figuratively, carry their own weight, they are not generally designed to resist the irregular movement produced by an earthquake, which causes the building structure and foundation to crumble and come tumbling down.
Such destruction also occurs on a spiritual level as well, especially when unexpected events change our spiritual landscape. These occur when life takes an unexpected and cruel twist that rocks our nicely built world.
What got me thinking about this was one of our studies in the men’s group on Wednesday night. I wondered how we go about rebuilding our lives and our spiritual foundations when these spiritual earthquakes hit, which happen most often during times of loss.
Loss is something every one of us has experienced and will continue to experience in life, and unless we learn how to handle life’s losses due to these spiritual earthquakes, then we’ll never heal physically, emotionally, and spiritually.
The good news is that the power of God’s grace and love are more than sufficient to help us survive these spiritual earthquakes no matter what they may be.
In his second letter to the Corinthian church the Apostle Paul looks at the sufficiency of God and sees that no spiritual earthquake is so devastating, or so intense, that God is not capable of overcoming it.
Paul begins by saying, “Not that we are sufficient of ourselves to think of anything as being from ourselves, but our sufficiency is from God.” (2 Corinthians 3:5 NKJV)
He goes on to say that no matter what may happen to us, or whatever disaster may strike, God’s grace is sufficient and will carry us through.
“We are hard pressed on every side, yet not crushed; we are perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed.” (2 Corinthians 4:8-9 NKJV)
Paul reveals this reality in his own life as the Lord made it clear that His grace was sufficient for whatever difficulty, trial, or tribulation Paul was experiencing.
“Concerning this thing I pleaded with the Lord three times that it might depart from me. And He said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness.’” (2 Corinthians 12:8-9a NKJV)
The reality is that no one is immune from these spiritual earthquakes, and it often feels like were literally living our lives over some fault line. But for us as believers this doesn’t have to take us by surprise, because Jesus warned us.
“These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.” (John 16:33 NKJV)
And while Jesus warned us that these spiritual earthquakes will happen, He also gives us the assurance that they don’t have to bring us crashing down, and that we can rebuild our lives once again, and that’s because of His peace, and that He has overcome the world, that is, He has defeated the enemy that seeks to destroy our soul and spirit.
Therefore, we have everything we need in God to survive the spiritual earthquakes and Life’s losses.
Take a look at how capable God is to handle and help us through these devastating times.
1. God Cares
“What is man that You are mindful of him, and the son of man that You visit him?” (Psalm 8:4 NKJV)
Jesus said in Luke 12:7 that if God takes care of the sparrow that neither sows or reaps, then how much more will He take care of our needs as well, because we’re of far greater value than many sparrows. And then in John 10:14 Jesus proclaims that He is the good shepherd who takes care of us, and that’s because He knows everything about us.
It is clear then that God cares for us.
2. God Comforts
Through Isaiah, the Lord emphatically states that He is our comfort.
“I, even I, am He who comforts you.” (Isaiah 51:12 NKJV)
This is picked up by Paul who said, “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our tribulation.” (2 Corinthians 1:3-4a NKJV)
God first does this through His word as the Psalmist declares, “Remember the word to Your servant, upon which You have caused me to hope. This is my comfort in my affliction, for Your word has given me life.” (Psalm 119:49-50 NKJV)