Reflections of Our Savior
"But I trust in your unfailing love; my heart rejoices in your salvation."
[Psalm 13:5 NIV84]
Dear members and friends of Our Savior:
Ask a young person soon to graduate from high school or college. Ask a young couple just married making their life's plans. Ask an elderly person in the process of selling their home to move into assisted living. Ask anyone: what are you most afraid of as you look forward to the rest of your life? The answer is pretty much the same: uncertainty. Life is uncertain and that's putting it mildly. The truth is, life is downright scary sometimes.
But do we have anything to fear? Well, yes and no. Decades ago, a famous world leader said "The only thing we have to fear is fear itself." So true — fear is our worst fear. Whether we are dealing with a major life change, a serious illness, financial uncertainties, family problems, job insecurity, or whatever our struggle, worry and fear can wear us down. Then we begin to have doubts. We begin to have doubts especially about God's care and providence. Does he still love us? Is he still there for us? Does he even care?
When we doubt God's love and care for us, we begin looking elsewhere for our security and certainty in life's challenges and troubles. Sometimes we look for security in our possessions. Sometimes we look to escape life's problems with alcohol or drugs. Sometimes even our jobs and occupations become an escape for us when we look for security in the familiar routine of work. As improbable as it sounds, we all too often trust in ourselves, thinking we can conquer life's foes on our own. All these things become little false gods for us when we place our trust in them, rather than in God above, from whom all blessings flow.
The First Commandment forbids us from having false gods. Luther's explanation to the First Commandment is "We should fear, love and trust in God above all things." The Apostle Paul wrote the Romans, in chapter 8, "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, along with him, give us all things." Regrettably, it is much easier for sinners to doubt and fear than to trust. But our gracious God has made promises to us in which we can place our trust. He sent his Son Jesus to die on a cross to pay for our sins. He shows us that he cares for us and he delivers us and strengthens us in due time. He allows challenges of all kinds to befall us, so he can teach us to trust in him.
Proverbs 3:5 tells us, "Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding." The cure for doubt and fear is trust – not in ourselves or things, but in God alone. Amen.