John 12:25 “He who loves his life will lose it, and he who hates his life in this world will keep it for eternal life.”
I’ve focused a lot of attention lately on those who suffer from anxiety and fear, it seems that everywhere I turn there is another reminder of current events that cause this response. Then there are those that just don’t seem to be phased by anything, they often avoid watching the nightly news so they aren’t inundated with the constant reports of death and disease, if someone tries to share some information that is depressing, they just don’t want to hear it. These types of people brush off trouble as if it will never come their way and if it does, they only adjust and move on like it was a hiccup not worth their concern.
When I read this short passage in John, I’m reminded that I need to keep a right perspective on life. Some may say that looking at life through rose colored glasses only keeps you from having a well balanced perspective, and they may be true, but holding such a position sure seems like a happier position to be in.
For those that choose to see the world through a particular lens, it can be difficult to understand someone who is depressed. I talked with my Father-in-law about this at one time, he was never naive but he seemed to choose to look at life for what it brought and not what it took away. He told me once that when he would meet someone that was depressed he said he didn’t understand it, he would say, “just cheer up, be happy”, and he would try to encourage them on what to maintain their focus on. It wasn’t until years later when he was suffering with fibromyalgia and was dealing with a chemical depression that he said he just couldn’t pull out of, that he realized the solution wasn’t always as easy as changing your perspective.
Being happy or cheerful can be a product of the joy within that arises from having a new lease on life that only Jesus brings, or it can be a contrived happiness that is forced and it through sheer determination to maintain a certain countenance. Typically, for those who try to ‘will’ themselves to be happy, there is a big fall that is coming and when it hits, it can be catastrophic.
Matthew 19:29 “And every one that hath forsaken houses, or brethren, or sisters, or father, or mother, or wife, or children, or lands, for my name’s sake, shall receive an hundredfold, and shall inherit everlasting life.”
When it comes to this life, we see a different perspective from God’s position. He is saying, if you try to hold onto this life,(like it’s so important that it means everything to you), then you are eventually going to lose it. You see, this life carries no eternal value to it on it’s own. The endpoints of a life is lived only for the sake of happiness results in loss.
What do you lose?
You lose eternity…
There is an eternal consequence to the decisions we make in life. We are subject to an eternal God who judges both the living and the dead, it is at His throne to which we will all eventually congregate and be held accountable for the deeds we have done in this life.
This is God’s Universe, this is His world, we were made by Him and for Him, and through Him exists all that we see. It is God’s standard of righteousness by which we will be held accountable, and it was through His sacrifice we have been redeemed from death.
Jesus came to give us true life…
John 12:26 “If anyone serves Me, let him follow Me; and where I am, there My servant will be also. If anyone serves Me, him My Father will honor.”
Rose Colored Glasses
Seeing the world the way you ‘want’ to see it can lead you down a path that brings nothing but trouble. Seeing the world through the eyes of Jesus, brings to light the reality of our purpose, the hope of eternity, and the newness of life that can hear the worst reports, the most awful news and still have joy.
In John 16, Jesus was preparing His disciples for His eventual death and the trouble that was about to come upon them…it was bad news. He was preparing them so that when these things came about, they would not be naive but would have a right perspective.
John 16:33 “These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.”
We have not been left alone in this dark world, Emmanuel is with us wherever we will go and He promises to be with us until the end.
*We need not fear bad news–Jesus is on the throne.
*We need not shy away from trouble—Jesus will be with us every step of the way.
*We don’t need to fear death—there will be joy in the morning.
True joy and happiness comes to those who have found their identity in Christ alone. His water of life bursts forth in the soul of those who have placed their trust in Him. If you stumble, get up! Knowing that He is still on the path that He has prepared for you, waiting for you to follow.
God’s path leads you home. When you arrive, you’ll see His loving arms welcoming you into His presence and all that His eternal hope provides. Keep this right perspective and the rose colored glasses will be real.