Let not your heart be troubled, believe in God, believe also in Me. John 14:1
And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age. Matt. 28:20
Oh what a time to be alive. I see a headline in the Tribune Review online today. The rate of suicide in Pennsylvania has gone up by 34%.http://triblive.com/state/pennsylvania/13739159-74/suicides-increase-by-more-than-third-over-17-year-period-in-pennsylvania Also today, I open to another a major news story online, a famous chef has followed a famous fashion designer in ending his life. These two in just the last week. Suicide seemed to be their only answer...but was it really the answer? Where did they go, once their heart beat for that final time? Did they find relief, or just another nightmare, one without an end?
Many people are running out of other options to the hopelessness and despair that they feel. Where is their relief? It is not in a bottle, it is not in a pill, it is not in food, it is not in money, it is not fulfilling the greatest dream of one's life. Those people tried those things, and they did not work. Still, deep down inside the emptiness remained and options ran out.
Most of my generation would agree that the Beatles Let it Be is a powerful song. Seems perfect for this age we live in, They sang that there would be an answer. But as much sway as that song held over me when it came on the radio, I found myself changing the words slightly as I sang along. Instead, I sang to myself, "JESUS is the answer..."
Maybe that sounds too simplistic to most who read this? But I would be in the same boat with the fashion designer without my Rock, my Anchor, my answer in a world that is running out of answers, that actually ran out of them ages ago.
Jesus is the answer. Just try Him, really. Take Him at His word. He will not make all of your problems disappear. In fact, He promised our lives would be full of problems on this side of eternity.
"What's the use in trusting Him if I will still have problems?" I can hear someone thinking that even as I write the words. No, the hard things do not stop when we believe in Christ. In many ways, our human life gets harder because Jesus is not welcome on this planet. His enemy has temporary control. Temporary, remember that.
But the biggest problem of your life will be solved by your believing in Jesus. Now, instead of drifting in a world of uncertainty, you can be assured of an eternal home with the One who created you. You will not face separation from Him at the end of your time here. Your problems can be the very things God uses to bring you closer and closer in trusting Him, in advancing your faith. Give Him a chance, I beg you.
In a devotional I love, None but the Hungry Heart, by Miles Stanford, for the day of June 5, I read these words:
"Not a hair of the child of God can fall without God's permission. Satan is but the unintentional instrument to accomplish God's will; he can do no more than he is allowed to do..."
If this were not true, how could any of us keep on trusting God in the light of everything we see around us? Last night I was lured into feeling sorry for myself for certain hardships I face in my life. Then it hit me, God allowed them. He knew beforehand the tragedies I would face. All I need do is to believe that He really does have this, He will bring good. And all the stirred up anger and frustration just melted away.
I now think of another song. This time, it is a Christian hymn, Only Trust Him by John Stockton. How simple the chorus is. So simple that the proud could pass it right by. But if any child of His will just believe, there is peace. Peace this world cannot ever give.
Only trust Him, only trust Him, only trust Him now. He will save you, He will save you, He will save you now.
I can let my heart be troubled by all I see and hear around me. Or I can trust the One who is unseen, and have peace in the storm. Jesus told us to do it, so we really can choose to not let our hearts be troubled. I give Him my problems, and He gives me peace, what an exchange. You can have it too.
Then Peter began to speak: Now I really understand that God does not show favoritism, but in every nation the person who fears Him and does righteousness (ie, believe in Him, my comment) is acceptable to Him. He sent the message to the Israelites, proclaiming the good news of peace through Jesus Christ-- He is Lord of all. Acts 10: 34-37