From time to time, I hear people criticizing Christianity as being too negative. They often point to the “legalistic” rules of the Bible, the “hell fire and brimstone” preaching, or the conservative lifestyle of its followers as reasons for rejecting the message of God. The very words Baptist or Christian scare them. They fear that an acceptance of Bible truth will make their lives miserable and lonely.
Once, when I was preaching an anniversary service for a church, I joined the church family on Saturday morning as they were endeavoring to knock on every door in their town. The pastor dropped me off at some apartment buildings, and I started down the short entrance to the building to knock on some doors. As I approached the first building, a middle-aged woman came out of her apartment. I greeted her with a friendly, “Good morning,” but she brushed past me, scowled gruffly, and uttered a few choice words. I chalked it up to her probably having a rough morning and proceeded to the first door.
When I got to the upper floor of the second building, I could see across the street from the apartments where I was working. I noticed this same lady sitting in a chair in front of a small white building that appeared to be some kind of a business. I thought, “Maybe I’ll get a chance to speak with her again if I cross the street on my way back to the car.” When I finished the apartments about an hour later, I headed across the street, but, to my dismay, she was gone.
As I walked past that little white building, I noticed the sign: “Religious Science—The Center for Positive Living.” I’m still not sure if that woman ran the place or was there to receive help, but either way, it was ironically humorous to me. I couldn’t help but rejoice in what Christ has done in my life. In John 10:10, Jesus said, “…I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.” First John 5:12 reminds us, “He that hath the Son hath life; and he that hath not the Son of God hath not life.”
I’m sure glad that I don’t have to depend upon “science” or “religion” or some kind of “positive mental attitude” to enjoy life now and forever! Jesus Christ, in every way and for all eternity, meets every need that we have. Paul declares in 2 Timothy 1:10, “But is now made manifest by the appearing of our Saviour Jesus Christ, who hath abolished death, and hath brought life and immortality to light through the gospel.”
If your joy is running on empty and life has you discouraged—look to Jesus! He is the Author and Finisher of our faith. Your problems may seem unique, and your hope may be fading in the rearview mirror of life, but the answer is not found in a change of circumstances.
“For in him dwelleth all the fullness of the Godhead bodily. And ye are complete in him…” (Colossians 2:9–10). The Psalmist of old found that in the midst of adversity—God was all he needed, “Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies: thou anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over” (Psalm 23:5). Look up! Before you can look back down, your cup will be running over.