The Standard January 12, 2023
At the end of the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus says, “… love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, that you may be children of your Father in heaven. He causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous.” (Matthew 5:44-45) In this world, the just as well as the unjust have both joys and sorrows. Indeed, we all face bad news and difficulties at some points. Even those who routinely do good deeds might face opposition for doing what is right.
There is no magic formula to make life become completely smooth, but there is a way to be anchored securely in the correct path. The arrival of bad news does not plunge us into fear when we remember God’s goodness and love. “Praise the Lord. Blessed are those who have respect for the Lord. They find great delight when they obey God’s commands. Their children will be powerful in the land. Because they are honest, their children will be blessed. Their family will have wealth and riches. They will always be blessed for doing what is right. Even in the darkness light shines on honest people. It shines on those who are kind and tender and godly. Good things will come to those who are willing to lend freely. Good things will come to those who are fair in everything they do. Those who do what is right will always be secure. They will be remembered forever. They aren’t afraid when bad news comes. They stand firm because they trust in the Lord. Their hearts are secure. They aren’t afraid. In the end they will see their enemies destroyed. They have spread their gifts around to poor people. Their good works continue forever. They will be powerful and honored.” (Psalm 112:1-9)
Being rooted in God’s priorities gives new meaning to each endeavor we undertake. Dealing honestly and generously with those around us makes for a less encumbered, more peaceful life. The freedom we enjoy by living with integrity can’t be matched and the ripple effects of good deeds will go on and on.