Those of us who have studied the Scriptures know that both the Old and New Testaments point to Christ as the remedy for our troubled, sinful souls. “All we like sheep have gone astray, we have turned everyone to his own way; and the Lord has laid on Him the iniquity of us all.” Isaiah 53:6 Of course, this is the message of the cross foretold by Isaiah around 700 B.C. It is this message of the cross that rubs against the grain of the wisdom of the world. “For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God…For since in the wisdom of God, the world through wisdom did not know God, it pleased God through the foolishness of the message preached to save those who believe.” That message being “Christ crucified, to the Jews a stumbling block, and to the world foolishness” I Corinthians 1:18-23
In his book, The Christian Psychology’s War on God’s Word: The victimization of the Believer John Owen writes; “The centrality of Christ and His cross is being replaced by a preoccupation with ourselves – our happiness, our problems, our rights, and our worth. Both the uniqueness of the Gospel and its integrity are being compromised.” He goes on to say that, “such a state of compromise has led many Christians into lives filled with desperation and shame, self- abuse and endless guilt, sinful habits and bondage to lust.” For many professing Christians there is no new creation, no victory, no joy, and no praise…because there is no reality of the living Christ, whose grace is more than sufficient! II Cor. 12:9
Having written of the dilemma, I was recently musing the sad state of so many “who have turned to his own way” looking for answers in their empty lives. In John 6:35 Jesus was teaching the multitudes; “I am the bread of life, he who comes to me shall never hunger, and he who believes in Me shall never thirst.” He went on to teach (verse 57); “As the living Father sent Me, and I live because of My Father, so he who feeds on Me will live because of Me.” After hearing this truth as a “hard saying”, many of His disciples walked with Him no more. John 6:66 Then Jesus turned to the twelve and said;“Do you also want to go away?” But Simon Peter answered Him; “Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life. Also we have come to believe and know that you are the Christ, the Son of the Living God.” John 6:67&69
I think of the multitudes of people who are seeking redemption of some sort from mental torments who are perishing for lack of knowledge. “My people are destroyed for the lack of knowledge.”Hosea 4:6 If you ask them; “To whom shall you go?”, in the atmosphere of this culture it is less likely to be Christ Jesus. Even though we read in Matthew 4:24 that Jesus went throughout all Syria healing those who were “afflicted with various diseases and torments”. Even though we read in Colossians 1:13-14; “He has delivered us from the power of darkness and conveyed us into the kingdom of the Son of His love, in whom we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins.” Do we not know that it is the person of Jesus Christ and His Word that we are to pursue first and foremost?
Notice the exclusiveness of the Word of God and its’ effectual nature when Jesus speaks; “It is the Spirit who gives life, the flesh profits nothing. The words that I speak to you are spirit, and they are life.” John 6:63 As we obey His commandments and abide in His love we will experience His joy. “These things I have spoken to you that My joy may remain in you, and that your joy may be full.” John 15:10&11 And there is more, so much more. Paul writes to the Corinthian believers that his words are “not with persuasive words of human wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power, that your faith should not be in the wisdom of men but in the power of God.” I Cor. 2:4&5
God’s word is a healing balm to the distressed soul. “…He saved them out of their distresses. He sent His word and healed them…” Ps. 107:19-20 When you and I are troubled our first thought should be to go to the Lord in prayer and the Word of God for help. “Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need.”Hebrews 4:16 If one has been a student of the Word, his Bible should be highlighted, underlined, with written notes all throughout. Therein lies a wealth of wisdom! I remember writing a note in my Bible in II Chronicles; “Seek the Lord first.” I use this principle in all the affairs and difficulties of my life. “And in the thirty-ninth year of his reign Asa became diseased in his feet, and his malady was severe; yet in his disease he did not seek the Lord, but the physicians. So Asa…died in the forty-first year of his reign.” II Chron. 16:11-13 Now, there is nothing wrong with going to physicians, but there is something wrong with leaving the Great Physician of our souls absent from our lives. And it is the atmosphere of our present day culture that encourages the leaving of the Lord Jesus Christ out of sight, out of mind, and out of our ways. We have left the Fount of Blessing. Repent of the wandering and sing; “Let Thy grace now like a fetter bind my wandering heart to thee; Prone to wander, Lord, I feel it, Prone to leave the God I love. Here’s my heart, oh, take and seal it, seal it for Thy courts above.” “Come Thou Fount”, Robert Robinson, 1758