1 Peter 5:6-7 - Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God so that at the proper time He may exalt you, casting all your anxieties on Him, because He cares for you.
Jesus said, "Do not let your hearts be troubled" (see John 14:1).
Understand, Jesus is not saying, "You won't have troubles." Jesus knew better than to say something that foolish. He, Himself, was a Man with troubles. He was afflicted, beaten, misunderstood, denied, deserted, betrayed, crucified. He dealt with more troubles than any of us can imagine. No, Jesus would never say His people will have no troubles.
Nor did the Redeemer tell us, "Do not think about your troubles." In the Garden of Gethsemane, as He took your sins, and sweat, as it were, great drops of blood, He thought about the coming day of suffering and death He would endure to save you.
What Jesus did say was that when troubles come, as they did for every person in Scripture, don't let those troubles ruin and run your life. Don't let them dominate you. Don't let those troubles push Christ out of your heart. If Jesus who has forgiven you, reconciled you with His Father, lives within you, then there is no difficulty you will ever encounter, which can stop you from rejoicing evermore.
Years ago, on a wintry night in Chicago, Barbara climbed on her father's lap and asked a caring question: "Daddy, why isn't my mommy just like everybody else's mommy?" Bob May looked across his small two-room apartment, toward his wife, Evelyn. For over two years, she had been fighting cancer. For over two years, everything he made had gone to pay the bills of her treatment.
As he held his daughter, he prayed to the Lord for an answer to her question.
Hugging his daughter closer, a thought came to him, and he tried to answer his daughter's question with a story. The story began this way: "Once upon a time, there was a reindeer named Rudolph, the only reindeer in the world that had a big red nose. Naturally, people called him Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer."
May's story continued on, telling how, even though some folks have troubles, they are still important. His daughter understood. And she often asked her father to repeat the story. So it was until his wife died. Through his pain and loss, May worked on the story of Rudolph. He wanted to give the story, as a Christmas gift to his daughter. She loved it.
So did his coworkers when, in 1938, he read it at a Montgomery Ward's Christmas party. Maybe you love the story, too.
So why do I tell this story? Well, like May, you have problems. Like him, you also have a Savior. Like He did for May, Jesus -- Immanuel, God who is with us -- will hear your prayers. Like He did for May and countless others, Jesus -- God who is with us -- can take your pains, your problems, and with His omni-caring power transform them.
He has done it for others. He will do it for you -- if you believe in Him.
THE PRAYER: Dear Lord, because of sin, I, like all of humanity, am going to have troubles and fears. When these days come, may I be turned to You for courage, direction, and hope. This I ask in the Savior's Name. Amen.
In Christ I remain His servant and yours,
Pastor Ken Klaus
Speaker emeritus of The Lutheran Hour®
Lutheran Hour Ministries
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