The world is not a happy place. It’s full of sickness and suffering, and we are forever hearing of “wars and rumours of wars.”
Christians live in such a world, and according to Christ’s word should not hope to escape from it. He prayed that they would not be taken out of the world (John 17:16). Believers are here to stay until called away by their Lord.
Though Christians live in a world of turmoil they have a peace that doesn’t rise and fall according to circumstances. That peace is essentially an unbreakable relationship with God through His Son and consequently the sure hope of Heaven. Paul expressed it thus in Romans chapter five: “Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ. By whom also we have access by faith into this grace wherein we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God.”
That raises a very pertinent question. Why is it that some Christians are downcast and constantly under the weather? The simple answer is that they have been so distracted by difficulties and have forgotten their true focus.
How good it is to be reminded that however times change and however severe life’s trials are, that Jesus Christ never changes and His love is constant.
John 11:35 says: “Jesus wept.” But in the original Greek we find this “shortest” verse has three words, whereas the verse from 1 Thessalonians 5:16 (“Rejoice evermore”) has only two. One can surely see the beautiful connection between these verses. The Christian’s joy flows from the unfailing sympathy and grace of the Saviour. He must keep this truth constantly before him.
Keeping one’s focus on Christ is the best remedy for disappointment and discouragement. The Bible says, “A merry heart maketh a glad countenance.” When a Christian enjoys his Lord it will tell for good on others too.
Many years ago when the great missionary Adoniram Judson was home on furlough, he passed through the city of Stonington, Connecticut. A young boy playing about the wharves at the time of Judson’s arrival was struck by his appearance. Never before had he seen such a light on a face. He ran up the street to a minister to ask if he knew who the stranger was. The minister hurried back with him, but became so absorbed in conversation with Judson that he forgot all about the impatient youngster standing near him.
Many years afterward that boy – who couldn’t get away from the influence of that wonderful face – became the famous preacher Henry Clay Trumbull. In a book of memoirs he penned a chapter entitled: “What a boy saw in the face of Adoniram Judson.” That lighted countenance had changed his life!
Rev Kyle Paisley