Living Under the Tensions of the Plague, Pain, and Politics Part 3
28 Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.
In our last message in this series, we looked at the tensions that grow out of the struggle to make a living and as a result of humanity facing the fact that we will die. However, in the midst of this tension, we are directed towards the light of Jesus Christ so that we can find peace in the tension.
In the midst of all of that, a voice rings out through all of the generations saying, “Come unto me, all ye that labor and are heavy laden, and I’ll give you rest.” That voice cries out to us saying, “Come unto me, all ye that are laboring everyday trying to make a living. You’re caught in this round of life, in this chain of life. All of those who are laboring trying to explain life, all of those who are laboring under all of the problems of life, those who are heavy laden with burdens of despair, those who are laden with fear, those who are laden with anxieties and disappointment, come unto me and I will give you rest.” That’s the voice that comes crying out to modern life, which gives us a little solace to carry us on. And if we didn’t hear that voice, we couldn’t make it. That voice simply says to us that the answer to the tension of modern life is to sufficiently commit ourselves to Christ and to be sure that we have truly believed on Christ and received Christ as Saviour. For until a man comes to faith in Christ, he lives life in eternal frustration, and he finds himself crying out unconsciously with Shakespeare’s Macbeth that “Life is a tale told by an idiot, full of sound and fury, signifying nothing.” Until he gets some religion, he cannot stand up amid the tensions of modern life. That is why H. G. Wells can cry out and say that a man who is not religious begins at nowhere and ends at nothing. For religion is like a mighty wind that knocks down doors and breaks down walls and makes that possible, and even easy, which seems difficult and impossible. It is religion, it is a proper religious faith that is the answer to the tensions of life.
I have a statement here from a man you should know, the great psychiatrist Jung, who was greatly influenced by Sigmund Freud, but who went a little beyond Freud. But most of his life spent, had been spent counseling people who have confronted the problems of life, the agony of modern life. And this is what Jung says. He says:
During the past thirty years, people from all the civilized countries of the earth have consulted me. I have treated many hundreds of patients, the larger number being Protestants, the smaller number Jews, and not more than five or six believing Catholics. Among all my patients, in the second half of life—that is to say over thirty-five—there has not been one whose problem in the last resort was not that of finding a religious outlook on life.
That’s not a preacher talking; that’s a psychiatrist talking. That’s a psychoanalyst talking. He’s saying, in substance, that people face the frustrations and bewildering experiences in life so often because they do not have the proper religious bent on life. So the experiences of life come before them as mighty winds and knock them down because they have nothing within to face them. Facing the tensions of modern life through the proper religious faith. That’s what Jesus is saying, “Come unto me. Sufficiently commit yourself to Me, and you will make it.”
Now what does religion give us? What does genuine religion give us? What is it that Christ gives us to help us face the tensions of life and to stand up amid the tensions of life? What is it that he gives us to keep us going? What is it that genuine religion has to offer for us to live the difficult reign of life? I think the first thing is that religion gives us a capacity to accept ourselves. And I think that is one of the first lessons that all of us should learn, the principle of self-acceptance. This accounts for one of the big problems in modern life. So many people have been plunged across the abyss of emotional fatalism because they did not learn this simple lesson, the lesson of self-acceptance. So many of us hide this tragic gap between our desired self and our actual self. We find ourselves living life trying to be what we are not and what we can’t be. So genuine religion says to us in no uncertain terms, “Accept yourself.” You cannot be anybody else. You can’t be me and I can’t be you. And your great prayer in life should be, “Lord help me to accept my tools. However dull they are, help me to accept them. And then Lord, after I have accepted my tools, then help me to set out and do what I can do with my tools.” For there is a bit of latent creativity within all of us, seeking to break forth, and that creativity is often blocked because we are trying to be somebody else, trying to be what we aren’t. There is nothing more tragic than to see an individual whose ambitions outdistance his capacity. That’s a tragic sight.
So that we have in life this responsibility to be sure that we are willing to face our capacities as they are and do the best we can with them, and that’s all God requires. That’s all that stands before you is to do it well. And when you stand before the judgment of all eternity, there is a great reward: “Well done, thy good and faithful servant. You have been good, faithful over a few things. Come up high, and I’ll make you rule over many.” That is true for the two-talent man as well as the five-talent man, and it would have been true of the one-talent man if he had used it.
We must live by this principle of self-acceptance. Oh, I know a lot of things in life that I would like to have, and I just have to face the fact that I don’t have them and live by it. That means accepting everything, even your looks. I wish the Lord had made me tall, tan, and handsome, and it would have been much better for my sake. I would have enjoyed that the mirror would have been much more meaningful to me. But I can’t spend all of my life worrying because the Lord didn’t make me that way. We must come with that bit of humor to see that we must accept ourselves as we are. That becomes the first lesson of life, and genuine religion gives us that so that we rise above the competitive tension of life because we accept ourselves as we are, and we begin to say like Moses said in Green Pastures, “Lord, l ain’t much but I’s all I got.” And we live by that principle, and you live through life with a harmony that men all around you can never understand because you learned a great secret, the secret and the principle of self-acceptance.
