FACING THE UPS AND DOWNS OF LIFE

We all experience ups and downs in our lives. Through Christ, however, we can face all of life’s problems with an attitude of up instead of down.

Eternal Perspectives      by Sally Bair

Ups and downs  

We northerners can count on spring temps to fluctuate from hour to hour. Such is the case this past week when we went from a balmy 70 degrees to snow and wind within a day. We try to get used to it but sometimes find it hard to do.

Ups and downs occur in other areas of our lives, too. We may face rejection, disease, death of a loved one or loss of any kind. When situations improve, we may rise to the heights of happiness. Then another plunge, another rise and another until we hardly know what’s what.

The book of Judges records such situations. Leadership by an honorable judge brought happiness and well-being to the Israelites. An evil judge followed, causing the people to revert to a life of sin which brought an attack by enemies and consequent loss of their peace and joy. Such a cycle continued through thirteen judges.

We don’t have to live on an emotional roller-coaster. We can follow the example of King David, who looked to God even when he was forced to live in a cave, fearful for his life by his enemy, the former king Saul. Paul and Silas of the New Testament also faced disaster and possible death from enemies. They refused, however, to take an emotional roller-coaster ride even while chained in prison. Nor did Jesus, who faced daily threats from the Pharisees and ultimate death, yet continued to minister with joy and compassion. They took the high road.

In other words, they chose to allow their potential downs and ups turn to ops—that is, opportunities—to share God’s love with others. We can follow their example. When we look upward to God, as they did, He will lift us out of the depths of our despair and turn our downs into ops.

“I will lift up my eyes to the hills—from whence comes my help? My help comes from the Lord, who made heaven and earth.” (Psalm 121:1)

Lord, thank You for Your strength and power that turn our trials and adversities into opportunities to share Your love and bring help to others. Cause us always to choose Your Word, presence and help before we fall into the enticing pit of hopelessness over any problems we might face. Bring Paul’s words, “I can do all things through Christ Who strengthens me” (Philippians 4:13), into our thoughts whenever we encounter tests of any kind. In Jesus’ name, amen.