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SBC president advises CBU chapel audience 'what to do when trouble comes'

SBC president advises CBU chapel audience 'what to do when trouble comes'

Click here to watch the Rev. Fred Luter's address on video.

RIVERSIDE (Nov. 26, 2012)—“It doesn’t matter what age you are or what your vocation is, sooner or later tough times will come into your life,” the Rev. Fred Luter Jr. said during a chapel service at California Baptist University. “One of these days when you least expect it, your life will be turned upside down.”

Luter, president of the Southern Baptist Convention, spoke Nov. 26 to an audience that included area pastors about his experiences during Hurricane Katrina in 2005. He has served as senior pastor of Franklin Avenue Baptist Church in New Orleans for 26 years.

“I lost my church, lost my salary, our 8,000 church members were scattered,” he said. “I could look on television and see that everything I knew—my home, my church—was all under water. I asked God ‘why would you let this happen? If you wanted Bourbon Street to be destroyed, why didn’t you just destroy Bourbon Street?’ But Bourbon Street stayed dry on high ground.”

Luter said he sat in his daughter’s home in Birmingham and watched as his city struggled with the aftermath of the hurricane.

“For the first time in my life, my faith was shaken,” he said. “Faith is the first area that the enemy works on, and fear is the opposite of faith. Anybody can preach about faith, but every once in awhile, something happens to where God asks ‘do you believe what you preach.’?”

Luter pointed out that in Mark 4:35-41, the disciples of Jesus were in a boat when a storm came up, and they were afraid.

“Don’t you know those disciples were asking ‘Why doesn’t He do something? Doesn’t He care about us?’” he said. “But Jesus was right in the boat with the disciples. He could have chosen otherwise. He could have told them He would meet them on the other side.”

Luter said we need to remember that no matter what we’re going through, Jesus is going through it, too, because He’s living in us.

“He’s right there with you,” he said. “He will give you peace in whatever the circumstance.”

Luter recalled that as a boy growing up in New Orleans he looked to television for role models in his life, instead of the drug dealers and pimps that surrounded him. He chose Superman, because Clark Kent could go into a phone booth and transform himself into someone who could handle anything.

“When trouble comes, we don’t have a phone booth but we do have a prayer closet,” he said. “When you come out of that closet, you have an S on your chest—You’re saved, and you’re a soldier in the army of God.”

He told the audience that in times of trouble, they need to remember the three P’s: the promises of Jesus, the presence of Jesus and the power of Jesus to overcome anything.

“If God brings you to it,” he said, “He will bring you through it.”

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Photo: The Rev. Fred Luter spoke during a chapel service at California Baptist University on Nov. 26, reminding the audience “If God brings you to it (trouble in your life), He will bring you through it." (Photo by Hillary Coy)