There is a passage of Scripture that describes Abraham as the archetype of faith. Abraham is the pattern we all follow. He trusted God; God gave him a right relationship, a right position, approval and a new identity, because of his faith. We all follow that pattern.
The passage continues. Faith brings us into joy. First, we have joy because of our right relationship. We are back where we should be. We have peace with god. We have confidence in our relationship with him. Somehow, we will share his glory. Our position and relationship with God should fill us with joy.
We should also have joy in our experience. Even in the midst of negativity. Having joy when everything is going good is easy. When things are going bad, it is a different story. But the writer wants to correct our view of negativity.
The view of negativity then (and it is still a common view today) is that bad things are punishment by God. This passage refutes this view, at least for God';s children. The view presented in this passage of the Bible is:
- This present existence is short and temporary. Our hearts should not be given to the temporary. Our hearts should be given to the permanent.
- God uses the temporary to prepare us for the permanent. When we obey God, in the midst of negativity, We learn to persevere. And perseverance is one of the character traits of God. So, living rightly in the midst of negativity leads to transformation.
- The primary reason we experience joy in the midst of negativity is that God loves us. And to demonstrate that fact, going beyond, but including the cross, he has given us his Spirit to dwell with all who give him allegiance. He chooses to walk with us in each step, each phase and each experience. He chooses to give close, personal attention to our training, transformation and resourcing. He chooses to give life to what is dead. He chooses to raise up what is failing in our lives.
If there is negativity in our lives, consider how God wants us to think, speak and act, and give you heart toward living that way, because God is in the midst of a systems upgrade.