Having a knowledge of the gospel of Jesus Christ can help with life's uncertainties.
Michael Drake, professor in the School of Accountancy in the BYU Marriott School of Business, delivered today's devotional address. He spoke about our need for deliverance and Jesus Christ, who is the ultimate deliverer.
Drake began by revealing a list of the top 15 highest-grossing films of all time, almost all of them action movies full of heroes and the fights between good and evil. Drake made the claim that the reason these movies have made such a profit is because they revolve around one common theme: deliverance.
He continued by explaining that this life is the ultimate deliverance story, in a film called mortality. In this journey, all are reliant on the Savior Jesus Christ to deliver them from their trials and, ultimately, from death.
“As we get older, we realize that we are in a fallen world and that each of our character arcs includes periods of serious trial and struggle … I testify that hope comes through the Gospel of Jesus Christ; there is a Savior. There is a Redeemer. There is One who is mighty to save. There is a Great Deliverer.”
Drake outlined his talk in three acts, just like a modern-day film.
Act One, The Bolivian Gas War: A Deliverance Story
In 2003, Drake’s parents were serving as leaders over the La Paz Bolivia mission, in the midst of a great conflict known as the Bolivian Gas War. This conflict left the missionaries stranded in very dangerous areas, and a dozen or so were trapped in the middle of El Alto and couldn’t get out.
Two major difficulties stood in the way of being able to reach the missionaries: the first was that the two mission vehicles didn't have enough gas, and no gasoline had entered the city for the past five days. The second was that Drake's parents were seen as targets because they were foreigners and drove cars that were similar to the government officials, who were targeted during that time.
Through the power of deliverance, Drake's father woke up early and was guided to find enough gas to reach the missionaries. While driving through a particularly treacherous area, they miraculously joined the military convoy that was evacuating the president of Bolivia and his family out of the city of La Paz to the airport in El Alto, which provided them with the protection they needed. Miraculously, every missionary was safely evacuated that day.
“When things look bad and when the struggle seems unending; when we feel surrounded by darkness and we don’t know how to proceed; what can we do? We can call out to the Light, our Deliverer.”
Act 2: Wait, Where’s My Deliverance?
Sometimes, one will cry out to the Lord and hear nothing in return. In these moments it can be easy to feel abandoned by God, which can be infuriating. Drake assured that while some deliverance may be delayed, it will eventually come.
“While waiting for deliverance, we can ask ourselves, what lessons can I be learning that I couldn’t learn otherwise? What can I take from this experience to grow and improve?”
The Lord will always keep His promises to His children, Drake said. The Savior has promised that He will make all that is unfair about life right.
“Unfairness will ultimately be for our benefit…Like any important life lessons, those we learn while waiting for deliverance will draw us closer to the Savior and help us to understand His love and plan more fully.”
Act 3: Deliverers on Mount Zion
Drake reminded his audience that as disciples of Jesus Christ, they have made covenants to participate in God’s work, and to be saviors on Mount Zion. In other words, they have promised to be deliverers.
“All around us are people in need of deliverance. They suffer from loneliness, depression, isolation and sickness. They are struggling in school, with work, with their social life and with health.”
It is vital that people are there for each other in their times of need, Drake observed. In the process of helping another, an individual is partially delivered from their own trials.
“It is my testimony that we can pray to know who to help, how to help, and when to help. This can be challenging, but it will get easier and our efforts will be more effective if we pray to see others in the way the Savior sees them."