"More than Wishful Thinking"
September 1, 2017
John 14:27 - (Jesus said) "Peace I leave with you; My peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid."
Not so long ago, I read about a woman who had driven about 50 miles to visit an old friend.
They had a wonderful time. Unfortunately, when it was time to go home, she found her keys were locked in the car, and there was nobody around who could help her. Finally, the lady called her husband. She prepared herself for some husbandly observations like "What were you thinking of?" and "Women drivers!" She did hear those, but she also heard him say, "You stay put" -- as if she had an option -- "and I'll come on out and bring you my set of keys."
As she stood by the side of her locked car, she continued to talk with her sympathetic friend.
During the course of their sharing, her friend tried one of the back doors and found it to be open. Her friend commented: "If your husband was going to be upset with you for having to make the drive out here because you locked your keys in your car, just how angry is he going to be when he finds he made the trip for no reason at all?"
To which the lady replied, "I don't think he'll be upset," and she locked the door and shut it.
It would be a wonderful thing if we could take care of all our worries by pushing a button and slamming a door. Unfortunately, most of our worries don't seem to be so easily solved.
Think about it.
When you share your worries with a friend, they usually say something sympathetic like "Hey, hang in there. This is going to be all right. Things will work out just fine. You're worrying about nothing." Occasionally they will say, "Hey, things could be worse, you know" and then they tell of somebody who had things worse than Job.
I've seen people, people on their deathbeds, who wanted to talk about leaving this world, and the family stopped all conversation by saying, "Don't talk that way. You're going to beat this thing and get better. You're just having a temporary setback."
Now, I know, and you know, that all of those speakings and sayings are offered with the best of intentions. But, those sayings, no matter how sincerely they are given are, in the final analysis, pretty empty and meaningless.
In contrast, I would like you to hear the Savior say, "Peace."
When Jesus said, "Peace," He was saying to those who heard Him "be well," "be whole," "be at rest." Now coming from anybody else other than the Son of God -- the world's Redeemer -- those words would be no more than wishful thinking and upbeat optimism.
Coming from Jesus, they are everything. They are everything because His life was given to put some weight into those words. Because of the forgiveness He has won, we are given a firm, powerful hope. We are given peace.
THE PRAYER: Gracious God, for Your love which was put into visible action in the Person of the Savior, I give thanks. May I be granted the vision to recognize His sacrifice and shared victory over sin, the devil, and death. In Jesus' Name I pray. Amen.
Pastor Ken Klaus
Speaker emeritus of The Lutheran Hour®
Lutheran Hour Ministries