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Weekly Wisdoms for the week of October 22, 2018

The storms of life won't harm you if you have deep roots in God.

In Matthew 13:3-6, Jesus told this parable: "A farmer went out to sow his seed. As he was scattering the seed, some fell along the path, and the birds came and ate it up. Some fell on rocky places, where it did not have much soil. It sprang up quickly, because the soil was shallow. But when the sun came up, the plants were scorched, and they withered because they had no root." One point Jesus makes in this parable is that people without deep roots in God will fall away from faith whenever persecution or trials come on account of the word (see Matthew 13:20-21).

Similarly, Jesus encourages his followers to build their house (i.e. their life) on "the rock" (see Matthew 7:24-27). Even though the wind and storms beat against that house, it did not crumble because it was founded on the rock. If you have deep roots in God, your life will be built on the Rock—Christ. As one hymn says, "On Christ alone I stand, all else is sinking sand."

It is no surprise, then, that Paul encourages believers to be rooted and built up in Christ, strengthened in the faith (Colossians 2:6-7). If you are strengthened in faith, then you won't crack under the pressure of difficult situations because you will be able to dig deeply into the word of God on which you are firmly grounded. Unfortunately, too many Christians have a cracked foundation.

Make it a priority to have deep roots in God so that you will not wither under the heat of life. Invest time into reading and memorizing God's word, praying, and communing with God. Be rooted in God.

The more you doubt, the more you'll have to live without.

Complaining is one of the worst traps that many Christians fall into. A complainer thinks, "I can't stand my boss. If she would only treat me better, I'd be happy. I hate this traffic. Why can the government improve traffic flow with all the tax money I pay?" This is a deceptive trap because it leads one to believe that life would be better if something would be different. However, it is far more productive for to believe that God can change the situation than to doubt him.

This trap of complaining is the same trap that the Israelites fell into. They were not satisfied with what God had given them and they continually wanted more. Psalm 106:12-15 is a great example of what happens to people who are unthankful and always want more: Then they [Israel] believed his promises and sang his praise. But they soon forgot what he had done and did not wait for his counsel. In the desert they gave in to their craving; in the wasteland they put God to the test. So he gave them what they asked for, but sent a wasting disease upon them.

That passage refers the Israelites' persistent request for food, water, and other basic resources. They didn't trust God; they doubted his ability to provide and tested him. So, because of their doubt, God sent a wasting disease upon them. Furthermore, for forty years God withheld the promised land from them. Their doubt caused them to live without.

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