Experiencing The Ups & Downs Of Life

Our current sermon series is titled “Ups and Downs,” yet as we’ve been studying the life of David, we’ve mostly just been looking at the “ups.” Hang in there, the downs are coming! Downs are a part of life. They are not a fun part, but they are part of the reality of living in this sin-filled world.

Generally, humans don’t do a great job of dealing with the downs in life. We do many things in our culture to numb pain. In fact, we are the most addicted, in debt, overweight, and medicated country in the history of the world. Think about that. I don’t like pain and you don’t like pain. Most of us would do whatever we can to avoid pain. But how is that working out for us?

Jesus said, “The thief comes only to steal, kill, and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full” (John 10:10).

When I think about having “life to the full,” I first think about happiness, joy, and peaceful moments. But the truth is a full life experiences the full span of emotions, the ups and the downs.

Oswald Chambers says, “If we were never depressed, we would not be alive—only material things don’t suffer depression. If human beings were not capable of depression, we would have no capacity for happiness and exaltation.”

It seems to me that the full life must experience the ups and downs of this world. And the Church should be a place for people on both ends of the spectrum.

When talking about Church, Brene Brown has an enlightening observation. “People often come to church to numb pain, but church is a lot less like an epidural, and more like a midwife that encourages you and sits with you through the pain.”

Pain, depression, and difficulty must be faced head on, and like a midwife, the Church can sit with, listen to, and encourage as someone experiences something hard. Pain often births new life, and new life can bring unexpected joy! Ups and downs!

Jesus has come so that we may have life, and have it to the full. Whether you are living in the ups or downs of life, I pray we as a Church can experience the full life together.