Life will always have its ups and its downs. All of us will experience both light and trying times. The rich and the poor have their own alternating share of contentment and worries.
The surface of the sea constantly changes and, is at times, unpredictable. Our life could relate with the many unpredictable changes that appear constantly. Life will always have its ups and its downs. All of us will experience both light and trying times. The rich and the poor have their own alternating share of contentment and worries.
“What do you think is the best way to react to these ups and downs?”
Interview 1: “One day at a time. Ups and downs are part of life. You gotta have the downs to have the ups.”
Interview 2: “Well, you know, that’s life, you know, there’s not always a straight and narrow road, and so you have to be prepared for whatever life throws at you. That means you have to have your faith. And what you believe in, you stand by, whatever the case may be.”
Interview 3: “But I think it’s really important to have people that support you in your life and when you have people that support you, those are the people you really want to lean on in times when your life goes down and have them still there when your life goes up.”
Interview 4: “I think you should always stay positive and try and look for a solution, and always meet everything with love and optimism.”
Interview 5: “You just take the ups and downs knowing that more are coming and try to work through them and get to the next day.”
Interview 6: “Yea, when ups and downs come to me I just don’t let really anything affect me. Obviously the ups are great, but like, when things are down, I just, it’s whatever, like I’ll get past it. Life goes on, you know.”
Interview 7: “You should probably, you should react calmly and should, I don’t know I guess, you shouldn’t overreact, you should react calmly, you shouldn’t…take things to seriously but react appropriately, it depends on the situation.”
For us to face life’s ups and downs in the way God wants us to, we need to know the way His servants should recognize these unpredictable changes we experience. Should we down ourselves in misery when we experience life’s challenges? Let’s begin our reading in the book of Job, we’ll read 3:24 and we’ll read until verse 26.
“For sighing has become my daily food; my groans pour out like water. What I feared has come upon me; what I dreaded has happened to me. I have no peace, no quietness; I have no rest, but only turmoil.”
Should we drown ourselves in misery when we experience life’s challenges? No. Constantly thinking about one’s miseries won’t drive them away. A servant of God said, “…sighing has become my daily food…I have no peace, no quietness, only turmoil.” Worrying would only make the situation worse, which would rob us of peace, quietness, and much needed rest. God does not want us to suffer; instead, He wants us to have peace.
What is the proof that God does not want us to suffer in this life? Let’s read that together in the book of Psalms. We’ll read 62:5.
“Only God gives inward peace, and I depend on him.”
What is the proof that God does not want us to suffer in this life? He wants us to have inward peace. King David reminded us, “only God gives inward peace…and I depend on Him.”
There are many examples in the Bible of people that experience bitter moments in life. One example were the Israelites. They were people who belonged to God that He allowed to be taken into captivity. What they experienced was a very dark moment in their life. Even though the Israelites experienced a bitter moment in their life, how did God comfort them?
We’ll read that together in Jeremiah. We’ll read 31:16, and we’ll keep reading ‘til 17.
“This is what the Lord says: ‘Restrain your voice from weeping and your eyes from tears, for your work will be rewarded,’ declares the Lord. ‘They will return from the land of the enemy. So there is hope for your descendants,’ declares the Lord. ‘Your children will return to their own land.”
How did God comfort the Israelites during the bitter moment of their life? He advised them not to cry, and suppress any tears they may have. Why? God reminded His people, “there is hope for you descendants, your children will return to their own land.”
The horizon may be dim and the forecast of our immediate future may seem miserable. But even in the tightest of situations God is able to bring His people out. There’s always hope for the future through God’s help. So how should true Christians regard the ups and downs of life? In I Peter 1:7, this is what we can read:
“These trials will show that your faith is genuine. It is being tested as fire tests and purifies gold – though your faith is far more precious than mere gold. So when your faith remains strong through many trials, it will bring you much praise and glory and honor on the day when Jesus Christ is revealed to the whole world.”
[I Peter 1:7]
How should true Christians regard the ups and downs of life? True Christians should welcome tests into their own experiences. Why is this? Trials show whether our faith is genuine or not. Did you notice the blessing we’ll experience if we prove that our faith is genuine? The Bible told us it will bring us much praise and glory and honor on the day when the Lord Jesus is revealed.
How else do tests benefit us? And why should we welcome them in our life? Let’s read in James 1, we’ll read 2 until verse 4.
