We live in a chaotic world. I think most would agree with that statement. If you watch the news for more than 20 seconds, you will quickly realize that things are a little out-of-sorts. It’s no wonder that millions of people suffer from depression and anxiety. It’s also no surprise that some take their own lives with the hope of finding a way of escape, not fully realizing the pain and hurt they leave in their wake. What does the world need most? Is it rest? We could all use a little rest, and not just physical rest, but mental and emotional rest too. Our lives are as hectic as they have been at any point in history. We are bombarded with things that affect, or even overwhelm, us mentally and emotionally on a daily basis. We could definitely use some rest.
What about peace and comfort? We see images of refugees around the world, people fleeing from their homes to escape war, human trafficking, starvation, and other atrocities. We are faced with death on a daily basis, some expected and some unexpected, some quietly and some widely publicized. Regardless of the way it occurs, death is a normal part of life, one with which we have regular encounters. We could definitely use some peace and comfort. Some would argue that all the world needs is love. Love covers a multitude of sins. Love could be the answer to all of our problems, they would say. The world would be a wonderful place if we could all just get along. I agree, the world would be much better if we all truly loved one another.
What if I told you that you could find all of these things in one place? What if I told you that Jesus is the answer to all of these needs? You would probably say, “I already know that!” I hope you do know that. I hope you do realize that Jesus is the only answer. Jesus said, “Come to me all you who labor and have heavy burdens, and I will give you rest.” Jesus will give you rest! Jesus is the prince of peace. Philippians 4:6-7 says, “Be anxious for nothing, but in ALL things through prayer, supplication, and giving of thanks, let your request be made known to God, and the peace of God will rule and reign in your heart through Christ Jesus our Lord.” Jesus will give you peace! Jesus also said, “Greater love has no one than this, that someone lay down his life for his friends, John 15:13.” Jesus laid down His life for you and me. Jesus will give you love!
So, what does the world need most? The simple answer is Jesus, but the more precise answer is Jesus in you. The world needs Christians, who are full of the Holy Spirit, to live like Christ. The world needs us to be all that we were created and called to be. The person on the street who needs peace and comfort needs you and me to be Christ’s representatives to them. They need to experience the love of God through us. They need to find rest, peace, and comfort by having us choose to carry their burdens with them. They need to be able to meet the living God through us! How can we do that if we are the ones needing rest, peace, comfort, and love? How can we be the hands and feet of Jesus if we are always carrying the weight of our own world? We can’t! We have to first learn to cast our cares on Him, to be anxious for nothing, to let His peace rule and reign in our hearts, and to seek His kingdom first so He can take care of our needs. Then, and only then, will we be able to be what the world needs most, true disciples.
1 Peter 3:15 says, “But in your hearts honor Christ the Lord as holy, always being prepared to make a defense to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you; yet do it with gentleness and respect.” Always be prepared! Preparation is not simply knowing the answers to their questions. Peter is not telling us to have a premade list of answers so we can offer a rebuttal when someone questions our faith. He is telling us to always be ready, be ready in how we live, be ready in what we know, be ready in who we are in Christ so we are able to gently and respectfully tell them about the hope in us and introduce them to the one who has given us this hope. But we can’t do this if we have allowed our circumstances to steal our hope. We can’t give what we don’t have. Does the world need Jesus? Absolutely! But the world also needs you and me to be willing and available vessels. Willing should define our attitude while available defines our lifestyle. The world needs us to be willing and available. What are you willing to do to make yourself available? Join me in this journey. My heart is definitely willing, but I know I need to make myself more available. For me, it will start by learning to be content and to cast my cares on the one who cares for me. What about you, where will you start?