Romans 8:18 - For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory that is to be revealed to us.
"Don't Worry. Everything's going to be all right."
How many times have you heard those words? When you're scheduled to undergo surgery, when you're having family or personal problems, or when you're struggling to survive because your expenditures far exceed your income, someone inevitably says, "Don't worry. Everything's going to be all right."
Usually those words are slim comfort, because the one who speaks them has no solution for the problems you are facing and, sadly, no real basis for assuring you that everything will be okay. So you smile feebly, thank the person for their comment, and continue to fret about what the outcome of the problem you are facing will be.
There is One, however, who says to you, "Don't worry," and who can say it with absolute confidence and authority. That One is Jesus Christ. And He means exactly what He says; although sometimes we doubt His message or fail to understand His meaning.
When we do doubt or not grasp our Lord's words of reassurance, we are not alone. Even His closest followers did not always comprehend Him or completely trust His words—though they witnessed His crucifixion—and His resurrection.
What does Jesus mean when He tells us not to worry about food, clothing, or all the things that make us anxious in this life? (See Matthew 6:25-34.) He means to tell us that these are the times when we need to lean into Him in faith, trusting that He who overcame our darkest sins on the cross is there for us now and all our future days.
Do you know the name Dietrich Bonhoeffer? He was a Lutheran pastor, erudite theologian, and one who boldly defied the Nazis during World War II. A few months before he was executed on April 9, 1945, he wrote a letter to his friends from prison. The letter beautifully expressed Bonhoeffer's faith in God and tells his friends not to worry about him. His words offer comfort and strength to Christians everywhere when they are troubled over their lives or worried about the lives of others.
Bonhoeffer wrote on August 23, 1944: "Please don't ever get anxious or worried about me, but don't forget to pray for me—I'm sure you don't! I am so sure of God's guiding hand, and I hope I shall never lose that certainty. You must never doubt that I am traveling my appointed road with gratitude and cheerfulness. My past life is replete with God's goodness, and my sins are covered by the forgiving love of Christ crucified."
This is the faith and assurance we can have, too, that no matter what our circumstances we are in God's merciful and gracious hands. The Bible tells us so. "What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us? He who did not spare His own Son but gave Him up for us all, how will He not also with Him graciously give us all things?" (Romans 8:31-32)
His love is boundless, and He wants us to know that. We can know that because He has shown us this in Jesus Christ.
THE PRAYER: Lord, comfort our hearts when they're heavy with worry. In Your Name. Amen.
From The Lutheran Layman, May 1978 issue, "'Don't Worry,' He Tells Us," by Ron Schlegel
1. Have you ever given a word of comfort when you were unsure of an outcome?
2. How do we keep ourselves grounded in the faith when things are looking really bleak?
3. Can you remember a time when you surprised yourself at how brave you were?
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