In 1977 I was unemployed. I’d been out of work for 9 months. Life was hard. I had applied for every job I could find. One afternoon, at the Job Centre, the guy went through all the possible jobs with me. After half an hour he aplogised that there really were no jobs I could apply for.
Unemployment reached 1,000,000 for the first time and I began to think I would never work again. I felt wounded and worthless.
I had become a Christian shortly before I lost my previous job. I was reading the Bible daily in great quantity. I’m not sure I understood much of it.
As another depressing day got off to a start, I was reading the Bible with my Corn Flakes and coffee. Then I read these words.
“A bruised reed he will not break, and a smouldering wick he will not snuff out…” – Matthew 12:20
A lump came to my throat and a tear to my eye. I recognised the voice of my Heavenly Father speaking to my heart about the Jesus I had found.
With Jesus things were going to be different. A couple of employers had lost patience with me and fired me. But these words gave me the assurance that Jesus wasn’t about to do that – not now nor ever.
I felt bruised by life. I felt I was smouldering and certainly not ‘on fire’. If I’m honest, I felt useless.
But these beautiful words brought comfort. Jesus wasn’t against me. He was for me. As my friend John says, “Jesus didn’t come to rub it in. He came to rub it out.”
I don’t know what you are facing this week but I do know this – Jesus is for you not against you.
The cross of Jesus stood high above the ground on the hill at Calvary. But there was much of the cross buried in the ground unseen. However low you’ve fallen, however deep your pit, Jesus can reach you there.
I cannot tell you about the transformation Jesus brought to my life here. It is too big to tell in so few words. If you’re interested, I wrote a book about my story called Beautiful on the Mountains. But that’s not my point.
My point is this, if things are hard right now, include Jesus in your plans and things will get much better. Not only is he for you, he is also able. Our God…
“…is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us,” – Ephesians 3:20
The great Civil Rights leader Martin Luther King Jr. once preached a message that his God was able – the words still ring true today.
“There is so much frustration in the world because we have relied on gods rather than God. We have genuflected before the god of science only to find that it has given us the atomic bomb, producing fears and anxieties that science can never mitigate. We have worshipped the god of pleasure only to discover that thrills play out and sensations are short lived. We have bowed before the god of money only to learn that there are such things as love and friendship that money cannot buy and that in a world of recessions, stock market crashes, and bad business investments, money is a rather uncertain deity. These transitory gods are not able to save us or bring happiness to the human heart.
Only God is able. It is faith in God that we must rediscover. With this faith we can transform bleak and desolate valleys into sunlit paths of joy and bring new light into the dark caverns of pessimism. Is someone here moving toward the twilight of life and fearful of that which we call death? Why be afraid? God is able. Is someone here on the brink of despair because of the death of a loved one, the breaking of a marriage, of the waywardness of a child? Why despair? God is able to give you the power to endure that which cannot be changed. Is someone here anxious because of bad health? Why be anxious? Come what may, God is able.”
Take heart my friend. God is on your case even if it doesn’t seem that way just now.