Jump Start # 2649
Romans 8:31 “What then shall we say to theses things? If God is for us, who is against us?”
Rubel Shelly in his 1990 commentary on Luke, “A Jewish Savior through Gentile eyes,” writes on the final page, “No, Gloomy Gus was not an apostle. And the presence of Gloomy Gus or a Doleful Dorothy among his disciples today is a poor witness to the world. A failure of faith. An inconsistency.”
Wow! What powerful and needful words for today. Gloomy and Doleful seem to be the popular moods today. Jesus said, “Let not your heart be troubled.” We sing, “I serve a risen Savior,” and, “My hope is built on nothing less.” Yet, Gloomy and Doleful seem to stand in the shadows of our church buildings and they hide in the corners of our homes. Gloom, despair and agony takes our eyes off of the Lord and all we see, and all we hear and all we think about and all we talk about are the things that are wrong. I like the story of a businessman who was running late one morning. His cell phone was ringing constantly. Problems in this plant. Problems in the warehouse. Problems in scheduling. He went to his car, and it would start. He called a taxi and the phone kept ringing with more problems. The taxi showed up, he got in and told the driver to go. The driver said, “Where?” The businessman said, “Anywhere. I’ve got problems everywhere.” Gloomy and Doleful remind us of these things.
But then there is our verse today. If God is for us, who is against us? Actually, we could put some answers to that question. The Jews were against the Christians. They followed Paul from place to place and stirred things up. They cause a lot of trouble. It wasn’t just the Jews. The Romans were against the Christians. In a few short years, they would begin heavily persecuting Christians. The pagans were against the Christians. As the Gospel spread and people believed, the use of idols dropped off. The market for idolatry and the finances to run those temples fell off. And, there are always those who do not want to be told by anyone, especially God, what to do. So, they would be against the Christians.
None of those things matter. None of those things add up. None of those things move even register. If God is for us, that’s all that matters. If God is for us, it doesn’t matter who is against us. As long as we are on God’s side, everything will work out. And, if God is for us, that means we are in a wonderful relationship with Him.
This started by grace and forgiveness. As we continue to walk with the Lord, the doors of wisdom, blessings and opportunities continue to open. The fellowship of God’s people is a wonderful blessing. The invitation to work in the greatest kingdom of the world is so special. God loves us and God wants us to spend forever with Him in Heaven. That’s the top of the charts. Nothing beats that. That’s better than catching a homerun ball by your favorite player. That’s better than getting a day off of work, with pay. That’s better than surprise parties. That’s better than a vacation. All those things are nice and fun, but they always end. Heaven never ends. And, what tops Heaven is the presence of God. He is there. If God is for us, who is against us?
Gloomy Gus and Doleful Dorothy need to count their blessings. They need to lift up their eyes and see the wonderful hope that is in Christ Jesus. They need to be thankful, joyful, and busy in the kingdom. Certainly, things are not what they could be. This is earth. There will always be disappointments, let downs, failures and things that are just not right. We can see all the problems or we cans see all the good.
Why is Gus gloomy and Dorothy doleful? It could be that was the way they were raised. Some households lean towards the negative side of life. They’d rather talk about what’s wrong rather than what’s right. But, as one grows, gloomy and doleful are choices. One doesn’t have to stay that way. One can be different than their parents or even their siblings. Pour yourself into the Gospel—it’s Good News! Surround yourself with the promises and hope of God. Engage in powerful worship. Enjoy the fellowship of brethren. Count your blessings, there are so many.
If God is for us, who is against us? It’s time for Gloomy Gus and Doleful Dorothy to change their ways. They do not realize that the negative spirit is like mold on a wall—it doesn’t go away by itself and it always grows. It spreads to others. And, yes, I can say that I have worshipped in places that were gloomy and doleful. The atmosphere, the building, the attitudes, the way people walked, what they said, nothing but gloom and doom. It makes a person wonder why they don’t just shut the doors and never come back. It isn’t hard to figure out why those places remain small and after a while, mostly one family. Who wants gloom in their life? Who gets excited about worshipping in a gloomy way?
It’s time to lift up your eyes and see the wonderful things that the Savior has for you. There’s no room for gloom in a thankful, blessed heart.
How about you? Are you adding some sunlight to life or are you pulling down the shades with a spirit of gloom and doom? Hit the road gloom. You’re not welcome around here. We are the people of God and we are marching to Zion. It’s great being a child of God!