October 19, 2017

Ups and Downs

By Sam Binkley, Jr.

Most of us have our ups and downs in life. There are certain things that contribute to these emotional feelings. Almost without exception our feelings are up when things are going well with us: the money is there to pay the bills when they become due, our health is generally good, all members of the family are doing what they should to help things run smoothly, and other things which contribute to our well being. On the other hand, when things are not going so well, we can get down and everyone around us is aware of it. There are natural and normal reactions to these conditions. It would be unthinkable for all of us to be on the upbeat all the time. Neither are we always down and out.

There are things we can do which will help us deal with life's situations in a way that will not interfere with our relationship with our Creator. The Christian is admonished to "cast all your care upon Him, for He cares for you" (1 Pet. 5:7). And, "Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your re-quests be made known to God" (Phil. 4:6). These principles applied will help us in life, but there are specific problems to which we must decide just how to apply them. The way we apply them to ourselves will make a difference in the way we feel and the way we react.

Family members can help if all will communicate their feelings, and then show our concern for one another. It takes all parties to make it work. If one has had some experience during the day that was unpleasant or physically painful and the others indicate their sympathy that will lift us up. On the other hand if there is no sympathy shown that just adds to the frustration and depressed feeling.

Prayer to God at the beginning of the day will give us strength and the confidence that things will work out if we put our trust in him. He was able to deliver the three He-brews out of the fiery furnace (Dan. 3) and Daniel out of the lion's den (Dan. 6). He is also able to help us in time of need.

When things are going well we need to realize that not everyone is experiencing the same feeling at that time. We just might need to observe this and do what we can to help them overcome their difficult time. One of the reasons we do not do this as we ought is that we are so absorbed in our own feelings that we fail to see that others have needs which we can supply. Look at the example of Jesus when he was on the cross. He was concerned about those who were responsible for his crucifixion and prayed that they might be forgiven. He also made provisions for John to take care of Mary (Luke 23:34; John 19:26-27).

Guardian of Truth XLI: 5 p. 21
March 6, 1997

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