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Devotionals

The Weekly Focal Point - January 10

Outlook & Attitude

It doesn’t take long to discover that the Christian life is certainly not a continuous experience of fun and laughter. And yet, we ought to be careful to acknowledge a serious problem when our Christian life deteriorates into a chronic series of joyless days and melancholy weeks. While we’re obviously not exempt from severe loss and terrible pain, even then our grief ought to be tempered by an evident dose of optimism and confidence. Because of our secured relationship with God through Christ “we don’t grieve as others do who have no hope” (1 Thessalonians 4:13). Even when facing the worst of potential outcomes we can expectantly say, “For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain” (Philippians 1:21). This perspective needs to be more than an undetectable philosophy tucked somewhere in the back of our minds. Luke tells us that when Paul and Silas sat locked in stocks in a Philippian jail their hearts and their voices were found “singing hymns to God” (Acts 16:25). When you find that capacity lost because you’ve given yourself over to pessimism and despair, you need to remember Scripture’s warning of discipline to those who do “not serve the Lord your God with joyfulness and gladness of heart” (Deuteronomy 28:47). No, not every day will be “a good one” but let us remember that our biggest problems were solved two thousand years ago and the happiness Christ has stored up for his disciples can never be taken away (1 Peter 1:3-9). So no matter what your week looks like, serve and worship God today with optimism and joy.

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