Lately, it’s been easy to be negative.

People are stuck in their homes, school is out early with restless kids bouncing off the walls, it’s harder than ever to get your usual assortment of groceries, etc. If you wanted, you’d have plenty of reasons and opportunities to gripe and complain. In such times, the person who says “look on the bright side…” is usually the guy you want to punch in the nose. You don’t, I hope, but the thought flashes in your mind all the same.

Usually it’s Alex being Captain Chipper and I’m the more cynical realist. He’s McCartney and I’m Lennon. This time, however, I want us to try and see the bright side of all this.

I’m not trying to downplay those who have died or gotten terribly sick, or those who have lost their jobs or found themselves in financial trouble. I’m also not saying “God did this to teach us x-lesson.” All I’m saying is, with any negative, there’s usually some kind of a positive spin you can put on it, if you want…

But I want you to know, brethren, that the things which happened to me have actually turned out for the furtherance of the gospel
(Philippians 1:12)

Paul was in prison. False teachers were rejoicing. He had plenty reason to fret. Instead he found the silver lining. That’s the lesson I want to learn. Again, it’s easy to be negative right now, to dwell on what we’re missing, what we don’t have, etc. On the other hand, here are two positives that I’ve observed as a result of all this:

1) Preachers/churches are teaching online more than ever
2) I get to hear preachers more than ever

I have never seen so many preachers using the tool of the internet to the preaching of the Gospel. Many of them are friends or mentors of mine that I otherwise would never get to hear. Last night I listened to my friend Dwayne Butler, the preacher at Higden, teach a great class on John 4. When that was over, I listened to my hero David Riley, the preacher at Mars Hill in Vilonia, teach on the high priesthood. There are several more, too, and it’s great to see. This may not be an ideal situation, not even close, but I refuse to say “nothing” good has come out of this. On the contrary, I think the church universal will come out of this stronger than ever.

And that’s reason to rejoice.

~ Matthew