“Dear brothers and sisters, when troubles of any kind come your way, consider it an opportunity for great joy. For you know that when your faith is tested, your endurance has a chance to grow. So let it grow, for when your endurance is fully developed, you will be perfect and complete, needing nothing.”
How else do tests benefit us? When we’re tested, our endurance has a change to grow. This molds us to be strong in character and ready for anything. Have you ever done physical exercise that made your muscles more flexible or stronger? For those who have, it’s common knowledge that the consequence of growing and improving our muscles are not always a comfortable experience. Our faith and endurance, which we want to grow, will also require us to go through situations that may make us feel uncomfortable. The result is great though, we continue to grow in endurance.
So should a son or daughter of God try to avoid tests then? Is the time of testing a time to be sad? We’ll read together in Romans. We’ll read 5:3 and we’ll keep reading ‘til verse 5.
“We can rejoice, too, when we run into problems and trials, for we know that they help us develop endurance. And endurance develops strength of character, and character strengthens our confident hope of salvation. And this hope will not lead to disappointment. For we know how dearly God loves us, because he has given us the Holy Spirit to fill our hearts with his love.”
Is the time of testing a time to be sad? No. Testing is a time to rejoice. The Bible reminded us we can rejoice too, when we run into problems and trials. So should we try to avoid tests? No. We should welcome them gladly. This is the time that our growing endurance develops strength of character, which in turn strengthens
our confident hope of salvation. Who is the one that wants us to rejoice during this time of testing?
John, we’ll read 16 and verse 33.
“I have told you all this so that you will have peace of heart and mind. Here on earth you will have many trials and sorrows; but cheer up, for I have overcome the world.”
Who is the one that wants us to rejoice during this time of testing? The Lord Jesus Christ. He knew that we would have many trials and sorrows. But what did the Lord Jesus Christ remind us? He motivates the true Christians by saying, “Cheer up, for I have overcome the world.”
The ones who have reason to be of good cheer are the true Christians. Who are the true Christians, though? Is it enough for one to claim to be a Christian to be considered a true Christian in the sight of the Lord Jesus Christ? We’ll read that together in first John, we’ll read 2 and 4.
“Someone may say, ‘I am a Christian; I am on my way to heaven; I belong to Christ.’ But if he doesn’t do what Christ tells him to, he is a liar.”
[I John 2:4]
Why is it important that we identify those who are true Christians? Because there are those who are not true Christians. The Bible informed us that there are those who claim, “I’m a Christian, I’m on my way to heaven. I belong to Christ.” But what did the Bible tell us about such people? “But if he doesn’t do what Christ tells him to, he is a liar.”
Do we want good reason to be of cheer in time of difficulty? If so, we should do what the Lord Jesus Christ commands. What is it that the Lord Jesus Christ instructed us to do so that we would be considered as true Christians? In John 10:7 and also verse 9, we’ll read the answer of the Lord Jesus Christ.
“So Jesus spoke again: In very truth I tell you, I am the door of the sheepfold…I am the door; anyone who comes into the fold through me will be safe. He will go in and out and find pasture.”
[John 10:7, 9]
What is the command of the Lord Jesus Christ that we need to do? He said, “Anyone who comes into the fold through me will be safe.” Which is the fold or flock that we need to enter in for us to be considered true Christians? We’ll read it together in Acts 20:28.
“Take heed therefore to yourselves and t o all the flock, over which the Holy Spirit has appointed you overseers, to feed the church of Christ which he has purchased with his blood.”
Which is the fold or flock that we need to enter? The Church Of Christ. The ones in the Church Of Christ, or members of it, are the true Christians that could be of good cheer despite the many trials and sufferings that we may experience in this world.
Life does have its ups and downs. There will be moments so great that we feel like we’re soaring on wings like eagles. But there will also be moments that we feel like life has hit rock bottom. When these changes happen and it is a lot for us to handle, becomes too much to bear, what do we need to remember? Who is always ready to help us, in life’s ups and downs?
We’ll read in the book of Psalms, chapter 50 and the verse is 15.
“Call to me when trouble comes; I will save you and you will praise me.”
What do we need to remember when life’s up and downs challenge us? We always have help. Who is the one who will help us? God said, “Call to Me when trouble comes.” Let’s not try to handle life’s challenges by ourselves or go through the ups and downs all alone. God promised us, “I will save you.”
His unfailing love surrounds those who trust Him. Life’s unpredictable changes will surprise us and others may be confused as to what to do. We should never worry though. God will always give us the solution.
Thank you for joining us, we’ll see you next time.