As we hunker in the bunker and wait for the Death Angel to pass over it’s good to remember that being negative is positively one of the worst things we can do. Not only is it a waste of time, it’s depressing. God tells us in many ways “Do not worry” more times than He tells us “Do not steal.” And we all know what stealing is. Can any one of us by worrying add a single hour to our life or add an inch to our height?
As with almost anything that happens it doesn’t take long for Christians to start asking, “Do you think these are signs of the End Times?” The Bible tells us we’ve been in the End Times at least since the writing of the book of Hebrews in the New Testament. All I can do is repeat what Luke told us so long ago, “Now when these things begin to happen, look up and lift up your heads, because your redemption draws near.”
Wars and pandemics shake our world. In a moment we’re in a brave new world wondering, “Will we ever get back to the way it was?” Things can seem so dark, so forbidding, so bleak it’s easy to lose our focus on Christ and the life He’s given us in the middle of so much sickness and death. If we focus on the negative, we may lose sight of the positive reality: Christ triumphed over death. He conquered it through His death on the cross where He died so we may live.
He lived a life of love and perfection. He died a death of hate and rejection. He rose to share joy and perfection. Jesus Christ our Lord and Savior. Accept Him and find life. Reject Him and reject life.
God is so vast yet so personal, so sublime yet so simple. We are His creation, yet He adopts us as children. He sustains the universe and all that’s in it, yet we ask Him to find us a parking space at MegloMart. The wisest humans who’ve ever lived could never devise a system of religious rules or disciplines that can lead us through the snare of the flesh to the liberation of the spirit. Or, as Paul expresses it, “For in Christ, neither our most conscientious religion nor disregard of religion amounts to anything. What matters is something far more interior: faith expressed in love.”
In these times of stress, we need to stand strong, keep our eyes on the prize, and refuse to waver. The government may try to become our all in all but believing that will be the surest way to fall. We may be riveted on the daily briefings and the emergency alerts in the natural, but in the spirit we need to turn our eyes upon Jesus. Look full in His wonderful face. And the things of earth will grow strangely dim in the light of His glory and grace
“Don’t be misled no one makes a fool of God. What a person plants, he will harvest. The person who plants selfishness, ignoring the needs of others — ignoring God! — harvests a crop of weeds. All he’ll have to show for his life is weeds! But the one who plants in response to God, letting God’s Spirit do the growth work in him, harvests a crop of real life, eternal life.”
Here’s some good advice from the days of a war long ago which was also based on truths from the Bible:
Johnny Mercer began his #1 hit by saying, “Gather ’round me, everybody.
Gather ’round me while I’m preachin.’ Feel a sermon comin’ on me. The topic will be sin and that’s what I’m ag’in’. If you wanna hear my story
then settle back and just sit tight while I start reviewin’ the attitude of doin’ right”
Then he crooned:
You’ve got to accentuate the positive
eliminate the negative
Latch on to the affirmative
But don’t mess with mister in-between
You’ve got to spread joy up to the maximum
Bring gloom down to the minimum
have faith, a pandemonium
Libel to walk up on the scene
To illustrate my last remark
Jonah in the Whale, Noah in the ark
What did they do
just when everything looked so dark
They said we better
accentuate the positive
eliminate the negative
latch on to the affirmative
But don’t mess with mister in-between.
As I reflect upon the Resurrection, I can see this is still good advice today.