“You are my friend if you do what I command” (John 15:16).
Not long ago, I ran into a Christian friend I hadn’t seen in six months. I knew he had been off work for several weeks. When I asked him how he had been doing, there was a great out-pouring of information and pain that lasted over an hour. He had several physical disorders, back trouble, and ulcers among them. However, the thing that hurt him the most was his family’s condition. His children had strayed far from God and their sinful lifestyles were bothering him terribly, and tearing his home apart. He explained how they had gone to church and Sunday School since they were small, and he couldn’t understand where he and his wife had gone wrong in raising them.
I listened and tried to reassure him as best I could, though the best thing I assured him of was that I would pray for him. Someone has said, “God had one son who was without sin, but he has never had any without trouble.” Trouble comes to us all. It is no respecter of persons. However, the old hymn “What a Friend We Have in Jesus” tells us how best to deal with it. It tells us never let our troubles discourage us, but take them to the Lord in prayer. If we want to avoid despair and discouragement, we must take our troubles to God.
We must learn to lean on Jesus. God’s word tells us “Cast all your cares upon the Lord because He cares for you” (I Peter 5:7).
Dr. Robert Wilkerson is a minister, writer, and founder of People for the Christian Way, an organization whose mission is to encourage all people to practice Christian principles in business, politics, and every area of life. firstname.lastname@example.org, http://www.peopleforthechristianway.com