Life is full of ups and downs. Psalm 107 starts with such a positive tone. Then mishaps and adventures and trials occur. Then back to rejoicing in God. It doesn’t seem to really matter your place, station, or nation in life, there are ups and downs. Even in some of the harshest conditions, people will find positive things. Part of that is just how we maintain some sort of sanity (even if it’s by our fingernails).
This certainly is not to belittle anyone’s trials and tribulations. Even in midst of grieving over the loss of a loved one, people might see God’s beautiful Creation. They might laugh at a really bad Dad joke (yes, a dad joke and a bad joke are the same thing). They might have an enjoyable meal or a great time with friends. The pain remains, but something can still be good.
Job was respected. He cared for others. He honored God. He led others.
Job fell. He was despised. He was rejected. Others sought to lead him. Yet, he honored God.
All of Acts is a series of ups and downs. While this part of Paul’s journey is really the foreshadowing of his journey to Rome and to his death, it is still filled with stories of love, caring, loyalty, and faith.
The world is indeed a dark place. Often, the only thing that can keep us sane and even happy is hope. Only hope in Jesus Christ will endure through time.
- Thinking of a dark time in your life, what were high points in the darkness? What made them that way?
- Have you ever questioned a joyful or happy moment in the midst of darkness? Did you feel as if you disrespected the time of darkness?
- What are ways that you have found to invoke light, joy, and hope in the midst of your darkness and the darkness of others?
Jesus, you are the light to the world. Help us to be the smaller lights that bring hope to the world, and glory to you. Amen.