But not only that, high religion, genuine religion, gives you the capacity to accept the realities of life, not only yourself but the external circumstances that beat up against you in life. That is one of the things that makes, also, for a lot of the problems of modern life: that so many people have not mastered this art of accepting life in a balanced perspective. We must come to see that life is a pendulum swinging between two opposites—a pendulum swinging between disappointment and fulfillment, between success and failure, between joy and sorrow. And that’s life. And we never mask the life, and we think that life must be only joyous and happy and that we must live in terms of fulfillment. Disappointment is just as much a part of life as fulfillment. Failure is just as much a part of life as success, sorrow as much a part of life as joy. That is the thing that religion helps us to see. That is the greatness of Jesus. And he goes one day out, standing amid the Good Friday’s light. He knows that Good Friday, is as much a part of life as Easter, and life somehow is a pendulum swinging between Good Friday and Easter, swinging between agony and triumph, swinging between darkness and light. And he who learns that has learned the lesson of life; so that he doesn’t break down when he faces the other side of the pendulum. When the bitter moment of life come, he doesn’t breakdown nor does he get overjoyous when the sweet moments of life come because he knows that this is the endless trend of life.
This is the way it moves. This is what carries life on. Why it is that way maybe we do not fully understand, but it is. Religion says, “Yes, there is a crown you wear, but before the crown you wear there is a cross you must bear.” We learned that when we learned to live close to Jesus, and we go unto Christ. He gives us the rest that comes for learning, from learning this lesson, that life is a pendulum, and it can throw us around and throw us wild when we let it. But one day we might be rich, and that doesn’t bother us. One day we might be poor, and that doesn’t bother us. One day we might be happy, and that doesn’t particularly bother us; and one day we might be unhappy, and that doesn’t particularly bother us because we know that life is going to swing right back to the other opposite.
We learned that and we learned then to live with a harmony, with an inner peace, that the world can’t understand. That is why Jesus says, “My peace I leave with you, not as the world giveth.” The world can’t understand this peace for it is an inner peace; it is a tranquil soul amid the external accidents of circumstance. Christ gives us that. If we will only come unto Him, He gives us the capacity to accept the opposites of life. Not only that. Religion at its best, and when we go unto Christ we discover this, that there is something called forgiveness for the sins we commit. That too is a great release, isn’t it? That is another lesson that we must all learn if we are to live amid the tensions of modern life.
Now, if you are with us today and you do not know Jesus Christ as your Savior, allow me to show you how you can place your faith and trust in Him for Salvation from sin and Hell.
First, accept the fact that you are a sinner, and that you have broken God’s law. The Bible says in Romans 3:23: “For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God.”
Second, accept the fact that there is a penalty for sin. The Bible states in Romans 6:23: “For the wages of sin is death…”
Third, accept the fact that you are on the road to hell. Jesus Christ said in Matthew 18:8: “Wherefore if thy hand or thy foot offend thee, cut them off, and cast them from thee: it is better for thee to enter into life halt or maimed, rather than having two hands or two feet to be cast into everlasting fire.” Also, the Bible states in Revelation 21:8: “But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death.”
Now that is bad news, but here’s the good news. Jesus Christ said in John 3:16: “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” Just believe in your heart that Jesus Christ died for your sins, was buried, and rose from the dead by the power of God for you so that you can live eternally with Him. Pray and ask Him to come into your heart today, and He will.
Romans 10:9 & 13 says, “That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved… For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.”
If you believe that Jesus Christ died on the Cross for your sins, was buried, and rose from the dead, and you want to trust Him for your Salvation today, please pray with me this simple prayer: Holy Father God, I realize that I am a sinner and that I have done some bad things in my life. I am sorry for my sins, and today I choose to turn from my sins. For Jesus Christ sake, please forgive me of my sins. I believe with all of my heart that Jesus Christ died for me, was buried, and rose again. I trust Jesus Christ as my Savior and I choose to follow Him as Lord from this day forward. Lord Jesus, please come into my heart and save my soul and change my life today. Amen.
If you believed in your heart that Jesus Christ died on the Cross, was buried, and rose again, allow me to say, congratulations on doing the most important thing in life and that is accepting Jesus Christ as your Lord and Saviour! For more information to help you grow in your newfound faith in Christ, go to Gospel Light Society.com and read “What To Do After You Enter Through the Door”. Jesus Christ said in John 10:9, “I am the door: by me if any man enter in, he shall be saved, and shall go in and out, and find pasture.”
If you accepted Jesus Christ as your Savior today, please email me at [email protected] and let us know. There is some free material that we want to send you. If you have a prayer request, please e-mail that to us as well, and we will pray for you until you tell us to stop.
God loves you. We love you. And may God bless you.