Thank you, David Powlison, for this helpful reminder. For other excellent resources from David Powlison and other biblical counselors, please visit the Christian Counseling and Educational Foundation (www.ccef.org).
Does the Gospel Help with Everyday Things?
by David Powlison
One criterion for evaluating proposals about how we should live as Christians is this family of questions, “Does this work for peasants and factory workers? Would this be plausible for a mother of pre-schoolers or a lonely man who is dying?” Jesus has a way with people facing trouble. The Bible works with people who get sweaty, weary or teary, who worry about money, who find pain and sickness a long hard road. It is for war-weary sufferers. Ministry works to make unassuming warriors with quiet courage and perseverance.
Here’s a companion question: “Does this work for strugglers?” Jesus has a way with people who feel their sins, who are tempted to drink too much, who get too angry too easily and can’t let it go, who are consumed by irrational fears and can’t even imagine an exit strategy. Scripture works with people who find it hard to walk in the light, and too easy to stumble and fall. Ministry works to make unsung heroes who learn to make small, difficult choices.
These problems of daily life are the flashpoint for our life in Christ—the places we need him, the places we seek him, the places we find him, the places where faith walks out into love. We meet Jesus in our troubles and in our struggles, our vulnerability to suffering and tendency to sin.
Jesus meets you in your pressures and preoccupations.
His underlying foundation sounds so unassuming: “Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.”
Jesus meets you in your obsessions and compulsions.
His overarching goals sound so basic: “Love is patient. Love is kind. Rejoice always. Pray without ceasing. Give thanks in all circumstances.”
Jesus calms drivenness and lightens burdens. He is making you a person of peace, peaceable, at peace, a maker of peace, abiding in the peace that passes all understanding. He’s good for the long hard road in the right direction. Jesus meets you every day and helps with everyday things.