As believers in Christ we have some special resources that people who do not trust Him do not have. In college I majored in chemistry and that describes much about how I approach life. Observe what happens. Make up theories to explain it. Wait. Ask questions. Condense or distill your ideas to the bare minimum. So, distilling out the answer to what do Christians have to help them, I conclude we have 2 things: we have the Spirit of God with us and we have the hope of heaven. Those are only two helps, but they are each so powerful!
What does it mean that we have the Spirit of God with us? It means He knows what you are going through because He is witnessing it. It also means He knows what you are going through because Jesus experienced all the flaws, thorns, stumbling blocks and joys of living life as a human in this fallen world. (Btw Jesus = Spirit = Father. There in one God in 3 persons.) He is near when we need Him. He is near when our hearts are breaking. He is near when we are hurting. He is near when we are celebrating. He hears our cries of joy or of pain. He hears, and the psalmist says He will answer.
- God describes Himself as Comforter. He is near when we are hurting.
- God describes Himself as Savior. He is near when we are aware of how badly we need a savior because of our own action or choices.
- God describes Himself as Guide. He is near when we don’t know where to go and need direction.
- God describes Himself as listening. He is near when we need to talk but no one else is available or we have “used up all our friends.”
- He says He saves our tears in a bottle. He is near when we are crying our eyes out.
We have the presence of God. We have Him on our side – “if God is for us, who can be against us?”
I just want to add that the promise that God is near is very often associated with another declaration: Do not be afraid. As I see it, the connection between those 2 statements is a 2 way path. Do not fear God even if He is near. It’s fearsome to come face to face with an unknown powerful force. Remember that many times when an angel appears, their first words are “Don’t be afraid.” Why? Because they appear to be awesome and fear-inspiring! Of course the first human reaction is fear! So this messenger from God reassures us with this greeting – don’t be afraid of me. I am from God and He loves you!!!!
And secondly, do not be afraid since God is with you. If God is with you, near, in your corner, for you, your present helper and a scripture-full of descriptions and promises, you have nothing to fear. God, the great God almighty, the source of all wisdom, has your back. Don’t worry, everything will be alright.
Just in case you are thinking that it is not alright, my child died! Let me explain - everything is going to be alright, eventually, finally, in His kingdom of heaven. Everything is alright because He is directing history and He wins the final battle. There are bumps and battles along the way (and deaths of children) but He is restoring and redeeming everything for His glory. When you see all these events from a heavenly perspective, it will be alright for even you. Until then, you have God’s presence to guide and comfort and guard your way. May His presence sustain you for the journey.
Next week, some thoughts about the Hope of Heaven.
Scriptures considered in these thoughts: Genesis 3; Psalms 6, 34:17-18, 46:1, 56:8; Romans 8:31; the angels of Christmas and Easter for example Matthew 1:20 and 28:5; Hebrews 4:15.