October 12-19, 2014
For some people, even for those perfectly healthy, wealthy, & wise, life is dreary, like a cloudy day. On the other hand, it’s often the heavily burdened person who is thankful, hopeful, and joyful. Much suffering hasn’t deprived such a person of the treasure of happiness & contentment. A man who spent quite some time in prison & faced death on many occasions was the Apostle Paul. He could live with seeming contradictions; he could be, in his own words, “sorrowful, yet always rejoicing.” (2 Corinthians 6:10)
Pessimism looks at the dark side of things. Instead of saying that a glass is half full, it is to the pessimist half empty. Nothing is ever half won; it’s always half lost. Pessimism can’t find delight in wild flowers, for it sees them as weeds. How refreshing to hear the optimism of the well-known entertainer Jerry Lewis, who said after his double by-pass heart operation, “The sage brush is beginning to look like orchids.”
The Christian’s joyful outlook on life isn’t fantasy or pie-in-the-sky optimism, but a realism that acknowledges his sin under the Law; sees therein the deadly consequences, but in the death & resurrection of Jesus Christ, His Savior, obtains satisfaction through Christ’s righteousness and the forgiveness of sins. Here is the foundation of our faith that trust’s in Christ’s merits to save us. It can exist when dark clouds blot out the sun, for it doesn’t depend on changeable weather, nor on fickle human emotions, nor on here-today-gone-tomorrow success. It rests not on human beings but on Jesus Christ, who for us and for our salvation passed thru the dark night of suffering & death only to rise again on Easter morning. The Holy Spirit He sends us is the author of our faith in the Savior & of all its fruits: love, joy peace, patience, kindness, goodness, & faithfulness.
Look out your window. What do you see? A glass half empty or half full? A field of sage or of orchids? Weeds or wheat? My friend, through God’s Word, you are given the assurance of the Father’s love perfected in Jesus Christ to live each day & every condition of life with all joy and peace so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.