by: FCC Staff
All the days of the afflicted are evil,
But the cheerful of heart has a continual feast.
Who doesn’t like a good meal? Especially a good holiday spread, with all our favorites and good company to share it with. A feast on the other hand, well… that was a matter of great importance in the ancient world, an opportunity to not just enjoy a good meal, but to network with the host (presumably someone of importance) and their guests. Whoever was seated closest to the host was being shown the most honor. The closer you sat the more likely you could engage with the host… and being able to turn the ear of someone who was rich and powerful while they were happily feasting and in a good mood? That was a great chance to endear yourself to them and get ahead in society.
Contrast this with the beginning of our proverb for today, where the teacher of this wisdom states that all the days of the afflicted… well they are evil, bad days. Yes our disposition can affect our perceptions of the world. If you are in a negative mindset, trouble and affliction are everywhere. Stuck in a victim mentality everyone and everything is out to get you.
But when the opposite is true, when we choose to focus on the positive, life is like a continual feast. And not just any feast, a feast where God himself has invited us to his very near presence. In the old covenant times, the nearest most of God’s people ever got to his presence was the courts of his temple. But even at that relative distance the psalmist declares, “Blessed is the one you choose and bring near, to dwell in your courts! We shall be satisfied with the goodness of your house, the holiness of your temple!” (Psalm 65:4)
But in Christ we are invited even nearer to God. In Hebrews 4:16 we are told we can “with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.” What an honor to be able to draw near to the very throne of the Ruler of the universe. In prayer we can go before the very King of King and petition him to act in our interests.
When was the last time the President, one of our congressmen, even our mayor had a phone call with you… much less invited you to their office to discuss what they can do to help you when you are in need? In Christ we can have access to the most powerful being in the universe, 24/7.
But that’s not even the best part. In John’s gospel we are told, “There was reclining on Jesus' bosom one of His disciples, whom Jesus loved.” (John 13:23) Not just sitting in the place of highest honor at the King’s table but leaning right up against his chest, like a beloved family member. Because that is what we are in Christ. Sons and daughters of the King.
When we focus on all the blessings we are afforded by Jesus, our attitude can’t be anything less than amazement. Our life is truly an endless spiritual feast, and we have the very best seat in the house. All of us. So today let’s look to all the blessings of peace, joy, love, grace and mercy God has bestowed upon us, and accept them with a grateful heart. In Christ, there are truly no bad days. He will do and has done everything it takes to ensure we always have a place at his table.
Prayer for Today
Father, thank you so much for the bounty of blessings you have laid out before me in my life. Jesus, show me how to be as close to you as the disciple whom you loved. Let me be that disciple, that I can be as close to you as a son or daughter. By your Holy Spirit, keep me focused on the joy of my heart my close relationship with you Jesus. I ask all these things in your name. Amen.