All around us, people are hurting.
In February, unemployment rates rose in all of the nation's largest metropolitan areas for the second straight month, with the national jobless rate predicted to climb to 10 percent by year's end.
Residents along the Red River have witnessed floodwaters rising to the highest levels in more than a century, with thousands of inhabitants having to flee their homes. Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack said, "It is a horrible human tragedy to watch this."
There are countless examples of people around us who are experiencing great emotional, physical and/or spiritual pain.
I recently preached a sermon titled, "Jesus is enough when you are destitute," in which I focused on the fact that our Lord has genuine and unique compassion on us when we are hurting. In the sermon, I defined "destitute" as such: You feel that all hope is gone and without God's intervention there is absolutely no expectation of joy, peace or maybe even survival. Look around you – you'll probably find someone who fits that bill (possibly in the mirror).
Let's look at a wonderful biblical passage that points to the character of Jesus Christ regarding those who are experiencing unspeakable grief and pain. Luke chapter 7 tells us of a widow taking her only son to be buried. Verse 13: "When the Lord saw her, He had compassion on her and said to her, 'Do not weep.'" And we read that Jesus touched the open coffin of this boy and said, "Young man, I say to you, arise." And the young man miraculously lived again.
Unlike you and I who can only care for a person by expressing our sympathies and prayers, the Lord both cares and is able to do something about our problems. This demonstration of the compassion of Christ recurs throughout the Bible. We see His compassion in feeding multitudes of His followers (Mark 6:34 and 8:2), in cleansing a leprous man (Mark 1:41) and in many other examples.
But notice how this compassion was expressed to the brokenhearted widow. Jesus' goal was not to make a spectacle of her, but to allow her and the crowd with her to see His mighty hand at work. You see, Jesus will do what no one else – even a friend, a pastor or a spouse – can.
The author of this passage, Luke, wanted clearly to point out that Jesus was not just caring, but that He is indeed the authoritative Christ, the Son of the Living God. By revealing His power to heal, Jesus is showing the crowd (and us) that He also has the power to provide spiritual healing and eternal salvation. As such, death had no authority in His presence.
Christian friend, only Jesus can take what is broken and put it together. I frequently meet with people who are hurting, and I can offer my words, prayers and even actions to help – but Jesus can do so much more. Christ alone is able to walk into a seemingly destitute situation and fill it with His joy and gladness. Can't you imagine the elation of the widow when Jesus raised her only son! That joy is not limited to her and a select few!
Finally, I want to remind you that when Jesus works in your life as He did in the widow's life, He will use you to tell the world what He has done for you. Don't think that your troubles serve no useful purpose, because God can and will receive great glory from your life. He desires for us to tell others what He has done to conquer our destitute situations and our destitute state of the soul.
The truth is this: When you are destitute, God is your answer; He desires to reveal Himself to be everything you need. And through you, the world can see that Jesus is more than enough.
Christ's sufficiency in troubled times - WorldNetDaily.com