Hardly a day goes by that a good dose of encouragement is not a welcome blessing to our heart. In the Old Testament book of Nahum, the prophet assures Israel that God is their friend. Nineveh, their mighty enemy threatened their safety and the Lord tells them through Nahum in chapter 1 verse 7, “The Lord is good, a refuge in times of trouble. He cares for those who trust in Him, but with an overwhelming flood he will make an end of Nineveh; he will pursue his foes into the darkness.” The God who made that promise over 2,000 years ago is the same God who wants to be your friend today.
In the New Testament John records the words of Jesus in chapter 10:14, “I am the good shepherd; I know my sheep and my sheep know me-just as the Father knows me and I know the Father-and I lay down my life for the sheep.” Jesus proved He was not only good, but the right person to put their (our) trust in. He laid down His life and rose from the dead to prove He had the message of hope they (we) need to face uncertain times. Their world, just like ours, was filled with turmoil, fear, and questions about the future. Jesus gave them the answers they longed for. Their fears about death and dying where softened by His post crucifixion appearances. Faith in God provides the safest refuge possible because it offers us hope of deliverance from our greatest enemy, death. Death is not a pleasant subject but a reality everyone must face.
In John 10:9-10 Jesus assures us that He cares for us by declaring, “I am the gate; whoever enters through me will be saved. He will come in and go out, and find pasture. The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and live it to the full.” In these tumultuous times it is truly a comfort to know that God has provided the shelter from the storm we so desperately need. The Jews of old were in jeopardy of being destroyed by an outside culture. Today we face being consumed by our own culture which has become to a large degree deaf to spiritual enrichment. The Good Shepherd offers us the peace we need to live without paranoia concerning these days that make us feel upside down sometimes.
One of the greatest comforts Nahum shared with his people was the assurance that their enemy would be utterly destroyed. We can also be confident that our enemy the Devil has also been defeated and will one day be taken out of commission and no longer harass God’s people. Have you put your faith in God’s answer, Jesus Christ, for today’s ultimate questions? He patiently waits for your response! He not only offers life for today, but for eternity in His presence.