Ups and Downs (1)
(James 5:13) Is any among you afflicted? Let him pray. Is any merry? Let him sing psalms.
Life has its ups and downs and its hills and valleys. It’s great when we find ourselves on the peak of life’s experiences, but we soon realize that after every peak is a valley. God’s word declares that He is the God of the hills and valleys (1 Kings 20). There’s no place where we can flee from His presence. Whether we ascend into heaven or make our bed in hell, God will be there (Psa 139:7-12). It’s like a Ferris wheel. How exciting to go up to the top and to be able to look out for miles. But no sooner are you going down and getting butterflies. And then up you go again for another thrill and chill!
At times we are afflicted and at times we are merry. What should we do? James tells us what to do: pray and sing. Pray when you’re going down and sing when you’re on top. Either way you are in communication with the Lord. Trials increase my prayer life and blessings make me sing. So no matter what, the Lord has my attention. Ups and downs never stop, but don’t worry; the Lord’s mercies never cease (Lam 3:22).
God keeps us steady and unshaken (Psa 55:22). Like Paul we can be venerated one day and stoned the next (Acts 14:11-20). One day the crowds resounded hosannas to Jesus and shortly after were asking Him to be crucified (Mat 21:9, 27:22). Ups and downs, hills and valleys can be translated into pray and sing, pray and sing. Why can Christians be so positive about life’s experiences? Well, you see, one of these days our mountain peak will last forever. Jesus will come and we will be “caught up” (raptured) in the air to forever be with the Lord (1 Thes 4:16-18). No going down after that. It’s up, up and away in His beautiful balloon of love.
Keep on praying soldier, and keep on singing, and I’ll see you at the top!