God would have His own to learn to be joyous as much as He enables us to be so (Phl 4:4; Jhn 16:24; 1Jo 1:4). For those choosing to remain unbelievers, the Gospel is a Sword of conflict in administering to them discouragement and separation from His Body (Mat 10:34); for the believer it’s the Sword of peace administering encouragement and joy amidst the enmity God has placed (Rom 8:7) between us and unbelievers, especially when concerning the sadness of separation between unbelieving friends and families (Jhn 14:27).
Our Father would not have His children burdened about circumstances. He is here working, and His peace keeps our hearts and minds through Christ Jesus, where we give Him His honor and our trust. But even this is not all, for there are other things which claim and test us besides anxieties and cares. There is or ordinary Christian life; what can strengthen that?
Here is the word, the apostolic counsel: “Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true” (Phil 4:8). There may not be many bright spots, but there are some; am I not to think of them? This is what I am called upon to do—to be quick of discernment, seeing not what is bad but what is good. “Whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are lovely, and whatsoever things are of good repot: if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things (v 8).
Our consciences can answer whether these are the things we are most apt to think about. If we are swift to hear not of these things but instead all that is painful, while slow to hear whatever is of God, the consequence is, instead of having the God of peace as our companion (mentally—NC) , we have ourselves and others hindered by evil thought and communications. For that which the soul wants (the believer’s soul—NC) is only what is good. We are not exhorted to be learned in the iniquity of the world and church, but “wise unto that which is good and simple concerning evil” (Rom 6:19).
God has given those whom He qualifies to judge evil—spiritual men who can take it up as a duty to Him, and with sorrow and love toward those concerned—but these God employs, among other purposes, for the sake of keeping His saints in general out of the need of such tasks. It is happy that we are not all called upon to search and pry into evil, seeing and hearing its details; but that, while the Lord may graciously interfere to guard us from being mistaken, our proper wisdom is growing in what is according to God.
Why, ordinarily, should a simple child of God occupy himself, for instance, with a bad book (or even sad—NC) or a false teacher? It is enough for us if we have good ground to know that a thing is mischievous, and all we have then to do is to avoid it. If, on the contrary I know of something good, it has a claim on love and respect; is in not only for myself but for others. We’re never right if we shut up our hearts from the sympathy of Christ with the members of His Body, or the workings of the Spirit here below.
If there were even a poor (spiritually speaking—NC) Roman Catholic Priest, who knew and brought out the truth of God more plainly than others, let us say, “Can any good thing come out of Nazareth” (insinuating God can manifest His goodness anywhere—NC)?
It is of great importance that we should have largeness of heart to think of all that is good, wherever it may be!
—Wm Kelly (1821-1906)
MJS devotional – Sep. 2:
"The one purpose our Father has in view, in all His ways, is to conform us to the image of His Son. This may explain our perplexities as to the past; it will govern our behavior in the present; it is to be our guide in the future. The chief concern of our Lord is not to instruct us about a multitude of details, not to explain to us the reason for the trials which we are called to pass through. He is working out everything to serve His one supreme aim in manifesting the character of His Son in His saints." -H.F.
"The God-given experiences of the Spirit’s working within many a time passes away, and leaves the believer apparently dull and dead. This is only until the double lesson has been fully learned: (1) that a living faith can rejoice in the Living God, even when all feeling and experience appear to contradict the truth (Rom. 8:28, 29); and (2) that the Divine life only predominates as the life of the old man is held in the place of death, inoperative (Rom. 6:11a). The life of the Lord Jesus is revealed as His death works in us (2 Cor. 4:11, 12), and as in weakness and nothingness we look to Him (2 Cor. 3:18)." -A.M.http://www.abideabove.com/hungry-heart/