Thursday, November 24, 2016

Facing Good and Bad Times

UV 2131/10000 Facing Good and Bad Times
Rejoicing in hope; patient in tribulation; continuing instant in prayer;
Romans 12 v 12

It is written in the book of Proverbs that, “ A hope fulfilled is sweet to the soul.” Our hopes cause us to be desirous of living on. The moment all hope is gone, we would rather perish. When the hope is realized, we rejoice. When a promise of the Lord is fulfilled in our lives, we rejoice not just at that moment but the very memory of God’s faithfulness to His promises causes us to rejoice all the days of our lives. The word “ rejoice” is used thrice consecutively in the Psalms and in the epistles of Paul. It implies we rejoice for our past hopes that are fulfilled in Christ, rejoice for our present hopes being fulfilled in Christ, rejoice for our future hopes to be fulfilled in Christ. Proverbs also states that “ a cheerful heart is good medicine.” The secret of a cheerful heart is the nourishment given by hope. We hope for a better life for ourselves and our families. We hope for eternal life. We hope for success in our workplace and elsewhere. We hope for good and health, long lasting relationships. Each hope is a cause not just of eventual joy but right now as we are filled with hope, it gives us joy.

Someone stated that our lives are like the keyboard of a piano with the white keys signifying the good times and the bad keys signifying difficult or bad times. Both produce musical notes. If we can accept good times as a blessing from the Lord, we should also accept difficult times as a blessing. We need to be patient if not cheerful as James asks us to be when we face trials and problems. We need to know it is a passing phase and a testing time to make us and not to break us, to strengthen us from within and not to weaken or destroy us. We should face it with equanimity and not murmur, grumble or complain that the Lord is unfairly dealing with us. We may not know the purpose at the time but in due time, it will be known and we will thank the Lord even for the difficulties and challenges.

Praise, thanksgiving and prayer need to be offered up continually during good times. We should not go to the Lord only when we have difficulties as it will show we are time servers and opportunists. Our faithfulness is proved only when we are consistent in our prayer life at all times. During difficult times, we need to offer supplications, intercession with thanksgiving and praise. In short, we need to pray continually and the Lord will give us the grace to rejoice in hope and to endure in our troubles.

Prateep V Philip

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