Thought for the week by pastor Diana Rutherford

by Struthers Cumbernauld

You will show me the way of life, granting me the joy of your presence and the pleasures of living with you forever.          Psalm 16:11

There is too much negative thinking in the world. Some people seem to be born with a pessimistic view of life: defeated before they begin to fight; victims from birth.

It’s true that some have a harder lot in life than others. Some are born into difficult family homes where addiction and violence are the norm. We who have been blessed with good parents and a steady, safe home environment cannot begin to understand how difficult it must be to remember an unhappy, turbulent childhood.

But we do know one thing: that in Christ there is peace and happiness. This verse captivates for me the answer to all our problems. I do truly believe that if we put this into practice it will change our negative thinking to positive, our defeatist attitude to one of optimism and we will no longer be the victim in a series of unhappy circumstances.

You may ask, ‘What? As easy as that?’ And yes, the truth is, the moment we look up to Him He will come to our aid.

‘You will show me the way of life...’

If someone shows us the way to something we have to look where they are looking and pointing. This immediately takes our eyes off ourselves, our circumstances and the ‘poor me’ attitude. God, the Lord, is showing us the way; have the decency to look up and see where He is pointing. He will never point you to darkness, confusion, sin or failure: instead He points us to light, clarity, purity and Christ. Simply by taking that first step, our eyes, no longer on the failures that surround us, are now on the Lord.

He shows us the path to life. The meaning of life in the dictionary is ‘continual change’. No longer the same boring, dreary life. No longer the victim of circumstances but now the joy and pleasure of continual change. A life filled with vitality, throbbing with an inner energy of being in touch with God.

We immediately enter into the second part of this verse:

‘granting me the joy of your presence...’

The moment we truly enter the presence of the Lord there is a change inside us: like switching on a light in a room, our lives are flooded with His light. Everything becomes clearer. The darkness and confusion that swirled around us only a few minutes ago has gone and we find peace. We cannot help but feel happier because we are in His presence. Our problems may not have disappeared but we are no longer staring at these awful circumstances like one caught in a trap. Those who live a victorious Christian life are those who practice this presence all the time. They learn, no matter what happens in life, to keep looking up. Christ will show them the way of life.

‘the pleasures of living with you...’

It becomes an absolute pleasure to simply be alive and live with God. Mundane day to day tasks that have to be done, that once filled you with boredom, become a simple pleasure because you are surrounded with His presence. He has promised to be with us always and all the day long. Simply to know that the living God is with you, within you, living your life, breathing peace within your soul, makes life an absolute pleasure. When He really fills your gaze nothing phases you. It’s like two who fall deeply in love, nothing matters as long as they can be together. As long as God is with you, life itself is a pleasure. Gone are the old days of being a victim, a defeated human being. Now, we get up each morning with joy, knowing we can spend our lives in the company of our Creator, our Heavenly Father. We know His protection, His guidance and His companionship all day long.

And the best of all is the little word at the end of this verse, ‘forever’. He who never changes, who never breaks a promise, will always be with us, bringing joy and pleasure as we turn and allow Him to show us the way of life.