W hen we watch, listen to, or read the news, we learn about the problems and brutality taking place in the world. Sometimes we wonder, "Who can bear all these things?" Certainly no human being can, no matter how great, rich, educated, or powerful. But the Bible tells us there is One who can, and His name is Jesus. He is able to answer every need, meet every situation, and solve every problem.
Christ demonstrated He could meet man's physical needs when He fed the five thousand. The crowd was excited, not because of who He was, but because of what He could do for them. They were not interested in Him as a Saviour. They simply wanted to be taken care of. Since Jesus knew what was going through their minds, He preached a wonderful sermon to them about surrendering their lives.
The crowd followed Him as long as He was meeting their needs. But, when He told them what would be required if they continued to follow Him, they turned away. It is the same today. It is okay for an evangelist to preach about the plan of salvation, free grace, the Second Coming, and the wonderful love of God. However, let Him call the people out of their sinful state and ask them to leave the pleasures of this world to witness for Him, and many turn the other way.
As the crowds began to disperse, Jesus turned to His disciples and asked a pointed question, "Will you also leave and go away?" Peter, who often spoke first, said, "Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life... and [we] know that You are the Christ, the Son of the living God" John 6:68, 69 (NKJV).
The world is full of many kinds of people young, old, poor, rich, educated, uneducated. Regardless of their differences, all have the same basic needs forgiveness of sin, strength, guidance, and hope.
Jesus is the only one who can forgive sins no church, evangelist, or pastor can. We need to go to the source of life to receive pardon and acceptance.
For strength and guidance we need to go to Jesus. Some go to fortune-tellers, newspaper columnists, and friends for help, but they cannot offer peace. Jesus knows our past, present, and future, and when the cares of this world overwhelm us, He is just a prayer away. The Christian may have very little of this world's glamour and riches. But Jesus is abundantly rich in hope hope of the Second Coming, which is free. He has promised never to leave or forsake us. He is the king and the conqueror of death, so there should be no fear for Christians with Jesus by their side.
A chaplain in France told of three pictures a soldier showed him. The first showed a man with the ruins of a city all around him. The inscription read, "The past has deceived me." The second picture showed a serpent trying to climb a slick pole, an impossible task. The inscription read, "The present overmasters me." The third showed a cannon with a man looking down into it. The inscription read, "The future appalls me." That is true if we do not know Jesus. But if we know Him, the past is covered by the blood, we have a very present help for each day, and we have a very bright prospect for the future.
Leon D. Thomassian is the treasurer of the Atlantic Union Conference.