Respond with Gladness, Even If and When

Missing the Point

Respond with Gladness - A Studio 1-37 Original ImageSometimes we just don’t get it. Other times the words tangle up and what we meant to say or how we wanted to respond isn’t clear. Maybe our reactions just weren’t how we wished they were. Or as Allan Greenspan said, ”I know you think you understand what you thought I said but I’m not sure you realize that what you heard is not what I meant.” Do you find yourself misunderstood? It seems to happen everywhere, even at church.

I love to read church bulletin and sign bloopers. They are always so funny in retrospect but not so much when printed with all the seriousness of the situation. Yet with just the twist of a word or missing grammar, the entire concept just misses the point. Sometimes it seems difficult to say what we mean. Take, for instance, this announcement in a bulletin notice from a church in Iowa:

The Low Self-Esteem Support Group will meet Thursday from 7 to 8:30 P.M.  Please use the back door.

 Or this announcement in another church’s bulletin that read:

Due to the Pastor’s illness, Wednesday’s healing services will be discontinued until further notice.

Perhaps this church’s informational announcement needed a bit of editing before printing:

This week’s Sunday Evening Service Topic will be ”What is Hell?”Â Come early and hear the choir practice.

Responding to Misunderstandings

Sometimes when we speak or respond it does warrant a chuckle but other times it is just misunderstanding, lack of knowledge, or the overwhelming crush of the world and its ideals. Life is very complicated and it is so often misunderstood by all of us. Responding in faith is difficult to do when the trial and troubles come. This is especially true when you allow the light of Christ to shine in the darkness. So you must be prepared for not only the trials of life but your response must be secure and ready.

This past February, an Arizona college student was ordered to leave class by his professor because he was reading the Bible before class began. The student often arrived early to class and used this time to read prior to class beginning. This encounter between the professor and student was not the first misunderstanding they had between differing viewpoints. The student’s eventual response was to withdraw from the class. We live in a troubled world and one in which misunderstandings can quickly ensue.

Today’s Christian stance is often seen an intolerable, rigid, and out of line with the world’s popular view. How we respond to misunderstandings is not only our witness to the world but it is also our blessing. So often our first response is, ”Why me?” but we need to revamp our responses with a new set, aligning closely with our faith and responding instead with, ”Even if”.

So be truly glad. There is wonderful joy ahead, even though you have to endure many trials for a little while. 1 Peter 1:6 (NLT)

How to Respond

When you practice your responses you should consider including 3 necessary security reminders.

  1. Respond with knowledge and trust knowing that God knows, plans, and directs your life for the good. (Romans 8:28) He is leading you to a better future.
  2. Hold on tightly to what you know is true and do not give up or give in.
  3. Be brave in your response knowing that Christ is the Savior and in Him, you do not need to fear or be afraid. (Psalm 23) Christ will carry you through everything.

The contemporary Christian group, Mercy Me, has a beautiful song that echoes the necessary sentiments of response or responding with gladness even if there are problems and trials to face. Knowing that God can rescue but does not always choose to do so can challenge even the most faithful believer. But the best response should be to still sing, ”It is well with my soul” even if He doesn’t rush in and relieve your pain.

Even If (Lyrics) – Mercy Me

They say sometimes you win some
Sometimes you lose some
And right now, right now I’m losing bad
I’ve stood on this stage night after night
Reminding the broken it’ll be alright
But right now, oh right now I just can’t

It’s easy to sing
When there’s nothing to bring me down
But what will I say
When I’m held to the flame
Like I am right now

I know You’re able and I know You can
Save through the fire with Your mighty hand
But even if You don’t
My hope is You alone

They say it only takes a little faith
To move a mountain
Well good thing
A little faith is all I have, right now
But God, when You choose
To leave mountains unmovable
Oh give me the strength to be able to sing
It is well with my soul

You’ve been faithful, You’ve been good
All of my days
Jesus, I will cling to You
Come what may
”˜Cause I know You’re able
I know You can

I know You’re able and I know You can
Save through the fire with Your mighty hand
But even if You don’t
My hope is You alone
I know the sorrow; I know the hurt
Would all go away if You’d just say the word
But even if You don’t
My hope is You alone

It is well with my soul
It is well, it is well with my soul

Songwriters: Bart Marshall Millard / Benjamin Glover / Crystal Lewis / David Arthur Garcia / Tim Timmons Even If lyrics © Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC, Music Services, Inc.

Responding Even If

Gather up your faith and be ready to respond no matter the outcome with, ”It is well with my soul” because gladness is found in the wonderful joy ahead. God is able and He does care, so cling tightly to your belief in knowing that if God doesn’t respond like you hope He does that your hope remains in Him.

Challenge yourself to respond with assurance, endurance, and fortitude in the face of trials. Your conviction roots itself in the joy that is yours to come. Find your motivation and comfort in knowing that God is always in control, in charge, and He will do what is best for His plan.

Love in Christ,

E.J.

Postscript

Our brightest blazes of gladness are commonly kindled by unexpected sparks.

Samuel Johnson

Extra Study

Romans 5:2, James 1:2, 1 Peter 1:3-9

Credits 
Showalter, B. (2017, May 2). News - Christian Student Told to Leave Class For Reading the Bible Before Class Started. Retrieved from Christian Post: http://www.christianpost.com/news/christian-student-told-to-leave-class-for-reading-bible-before-class-started-182344/

What are your thoughts? Join in the Discussion

How do you respond to the troubles and trials of life? Have you ever had a misunderstanding that left you questioning where is God? Join in the discussion on how to respond with gladness even if things don’t go your way.

How God is working through your life?