“God has come to help his people.” (Luke 7:16c)
I’d like you to think for a moment about the most difficult moment or situation that you’ve ever had to deal within your life.
Was it a death, a tragic loss, losing a job or being involved in an accident?
I’m not trying to dredge up bad memories from the past. I want you to think about that question because the situation which brings us our Bible verse for this week was very likely the most difficult moment for the mother who is mentioned in this section of Luke 7.
Luke tells us that she was walking behind the coffin of her only son as it was being carried out of town and she was a widow. Think of the situation of that woman – she had already lost her husband and now she was reliving that scene all over again with her only son as they walked out of town to the burial ground. We don’t know all of this woman’s life, but this was certainly not her best day.
In the midst of her grief, that woman got some unexpected help and good news – she met Jesus. Not only did she meet Jesus, Jesus helped her in an unexpected way when he brought her son back to life. Not only did this woman recognize that Jesus had helped, the crowd which saw this miracle did as well and shouted out the words of our verse for this week: “God has come to help his people.”
It was pretty hard to miss that God, in the person of his Son, had come to help his people in this situation. The reason this verse is before us this week is to remind us that still today God is there to help his people in each and every situation in life no matter how easy or difficult.
Have you ever stopped to think about where and how you meet Jesus in the midst of a difficult moment or situation in your life? Granted none of us have ever met Jesus in the way the people did that day outside Nain, but still today our God comes to help his people. Did you meet Jesus in a difficult situation in the person of a loved one or dear friend who put their hand on your shoulder or gave you a hug and shared with you some comforting and reassuring words of Scripture which reminded you that even in the midst of the darkness, confusion or uncertainty God was there to help. Did you meet Jesus in a difficult moment as you laid on your back in a hospital bed or sat in a chair with tears streaming down your cheeks and read your Bible and heard your Savior whisper in your ear “I am with you and will help you through."?
I would like to share with you my favorite go-to Bible passage for such situations, the words of John 16:33: “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.”
I share that verse with you because it does two things: 1) it reminds us that we will not have a life free of trouble or pain and 2) even in the midst of the trouble or pain, Jesus is there and is in control, even if we cannot see it or understand it.
The devil will try every trick he can to take our eyes off of Jesus or make us think that Jesus is not there or doesn’t love us. The next time you find yourself in a difficult situation or someone you know or encounter is in a difficult situation, help them by sharing the words of our verse this week and/or some other verse from God’s Word which let them know that God has indeed come to help them!
Posted by Joel Gaertner
Rev. Joel Gaertner is The Lutheran Home Association Vice President of Ministry and National Director of Jesus Cares Ministries (JCM). He provides spiritual guidance to our entire organization and develops and guides JCM programs in congregations. Pastor Gaertner and his wife, LuAnn, live in Cudahy, Wis., and have two adult children. Outside work, he enjoys golf, walking and watching just about any sporting event, especially the Green Bay Packers.