By J.F. Dancer. Jr.
There is a tendency on the part of most of us to see only the bad in this life. Part of this can be blamed on our own news media who seem to think that for a thing to be “news” it must be bad! Part can be blamed on our own negative thinking. We need to look at the good in life. No, we cannot ignore the sin and expect it to go away but we can keep out eyes on the Lord and on doing his will.
The January 1984 issue of Pulpit Helps had this little note that is worthy of consideration: “Thirty million couples in the U.S. have been married ten years or more without a divorce! Over ten million teenagers in America have never tried marijuana or any form of dope and twice that number have never been arrested or accused of breaking any law!”
Why should we learn to think about good more than evil? So we won’t become so despondent that we give up all hope of finding any good. Paul encouraged the saints at Philippi to learn to think properly (Phil. 4:8,9). He wanted them to find happiness in serving God and to rejoice in all the good that they received from God’s hand. He was not encouraging them to ignore the sin of the world. He is not saying, “. . . . life is a bed of roses.” But he is saying that saints can find happiness in this life if they trust God and that they can make some changes by teaching the gospel of Christ to the lost. It is the power of God lo save (Rom. 1: 16,17) and thus the power of God to change the world. Paul was a prisoner at the time he wrote this letter, but he is not despondent, he is not bitter, he does not feel that serving God is a waste of effort and time. He is happy to be a Christian (in spite of his sufferings) and wants all to be as he is with the exception of some of his problems (Acts 26:29). Yes, he had learned to look on the bright side of life! He had learned to look to Jesus, the author and finisher of his faith (Heb. 12:2).
Sin abounds (Rom. 3:23) and contaminates us all. But one can be forgiven and cleansed of the guilt of sin (Mk. 16:15,16). Satan is powerful and has many followers but the God John served is more powerful than Satan (1 Jn. 4:4). People must see the ages of sin are not something to be desired (Rom. 6:23) and that the gift of God is above all we could ask or think (Rom. 6:23; Eph. 3:20). This will not remove all sin from the world. It is not going to take away all afflictions in this life. Satan is alive and doing well on the earth but his end is coming and he knows it very well!
Yes, we must learn to look for the good in the lives of our fellow men. We must seek good and do it. Faith in God and in His word will help us in this. But we must learn to look on the bright side of things. We must look to Jesus and to His word. We must obey that word and one day we will be rewarded.
Guardian of Truth XXVIII: 9, p. 268Z
May 3, 1984