Rest In Our Father’s Care

Jesus warned his disciples not to fear what their enemies could do to them (Luke 12:1-7), because their enemies only had power in the physical realm, but no power in the spiritual. Rather, they were to respect God who had authority and power in both the physical and spiritual realms. As God cares for nature, he cares much more for those who follow him. Because of that, Jesus’ followers are not to live in fear. These words are always appropriate for us to remember, because there always seems to be something troubling in whatever period we live in. During my lifetime there have been many concerns on peoples’ hearts. As I child I remember talk of building “Fall Out Shelters” to protect against a nuclear attack. Several years later there were riots in the major cities after the assassinations of Dr. Martin Luther King and Robert Kennedy, followed by an economic recession. A few years later Watergate took place and many started to question whether the government could be trusted. Hostages were taken in the fall of Tehran, as our economy saw high unemployment, high interest rates, and high inflation; many of us as young adults wondered if we would ever get a job or own a home. In 2001 the terrorist attacks on 9/11 took place and shook up our entire nation. Thousands returned to church to pray out of concern for what might happen. Recently a global pandemic has hit and many are fearful for the future. However, Jesus’ words to his followers remain the same, do not be afraid. In another place, he declared again that in this world we face tribulations, but to take courage because he has overcome the world (John 16:33). In this world, we will always be facing a trial of one sort or another. Our purpose is not to live a life without trials, but to learn to face them with courage, not with fear. Jesus lived his life with constant opposition from the ruling authorities. They tried to trick him, plotted against him and finally arranged for him to be condemned by the Roman governor. Yet through it all Jesus faced his accusers with courage and wisdom. In this way he shows us how to live, but it is not an example we need or more information. Rather it is a continually growing relationship with Jesus that empowers us to face life’s challenges with courage. Jesus told his followers that his sheep hear his voice. As we learn to hear and recognize Jesus’ voice to us, we also learn to live in a manner similar to the way that he lived.

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