Look up when things look down

Life brings us down quite often. Hardships and tragedies come. But we need not dwell in darkness. In the pit, look to the provider.

It is almost inevitable for things to go haywire at some time in your life. Maybe your boss will chew you out over a report filed wrong. Maybe you will get into an argument with your spouse or child. Maybe you will share sicknesses with your family.

Recently, my family participated in a family share-the-sickness bout. It began when our daughter got sick, then my wife, and finally me. Over a one-week period, all three of us shared those germs with each other. I must say, while we do encourage our daughter to share with others, telling her sharing is good, it’s ironic the one thing she readily shares is what nobody else wants. Ah, the joys of family.

During this week-long bout of the ‘sickies,’ I thought about how things can seem when things go wrong. During those times, when your mood is already depressed, your spiritual guard may be weakened or even down, the devil will use that opportunity to ensure you stay down. During those hard times, you may begin to feel everything is going wrong. You see all of life as one long, depressing road of bad luck. You lose sight of the good things and only see the bad.

When things go wrong, when difficult times come, don’t let yourself focus on the bad things in life. View these times as opportunities to build your trust in God. Use the situation as a stepping stone to a stronger faith in Christ. Look up toward the creator of life to give you endurance and hope. In the letter of James, we are told, “Consider it all joy, my brethren, when you encounter various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance” (James 1:2-3, NASB). In other words, don’t look at difficulty as a barrier that cannot be passed or a giant pothole on your road of life. Rather, view it as a hurdle to be leaped, an opportunity for growth. The result of these down times shouldn’t be depression, but submission to God! They should result in enduring faith!

Whenever things look down, it’s time to look up. Look up to Christ.

About John L. Rothra
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