(Jesus said) "And I will ask the Father, and He will give you another Helper, to be with you forever, even the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees Him nor knows Him. You know Him, for He dwells with you and will be in you." John 14:16-17
It was many years ago that King George VI of England gave a New Year's Eve address to the people of the British Commonwealth.
He said, "I said to the man at the gate of the year, 'Give me a light that I might walk safely into the unknown.' And he said to me, 'Go out into the darkness, and put your hand into the hand of God. It shall be to you safer than the light and better than the known.'"
I pray the king believed those words because before that year was over, cancer had taken his life.
I pray that You also have had your hand put into that of the crucified and risen Savior, that you have been given the hope of forgiveness and eternal life which the Holy Spirit brings.
My friends, if all you can see is darkness stretching out before you, believe that the Savior's nail-pierced hand is also stretching out to you. Jesus -- who has defeated death -- can conquer any and all problems that plague you, bring peace to any harm in your heart, bring hope to the deepest of hurts.
In short, life with Christ is filled with endless hope, and without Him there can only be a hopeless end.
Too good to be true?
Not at all.
My friends, if you ever visit the catacombs in Rome, those underground tunnels where many early Christians are buried, look at the sermons preached by the symbols on their graves.
You will, if you look closely enough, see three common signs: a dove, a fish, and an anchor.
• The dove symbolizes the Holy Spirit, who gives us faith and hope.
• The fish, in Greek, "ichthus," is an acronym for the words: Jesus Christ, God's Son, Savior. Jesus is the basis for all hope and heaven.
• And the anchor? The anchor says that in seemingly hopeless times -- when all is adrift -- Jesus is our God-given hope, who anchors our souls.
Sermons from the grave, hundreds of years old, sermons which say to those who have Holy Spirit-given faith in the Savior, there is no hopeless situation.
THE PRAYER: Dear Lord, the unknown future stretches out before me. At times the pathway seems dark and foreboding. Keep me from walking into that darkness alone. By the Holy Spirit's action may I enter every day in the presence of my Savior. In His Name. Amen.
In Christ I remain His servant and yours,
Pastor Ken Klaus
Speaker emeritus of The Lutheran Hour®
Lutheran Hour Ministries