Bella Vista Church of Christ

LIFELINES

01/30/2019

Randall Caselman

 

Divine Help For The Hurting

 

  Perhaps the saddest verse in the Bible is John 13.30... "And Judas went out and it was night." Darkness all around, but the sad part was that there was darkness in his soul. All of us experience darkness on the outside. But let's pray that we never experience this inside darkness, the hopeless of heart, that Judas carried that night.

 

  Well, what do we do when life tumbles in? We have a choice! We can embrace the darkness and give in to it; we can curse the darkness and feel sorry for ourselves; or we can listen to Jesus' Divine comfort from this chapter. These concepts can be taken to the Emergency Room, the Cemetery, the Prison, they'll help when the tumor is malignant, the heart attack is fatal, the diagnoses terminal, when friendships fail, and family relations rupture...

 

  Believe in Me. "Let not your heart be troubled." I don't know what an atheist does with his hurt, trouble, darkness. I don't want to find out. Jesus said, "Place your faith, trust, your confidence in Me as your Creator, Lord, and Savior.” Near the end of His life, the promise was "I will be with you always." The Hebrews Writer states it this way: "I will never leave you, I will never forsake you."

 

  Believe in the Fatherhood of God. "In my Father’s house." Jesus came teaching that we have a Father God. Can we grasp the significance: that the omniscient, omnipotent, omnipresent, eternal, sovereign God is our Father? That the creator, provider, sustainor, protector of the universe treats us as His children? "If you, then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask him!”(Matthew 7.11).

 

  Believe in Heaven. When times are tough, nothing helps like thoughts of Heaven, life after life! Jesus lets us know that this is not all there is: "In My Father's house are many mansions... I go to prepare a place for you." Jesus taught that heaven was a real place, and that we could live in such a way as to go there. Paul indicated that regardless of how rough the road, dark the moment, how painful the hurt, how uncertain tomorrow, or how devastating the news, Heaven is worth it all. "For I reckon that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us" (Romans 8.18).

 

  Believe in prayer. "I will do whatever you ask in My Name, so that theSon may bring glory to the Father" (John 14.13-14). James writes: "Are you in trouble, pray! Are you sick, pray! Are you caught up in sin, pray! The prayer of a righteous man is powerful and effective" (James 5.13-14 &16). Wow! What a crises management tool! Now, as Bible students, we know that God doesn't always answer our prayers as we envision...

• Sometimes God's answer is wait. Abraham and Sarah were promised a son, but had to wait years with no apparent answer.

 

• Sometimes God has something better in mind. Paul prayed his thorn be removed; God said, "My grace is sufficient." Paul was strengthened to the point he said give me more thorns (2 Corinthians 12.10) "I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong."

 

• Sometimes our prayers are not within His will. Abraham wanted Ishmael to be the one. God said "My promise was to you and Sarah, not you and Hagar."

 

• Sometimes we ask doubting. Abraham was a hundred, Sarah was ninety. They laughed. They didn't think God could pull this off. When life tumbles in, ask God to: Do with you, for you, to you, by you what's best for you. Then get out of the way and watch life become an adventure!

 

• Sometimes God uses our unanswered prayers to His glory. Jesus cast out the legion of demons from the man in the cemetery. This man asked Jesus to make him one of the Apostles, let him travel with Him. Jesus said no! What a strange answer. But later we find out why" Mark 5.20 reads: "And he went away and began to proclaim in the Decapolis how much Jesus had done for him, and all the people were amazed."

 

  Indeed, when life tumbles in, take it to God in Prayer.

 

  Believe in the presence and power of God in our life. "I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Counselor to be with you forever -- the Spirit of truth" (John 14.16). I tell you that when asked: "What is God's greatest blessing your life?" I answer, "forgiveness, salvation, and His indwelling power and presence." What would I be without it?

 

  Believe in His peace. "Peace I leave with you... My peace I give you... I do not give to you as the world gives... Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid." This world’s peace is based upon externals. The world looks for peace and happiness in things. In the Beatitudes, Jesus tells us that genuine joy and happiness, the God-blessed life, is the result of a heart condition: Being poor in spirit, mourning, meek, a hunger and thirst for righteousness, merciful, pure motived, peacemakers. Genuine peace comes from Jesus living in us through the Spirit He gave us. Church, our greatest peace is realized when His Spirit produces its fruit in us. Amen?

 

  Well, when trouble comes, we must not allow it to cause darkness, but rather let the light of Jesus shine in us. God doesn't promise a rose garden, but He does promise His power and presence for troubled times.

 

—Randall Caselman