“In times like these you need a savior, In times like these you need an anchor.”
So begins the hymn by Ruth C. Jones first published in 1944 with words as relevant today as they were 60 years ago. These times of ours are troubled with wars and rumors of wars, social unrest, predictions of environmental and economic disasters, famine and disease, and the list could go on. But are these times any more troubling than times past? Go back 25 years to 1980 and you have American hostages in Iran, rampant inflation, and a nuclear threat from Russia. Go another 25 years back and there was a just ended war in Korea and an emerging cold war in Europe. Another 25 years? It was the beginning of the Great Depression. We could even include the Pax Romana, an extended time of enforced peace which lasted from 27 BC to 180 AD, as also having elements of unrest.
In the 400 years which elapsed between the Old Testament prophet Malachi and the coming of Jesus, the Jews fought an ongoing battle for their independence against first the Syrians, then the Greeks, and finally the Romans. In their times they often looked for a savior, their Messiah, who they thought would bring them peace and freedom. Instead Jesus said in John 16:33, “These things have I spoken unto you that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation, but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.” The stress and trials of these times needn’t pull, and tug, and toss you about. Jesus is offering peace through himself, a peace in the midst of affliction. “Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.” (John 14:27) This world, the domain of Satan, can give you a form of peace, but it is a counterfeit peace. It is a temporary fix, a peace that only lasts until the next irritation or trial. “And the peace of God which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.” (Phil 4:7) In times like these we all need a peace that comes from the inside, a peace that knows who’s in control, a genuine peace that the world can’t duplicate. To again quote Ruth C. Jones, “His name is Jesus, he is the one. Be very sure, be very sure, your anchor holds and grips the solid rock”, for in times like these, you need a savior.