Lesson 6 -- third quarter 1996
July 7, 1996
by Mark Roth
© Copyright 1996, Christian Light Publications
Gravity. Ozone layer. Oxygen. Water. Photosynthesis. Light. Oxidation. Magnetism. Electricity. Liver. Nerves. These and so many other things function or stay together without any guidance or oversight from me. God is in control! God makes sure everything operates according to His plan. I needn't fret about them. So I don't. I trust God's faithfulness completely. Since this holds so true in these areas of my life, why can I not make it true in all areas of my life?
God provides for the plants and animals of His creation. God watches over them. When a sparrow falls, the Father is there. So I know that God cares for me and provides for me. However, circumstances can really distract me. And I fret and fume more. I trust and rest less. The solution? A choice and a commitment--read on.
"I will be glad in the Lord." I don't feel very glad right now. I still haven't finished this project; it should have been done by now. So I came out to school to find some peace and quiet, so I could really make some progress. I got here four hours ago, and only now am I getting to this! To get a door unlocked I had to undo someone else's inadvertent goof. Finally, I remedied that. But now I'm even farther behind on this writing project. Can you understand why I do not feel very glad at the moment? I shall have to decide whether to allow these perturbed feelings to control me and influence my day and disposition.
"I will be glad in the Lord." This is a good verse for me after this frustrating morning. I don't have to feel glad before I can have a glad disposition! This verse sounds like a statement of choice. What a challenge! I can make the choice to disregard my circumstances and my feelings. I can decide to be glad in the Lord.
"I will be glad in the Lord." This also sounds like a commitment. Regardless of everything else, I will be glad in the Lord. He doesn't change; He is always in charge. So whatever happens, this verse affirms the soul's decision to make the Lord the anchor and foundation of its gladness. Circumstances and feelings are too uncertain, fickle and tenuous to warrant basing my gladness on them.
Shall I then be a hypocrite and pretend to be glad? No, I shall be obedient and act in glad manners. I will watch my tongue, lest it be sharp. I will maintain vigil over my lips, lest they pout or bend downward. I will refuse to complain or criticize. I will not mope or indulge in self pity. I will do what I can to make the most and the best of my present situation. That is not hypocrisy, that is obedience! That is not psychology, that is living acceptance of God's clear promise in Proverbs 16:3 -- "Commit thy works unto the LORD, and thy thoughts shall be established."
I believe that if I choose to live with the disposition God wants me to have, He will eventually work in my soul to help me feel right. God wants me to commit myself to manifest works that fulfill His purposes and match His ways. He in turn commits Himself to deal with my uncooperative and distracted thoughts and feelings.
"I will be glad in the Lord." This is a choice, not a feeling! Once again I take up the challenge to keep my focus on the Lord, and let Him be the source of my gladness. I renew my determination to live life above life's distractions. Join me?
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