June 7th, 2012 | By admin
By Paul Holland
In looking at the cross through the eye of inspiration some 500 years before it happened, the prophet Isaiah writes: “Surely our griefs He Himself bore, and our sorrows He carried; Yet we ourselves esteemed Him stricken, Smitten of God and afflicted” (Isaiah 53:4).
Now I would like for you to look at Matthew 8:17. This is early in Christ’s ministry. He has healed Peter’s mother-in-law of a fever. That evening, many demon-possessed sick people were brought to Jesus and He cast out the evil spirits and healed all who were sick. Matthew quotes this verse from Isaiah 53:4 but Matthew changes it: “He Himself took our infirmities and carried away our diseases.” (Matthew 8:17).
What do you suffer? Have you suffered from feelings of guilt? Worry and anxiety? Fears? Depression? Anger? Sexual temptations or other addictions? Grief? Divorce? Abortion? Bitterness? Eating disorders? Envy? Forgiveness? Loneliness? Money-management problems? Chronic pain? Problems in parenting? Prejudice? Stress? Workalcholism?
Surely the list of problems with which humans struggle is endless. Job, the great patriarch of old, wrote: “Man, who is born of woman, is short-lived and full of turmoil” (14:1). So how is it that Jesus can say in John 14:27: “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid?”
How do we get from a life full of turmoil as Job says to a life full of peace and serene hearts as Jesus says? What’s the difference? The answer, of course, is Jesus. Jesus is the answer to our problems. Jesus is the Lord of solving our problems. But how?
All the problems we have, I believe, can be narrowed down into three categories, corresponding to the three-parts of which man is composed. Man is body, soul, and spirit. Subsequently, our problems can be categorized as spiritual, emotional or mental, and physical. Jesus is the Lord at solving our problems as we turn each of these areas over to Him and allow Him to take our infirmities and carry our griefs on His body on the cross.
Solomon concludes Ecclesiastes by saying, “The conclusion, when all has been heard, is: Fear God and keep His commandments, because this is each person” (12:13). Our responsibility here on earth is to love the Lord our God with all our heart, soul, mind and strength and to love our neighbor as ourselves (Matthew 22:37-39).
The response from us – in broad terms – is the same. Trust His word and follow His guidance. Trust and obey. Our problems will be resolved if we will follow the leadership of our Lord – just as He did in the Garden of Gethsemane. “Cast all your anxiety upon Him for He cares for you” (1 Peter 5:7). When you are suffering, read and study God’s word. Then pray for patience, wisdom, and healing.
Paul Holland is the minister at Paris Church of Christ, Paris, Kentucky.