My working associate was a top-notch salesman and highly respected by our employer and others, but he had a severe drinking problem that nearly ended his life.
A ruptured stomach ulcer finally caused him to start bleeding internally, resulting in a speedy ambulance trip to the hospital and concerns about his survival by family members. Finally, he began to recover, but his return to health was hindered by his constant anxiety over debts he had accumulated.
One day, his father-in-law came to the hospital to visit him and asked if he had learned anything from this fearful experience. He answered he had learned how dangerous it was for him to drink and said he was through with alcohol for life.
"If you mean that," his father-in-law said, "I'm going to pay every debt you owe and give you a new start."
My friend was nearly speechless at this offer.
"But, Dad," he replied, "you have no idea how much I owe."
"You have no idea how much money I have," his kind father-in-law replied, and after the hospital stay was over, he brought his worried son-in-law a checkbook full of signed checks, enabling him to pay all those debts that had been such a burden to him and that had slowed his recovery.
We have a rich heavenly Father who longs to lift our burdens and carry our cares. He is grieved when we insist on trying to carry them ourselves so invites us to come to him and find rest. In doing so, we honor him by our faith and enter into what Jesus, in John 10:10 called abundant living.
This doesn't guarantee a trouble-free life. Instead, our Lord warned that trouble comes to all and even people of faith are not exempt. It does mean that those who walk by faith never face trouble alone.
Some who have endured severe persecution and found their walk with God sufficient for these times of trouble have become the most fervent in sharing their faith with others.
Consider the present multiplying of believers in places where imprisonment and other trials have been common. A report on my desk says 10,000 people are now joining churches in China daily 70,000 per week leading to an estimated 111 million members.
Most of us have known people who were serene when everything seemed to be crashing down around them. In the most trying of circumstances, they have remained trusting and calm.
Those going to comfort them have come away comforted. They have been living examples of genuine faith. The secret of such peace in times of peril is being confident that God is always up to the occasion and open to our prayers.
People who are struggling financially may find money problems on their minds continually. They feel an increased cash flow would solve all of their problems, but those who have plenty of money also have cares. Surprisingly, most studies show that wealthy people have more trouble with worry and depression than those with less.
How shall we then handle life's cares?
According to the Bible, we're to worry about nothing and pray about everything. Peter put it this way: "Casting all your care upon him, for he cares for you," 1 Peter 5:7.
No matter our problems, our rich heavenly Father can handle them all.
Roger Campbell is an author, radio broadcaster and newspaper columnist from Waterford, Mich. He has written more than 20 books and been published in major Christian magazines. He was a pastor for 22 years and been a guest speaker in Alaska churches.
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