December 15, 2019
A Proven Design
All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: that the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works. – 2 Timothy 3:16-17
Being involved in construction, I once noticed that a particular wall system was deemed acceptable by the building code without the typical documentation and approval for specific site conditions. I asked a structural engineer why this was allowed, and he responded that the detail in question had been constructed and tested in a laboratory to establish structural values. Engineers had determined its exact breaking points, and it therefore received code approval to be used with no further documentation. Any variations to the design, however, would not be accepted by the building department. The design was only good if the established values were used, because they had been proven to work successfully.
Much of our Christian walk is also determined by “professional design.” The engineer of our entire universe, God Himself, has given us a volume of unchanging principles and values in His Word. As our focus verse explains, the instruction we receive from the Bible, when applied to our lives, will unfailingly provide a sound design for our spiritual house.
However, the warning in 1 Peter 4:12 to “think it not strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you,” also makes us aware that God will want some aspects of our Christian walk to be tested. Times will come when a specific facet of our lives will be tried to see if it is structurally sound. If it proves to be sound, then we will know that we can continue building without the fear of structural setbacks in the future. If the test reveals a problem, then we will have to go back to the original design plan—God’s Word—to find where we deviated from it.
Structural engineers test designs by putting enough pressure on the construction to actually break it, and then record what the exact breaking point was. We can appreciate one significant difference in the testing the Lord will allow us to endure: God already knows what we can bear and has promised not to exceed that mark. The Bible says that He will “not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able” (1 Corinthians 10:13). May God help us to allow His principles to be validated in our time of testing.