When it comes to Jesus Christ, words like hatred and hostility are fearful words, to be sure. But there are some words that are far more fearful: indifference, apathy, lukewarmness, unconcern, disinterest, detachment, uninvolvement, disregard.
We can always move toward God. We will never come to a fork in the road where one fork will not lead us more in God’s direction than the other. And whenever we take the fork we know God would want us to take, we know we’re going toward a good “end.”
Paul said that in this life “we groan, earnestly desiring to be clothed with our habitation which is from heaven.” Whether we look at “groaning” as a good thing or a bad thing is one measure of whether we understand what the gospel is about.
If it can be difficult to wait on the Lord, it can also be joyous. Indeed, anticipation is a big part of the wholesome enjoyment of anything. So whenever it is necessary to wait on the Lord, can we not do so with joy and love and thanksgiving?
To live in this world is to know the pain of struggle and sorrow. So we can take it for granted that every person we encounter is struggling. We may not know the particulars, but it’s a safe bet that every person we meet is hurting in some way.
There is no denying that, as we grow older, our faces come to be a mirror of the contents of our hearts. “When you speak of heaven, let your face light up. When you speak of hell — well, then your everyday face will do” (Charles Haddon Spurgeon).
The world remains the same generation after generation. There is a certain context common to all men and women, no matter when and where they have lived. We experience the same joys, we suffer the same sorrows, and we encounter the same challenges.
Whatever ease and pleasure may be ours here, that should only whet our appetites for the real joys to come. And whatever difficulty or pain we may have to deal with while “on the job,” that should only increase our capacity to enjoy “quittin’ time.”
In every situation, we must ask what is the best thing that can be done, and having done what we knew was best, we must learn to be gratified by the knowledge that we’ve done the honorable thing. Integrity should be a source of joy to us.
Is love’s pain to be avoided? I know not what choice others may make, but I shall continue to keep my heart open to love. Even at the bitter end of love’s sweetness, there is no grief great enough to keep me from the clear, pure joy of having loved.