A message to our graduates

We are in the time of the year when graduates are faced with challenges as there are life decisions to be made. Ps. 37:5 says:

Commit your way to the Lord; trust in him and he will act.

God encourages us to trust our lives to His care and keeping.

Commit your way to the Lord. In this psalm, God also tells us not to envy the wicked, get upset by evil people or be jealous of those who seem to “get away” with doing wrong. Instead, we’re told simply, “Commit your way to the Lord.” The word we translate into English as “commit” is actually a Hebrew word that means to roll over, as you would a stone. In other words, God is encouraging us to roll our cares and burdens onto Jesus Christ, to commit all of our concerns to God.

Often in the Scriptures, our lives of faith are described as a journey or path that we take, knowing that heaven is our eternal home. You have seen that there are plenty of obstacles and detours in a sinful, fallen world. Graduates, as you meet new friends this summer and fall, in college or the workplace, you may find they’re what I call “fair-weather” friends. They will be your friend when times are good, but if you go through a tough time or don’t agree with them on something, they’ll be quick to abandon you. The world around you may look at the values that you have grown up with in your family, or the values you learned in school or church and say “That isn’t going to get you anywhere. You are ridiculous if you believe all that stuff!” Or you’ll discover the sad reality that bad things happen to good people, sometimes for no apparent reason.

The devil, the world and our own sinful flesh will use these things to get you off your path to your heavenly home, and abandon your Savior. You will find your convictions, faith and Christian principles challenged by the world out there. What should you do about this, in the face of difficulties in life?

Commit your way to the Lord. Or as St. Peter encourages us:

Cast all your cares upon Christ, for he cares for you. — 1 Peter 5:7

When you find yourself in trouble, not knowing what to do, what decision to make, what career to pursue or what college to attend, you can go to God in prayer and say, “Lord, you know my way, the problems I have to face, the opportunities I have. I’m going to turn them over to you. Direct my way, and keep me from what would be harmful. If I have to endure a trial for a time, use it for good, to the glory of Your name.”

This is easier said than done. People young and old fail to trust in the Lord in all things. It’s humanity’s whole predicament. All you have to do is go back to Genesis 3 to find the root of it. You’ll remember that God created the world perfect and without sin. You know what happened in the Garden of Eden. Adam and Eve ate the forbidden fruit and consequences came into the world. Sin and death entered the picture. Ever since then, every sin is rebellion against the good God intends for us.

But thanks be to God, He sent His son, Jesus Christ, into this world to live the perfect, sinless life you and I could not. Jesus suffered, died and rose again so that we could be forgiven of all of our sins and receive the gift of eternal life.

Just as God promised Adam and Eve a Savior after their sin, He promises that He will care for our needs as well. He’s forgiven our sins through Jesus’ life, death, resurrection and ascension. He will provide for all our needs, sustain us through the difficult times and use all things for our good. You won’t necessarily see it that way at the time. But eventually, when you look back, you can see how things worked out so much better than you could have imagined, simply because God led you down a different path than what you had intended. He used some of those roadblocks and difficulties to get you there!

No matter what the future holds, you will have opportunities to witness to your faith in Christ and put into practice what you’ve learned through the years from your parents, grandparents, teachers, pastors and other influential people. Yes, there will be times that you will face the cynical attitude of the world. You may endure indifference or persecution because of your Christian faith. But when that happens, don’t sweat it. Whatever your plans may be, keep the words of our text in mind: “Commit your way to the Lord, trust in Him, and He will act.”

May God grant that to each of you for Jesus’ sake.