The little boy lost his kite in a tree, and Grandpa said, "Could be worse."
One day Grandpa overheard the young ones complaining about how boring Grandpa was,
and that he never did anything exciting or had anything exciting happen to him.
So, he called them over and told them about what had happened to him the previous night --
how a great big bird had snatched him out of bed and carried him to the other side of the earth.
He then related how he had managed to find his way back before morning, totally exhausted.
What did the kids say?
"Could be worse!"
A lot of wisdom is bound up in that one phrase, "Could be worse."
Those kids thought Grandpa was weird because that was his answer to every problem.
But it's amazing how much comfort there is in meditating on how things might be worse than they are.
Remember, how Satan shattered the peace of Eden by creating in Adam and Eve a false need
for the tree of knowledge of good and evil.
In the same way, Satan spoils our joy by getting us to concentrate on false needs.
He causes us to think that certain things could be better for us.
"Could Be Worse" Thinking
One movement that has been touted as the solution to the lack of joy in Christians is positive thinking.We must not become like some people who are so laid back they have gone to sleep.
Positive thinkers, possibility thinkers, and others like them, are always trying to get us to think
on the positive side of things.
Now we do need to be positive people.
Positive thinkers would tell us, "Don't think negative thoughts.
Negative thoughts are destructive to your self-image.
If you want things to get better, you will have to imagine them getting better.
Picture in your mind what your life would be like if things were better.
If you do a good job of imagining the possibilities, have enough faith in your vision, and act as if
it will happen, then God will make it happen."
But what if it doesn't happen?
Then we get discontented.
Concentrating on how things could be better always makes us unhappy because no matter
how good things get, they could always be better.
You buy your dream house, which you have been waiting to do for years.
Sometimes, God presents us with a problem, not as a test of our trust in Him, but because
He wants us to do something about it.
If you are getting depressed and upset about a problem, and are continually complaining,
"Why doesn't someone do something about this?"
You are very likely the someone who should do something about it.
So if you have a burden over a real wrong that needs righting, perhaps, it's your call of opportunity
knocking at your door!
Depression -- physical causes aside -- is mainly because you are wanting what you shouldn't have
or failing to do what you know, you ought to do!
"The joy of the Lord is your strength."
Nehemiah first spoke these words to the exiles who had just returned from Babylon to Israel.
After they had built the wall and settled in their towns, everyone assembled at Jerusalem.
Ezra and the other priests read from the law, and explained the words to the people.
Many of them wept, as they listened to the words of the law.
Nehemiah told them: "Go and enjoy choice food and sweet drinks, and send some to those
who have nothing prepared.
This day is sacred to our Lord.
Do not grieve, for the joy of the Lord is your strength."
(Nehemiah 8: 10)
The joy of the Lord is still our strength!
It is the antidote to discontent.
Satan is powerless against a contented Christian.
If we, like David, are contented sheep who find our total joy in the Lord, then we will be able to
"be strong in the Lord and in His mighty power."
It's easy to say, "Be joyful. God says you ought to have the joy of the Lord."
But where does the joy of the Lord come from?
How can you get it?
To stop at the oughts does people no good.
"Yes, I ought to be joyful, but I'm not. How can I become joyful?"
This is it!
This will bring you joy!
"Draw near to God and He will draw near to you."
James tells us, "Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.
Come near to God and he will come near to you." (James 4: 7, 8)
If you want to have the joy of the Lord, it is so simple you must come near to God.
God is still in control!
Sermon by Dr. Harold L. White