Acts 4:5-12 + Psalm 23 + 1 John 3:16-24 + John 10:11-18

As the song says, “All we are is dust in the wind. Dust in the wind Everything is dust in the wind.”

What does the world really have from which you can draw strength? Think about it. Everything we can possibly trust, and draw strength from, is fleeting.

What is there really that we can hold onto in this world that will be able to satisfy the important needs we have, not only in this world but in to eternity. What can give us assurance of peace when all is chaos? What can give us courage when we fear?

Some put their ultimate trust in family, but can family give us the strength we need? Perhaps a good family, but what about a fractured and tempestuous family? Even a good family can fail you, as we lose the ones we rely upon through death and distance.

What about our careers? Can they give us strength we need to face eternity, to face the really hard times? Perhaps they can give us financial strength and maybe a sense of purpose, but what happens if we lose that career? What then? We can feel pretty weak and helpless. Anyone who has ever lost a job or had to change careers involuntarily knows the debilitating effect it has – especially when you are without work for an extended period of time. So work and career cannot give us the ultimate strength we need.

Beauty and youth? In a society that has become more narcissistic the focus on youth and beauty and the status it brings has grown, but we all know these things cannot last. With time both fade.

Where then can we draw strength and have courage and reassurance of our ultimate well-being? First we need to look at what is needed for our ultimate well-being. 

The world tells us we need many things in order to be satisfied, to be “happy” to be well. These same things: wealth, status, appearance, and transitory relationships that cannot fulfill our ultimate needs are the very same sort of things the world says we need to be happy. The world’s plan is a plan for disaster because the very things that you are told you must have and maintain are the things that will ultimately fail you.

Rather, if we seek to find our ultimate well-being, if we seek to determine what is ultimately important and what can fulfill that importance we must turn to God’s Word, and specifically God’s Word made flesh – Jesus Christ.

When there is faith in Jesus, what then should we fear? Even physical death becomes of secondary concern when viewed in context of the eternal life He brings through Salvation on the Cross.

Here the words of Saint Paul from Romans 8:

Who shall separate us from the Love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or danger, or sword? As it is written, ‘For your sake we are being killed all the day long; we are regarded as sheep to be slaughtered.’ No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels, nor rulers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, nor heights, nor depths, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus, our Lord.

For those who have faith in Christ Jesus, the love of God is secure for you; and if the Love of God is secure for you, eternal life and bliss with God – Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, is secure for you – and from that you can draw your greatest strength.

You can be strong in Jesus because He is the Good Shepherd who watches over you through your life’s trials, through your ups and your downs, through your gains and losses, and he does so with the reassurance of the peace that only He can give. As it He says in the Gospel account of John:

“Peace I leave with you. My peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid.”

How then do we remain strong in Jesus? By keeping the Word of God as He commanded us to.

“If anyone loves me, he will keep my word, and my Father will love him, and we will come to him and make our home with him. Whoever does not love me does not keep my word. And the word that you hear is not mine but the Father’s who sent me.”

Be true to the Word of God and follow His commandments. Follow His word. Be strong in Jesus and trust in Him for all your needs and for your ultimate happiness – life with God on account of His sacrifice.