Anti-Resolution #2 -Embrace positivity?Or maybe bad things can be good for me.
Today's society tells us to spread positivity, think positive thoughts, and ban negative vibes...the reality though? Negative things can actually bring us closer to God.
"Sorrow is better than laughter, because a sad face is good for the heart." Ecclesiastes 7:3
Anti-Resolution #2- Embrace both the positive and the negative, understanding that sorrow can be good for me.
"Godly sorrow brings repentance that leads to salvation and leaves no regret, but worldly sorrow brings death." 2 Corinthians 7:10
When reflecting on statements that circulate in the Christian world that really bother me, this one immediately came to mind. It bothers me not because it isn't something I don't want- I think it's safe to say that we all want happy, positive lives- myself included. It simply bothers me because of how unbiblical it is. Yes, the Bible speaks of joy, peace, the promises of God, blessing, abundance...but somewhere along the way it's almost like we forgot that it just as often speaks of trials, sorrows, troubles, temptations...and it says these things are good!
The bible speaks of sorrow, and it speaks of it quite highly I might add. Sorrow, which often arises from "negativity"- can produce character, godliness, holiness, and most important of all- repentance in our lives. "Lighthearted, frivolous people are always shallow and are never aware of their own meagerness or lack of depth. Sorrow is God's tool to plow the depths of the soul, that it may yield richer harvests." (Streams in the Desert, LB Cowman).
Sorrow can cause us to stop and evaluate. It can cause us to consider our own lack and need for God. Sorrow can knock us off the high horses that we so often elevate ourselves to. It can bring much needed humility to our souls. So why do we run from it? Well, in short, because it sucks. It's never fun to be sad, but as the saying goes, were it not for the night- we would never see the stars...and were it not for sorrow, we might never know the fullness of God's comfort and presence. Many of God's called and anointed knew this well. Many of them would not have had the depth and maturity of soul without their times of grief and struggle. Joseph knew years of sorrow in prison before he could be used of God in such a high position. Jesus himself was "a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief" (Isaiah 53:3). These sorrows led him to be a high priest who can sympathize with His people (Hebrews 4:15). And so, if we are to truly be used by God and live fruitful lives, it is the sorrow we feel, the trials we endure, and the grief we bear that allows us to experience truly rich and impactful ministry. After all, all the best stories are filled with both sorrows and triumphs.
Don't shoot me down- we still must have joy!
So does this mean we walk around bummed out, self-flagellating, weeping for the cause? Far from it! The Bible also speaks of joy unspeakable and the beauty of it is that God promises us this in spite of and even during our troubles.
"Weeping may endure for a night, but joy comes in the morning." Psalm 30:5
It is the hope of His visitation that keeps us because truly "In (His) presence is fullness of joy" (Psalm 16:11).
If you're going through a season of sorrow, don't try to avoid it, shortcut around it or remove any aspect of negativity from your life. Learn the lessons that sorrow offers, and most importantly remember to HOPE for the joy that is promised from His presence!