If anyone builds on this foundation using gold, silver, costly stones, wood, hay or straw, their work will be shown for what it is, because the Day will bring it to light. It will be revealed with fire, and the fire will test the quality of each person’s work. 1 Corinthians 3:12-13
Suggested Reading: 1 Corinthians 3
It’s easy to get discouraged these days. Everywhere we look we see pain and suffering in this world. Everyone knows someone who is struggling with some personal tragedy such as an illness, family crisis or financial meltdown. Every day on the news we see the results of war, injustice and greed at all levels. As a Christian, it is easy to get discouraged and only human to question where is God in all this mess.
Recently, we mourned with a family friend who lost his wife in a long battle with a debilitating illness. It’s so hard to understand how such a selfless, loving, good person, like Deb had to endure such a trial in her life. In the midst of this time of mourning and celebration of her life God spoke to me loudly. As I looked around at the funeral home I saw pictures of a woman who was always smiling and living life to it’s fullest. It was a room packed with family and friends who gathered to celebrate a life that touched them so profoundly. I saw unconditional love from a husband who set aside his life to care for the woman he loved. In our human weakness God is truly the most present.
In 1 Corinthians 3, Paul is talking about building. In verse 11, he tells as that Jesus Christ has already laid the foundation for us. It is up to us to decide how we will build our lives on that foundation. Verse 12, describes someone building with ‘gold, silver, costly stones, wood, hay or straw‘. For the unbeliever, they build their lives on things such as people, material possessions, financial security and pleasure rather than on what Christ has built. For all of us, Christians or unbelievers, verse 13 tells us that our work will be shown for what it is. No one is exempt from pain, suffering and trials in this life. When those trials come, and they will, what will our house look like? If it’s built on the things of this life it will be a total loss. If it’s built on things above we may lose the house, but not our lives.
So the question for all of us is what house are you building and what is it build on? Deb and her husband built their house on the foundation of Jesus Christ. She struggled with pain and suffering for a long time and God took Deb home at a young age, however, she had the final victory and is whole once again, rejoicing with God. The crowds at her visitation and funeral displayed the evidence of a house built on what really matters. Are you building your life on things that will be lost when the fire comes or are you building for eternity? If you’re building with the materials of this life, this life with all it’s disappointments and trials is as good as it will ever be.