• December 18, 2014

Are you feeling down? Just pray

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Posted: Saturday, May 4, 2013 4:30 am

Ever wonder what this world is coming to?

You read this newspaper, or log on to an Internet news site, and it often seems like the world is falling apart. Impending war, power grabs, and threats to keep the truth to yourself. What’s the world coming to?

And not just the world, but our own country. What are Christians to do? Do we just give in to the demands? What if we are asked to disobey Christ?

What are Christians to do when we feel we are a minority, out of place, out of step, out of time? With the world falling apart all around us, what are scattered Christians to do? Pray!

Christ offers us confidence that He has overcome our world. In John 16, Jesus says His farewell to His disciples. Verse 25: “… I will tell you plainly about the Father.”

He had spoken in figures of speech and parables in the past. But now, He is building them up, to endure the future. All too soon, they will be scattered, for soon He will be betrayed.

Verse 32: “Indeed the Hour is coming, yes, has now come, that you will be scattered, each to his own, and will leave Me alone. And yet I am not alone, because the Father is with Me.”

The disciples could not imagine living in a world without Jesus, yet in a few hours that is just what would happen. They will watch Jesus’ arrest, trial, crucifixion, and death. Then they could truly ask, “What is the world coming to?”

In this uncertainty, Christ reassures them. Christ assures them of His victory: Verse 33 “But take heart; I have overcome the world.”

Though Christ had yet to endure His Passion, the outcome was assured. It was as good as completed. Luke 9 tells us, “He steadfastly set His face to go to Jerusalem.”

Christ would accomplish the task set out before Him by the Father. If Christ has overcome the world, we can be confident about our futures.

Yet we often still feel less confident about our futures in this world. How many sure things can we remember, only to see them fail? How many candidates were sure to win? Or teams that were sure to win?

That’s the problem with making guesses about the future, even with the most reliable of information. Predictions often end up being wrong.

Surely, we’d have to be uncertain about the future if we’re predicting the future without remembering Christ’s words. We ask, “What’s the world coming to?” We agonize about the future. We worry about the world. We wrestle with our country’s problems.

We forget what Christ tells us in Verse 33, “I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace.”

We overlook the cross and resurrection; by them Jesus is able to say, “Take heart; I have overcome the world.” We neglect the future: Verse 28, “Now I am leaving the world and going to the Father.”

What are Christians to do? We are scattered throughout a pagan world that seems to thrive on hatred, violence, and oppression? Pray!

For life in this uncertain world, Christ assures us that we can pray with confidence: in His Name. Whatever you ask the Father in Jesus’ name, “He will give it to you.”

The disciples had not asked anything in Jesus’ Name, but now Jesus tells them that the time is coming to pray in His Name: Verse 24, “Until now you have asked nothing in My Name. Ask, and you will receive, that your joy may be full.”

Through His life, death, and resurrection, Jesus has given us direct access to the Father. Jesus has given us the Father’s ear: Verse 27, “For the Father Himself loves you, because you have loved Me and have believed that I came from God.”

As a Christian, we have no need to ask, “What’s the world coming to?” Instead, we ask whatever we need —in the Name of Christ, who has overcome it.

Amen.

The Rev. Robert Wagner is pastor of Immanuel Lutheran Church in Copperas Cove.

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