There's a dark and a troubled side of life There's a bright and a sunny side too Tho' we meet with the darkness and strife The sunny side we also may view
Keep on the sunny side, always on the sunny side Keep on the sunny side of life It will help us ev'ry day, it will brighten all the way If we'll keep on the sunny side of life
1 Peter 5:8 directs us, “Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.” By chance have you felt the breath of the beast lately breathing down your neck? His relentless pursuit of our destruction can lead to distraction, fear, and departure from God’s paths of righteousness. So let me repeat Peter’s encouragement, “Stay alert, keep your mind sharp, and keep on keeping on.”
A few weeks ago I shared a quote from Mark Twain: “Always do right. This will gratify most people, and astonish the rest!” I was surprised by the confusion that registered on most faces. His statement was simply an admonition to continue to do what’s right even in contrast to people’s mixed reactions. When people are unreasonable - continue to love them as best you can. After all, can’t we all be unreasonable and even irrational at times? We’re assured in Romans 5:8 that, “God demonstrates His own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” It’s not breaking news that we can seem unlovely at times, illogical, self-centered, arrogant, and over-the-top when it comes to pride. God insisted on His covenant love being unbreakable and gave His Son precisely because He would not stop loving the whole world. Rather He chose to give you and me the eternal choice to believe in Him, find forgiveness, and be saved from the wages of our sins. Amazing grace and astounding rebellion find stark contrast against God’s covenant love. Some become friends of God while others are recalcitrant in their hatred of Him. Jesus produced great joy in some and an acidic jealousy in others. He taught with authority and absolute integrity and astounded some while leading others to seek out false witnesses to try and undermine His teaching and credibility. His example is a beautiful and sobering reminder that if we choose to follow in His footsteps we will find good from some and receive hatred from others. As a church we will spend our time, treasure, and testimony to see His gospel shared while wickedness seeks to tear us apart brick by brick. Still, we build. One encouragement I recently read said it so well: When you soar like an eagle, you attract hunters. So let me give you the Holy Spirit’s good command through Paul in Philippians 4: “Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.” Keep on soaring!