I must embrace life. I want to see my days fill up with good stuff.
God’s goal for us is to be honest. So, here is what I must do. I must say nothing evil or hurtful. Oh, the times I have said something and at once wished I could take it back. The better way is to not say evil and hurtful things.
I must cultivate discipline in my speech. I must be uplifting and encouraging. Then my days will fill with good.
For whoever desires to love life and see good days, let him keep his tongue from evil and his lips from speaking deceit; let him turn away from evil and do good; let him seek peace and pursue it. For the eyes of the Master [Lord] are on the righteous, and his ears are open to their prayer. But the face of the Master [Lord] is against those who do evil.
English Standard Version. (2016). (1 Peter 3:10–12). Wheaton, IL: Crossway Bibles.
Peter quoted these statements from Psalm 34:12–15, so it would be profitable for you to read the entire psalm. It describes what God means by “good days.”
- They are not necessarily days free from problems, for the psalmist wrote about fears, troubles, afflictions, and even a broken heart.
- A “good day” for the believer who “loves life” is not one in which he is pampered and sheltered, but one in which he experiences God’s help and blessing because of life’s problems and trials.
- It is a day in which he magnifies the Master Jesus, experiences answers to prayer, tastes the goodness of God, and senses the nearness of God.
We must deliberately decide to love life. This is an act of the will: “He who wills to love life.” It is an attitude of faith that sees the best in every situation. It is the opposite of the pessimistic attitude expressed in Ecclesiastes 2:17: “Therefore I hated life … for all is vanity and vexation of spirit.”
- We can decide to endure life and make it a burden, escape life as though we were running from a battle or enjoy life because we know God is in control.
- Peter was not suggesting unrealistic psychological gymnastics that refused to face facts.
- Rather, he was urging his readers to take a positive approach to life and by faith make the most of every situation.
We must control our tongues. Many of the problems of life are caused by the wrong words, spoken in the wrong spirit. Every disciple of Jesus should read James 3 regularly and pray Psalm 141:3 daily. How well Peter knew the sad consequences of hasty speech! There is no place for lies in the life of a saint.
We must do good and hate evil. We need both the positive and the negative. The Old English word “eschew” means more than just “avoid.” It means “to avoid something because you despise and loathe it.” It is not enough for us to avoid sin because sin is wrong; we ought to shun it because we hate it.
We must look for and pursue peace. “Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called the children of God” (Matt. 5:9).
- If we go out and seek trouble, we will find it; but if we seek peace, we can find it as well. This does not mean “peace at any price,” because righteousness must always be the basis for peace.
- It simply means that a disciple of Jesus exercises moderation as he relates to people and does not create problems because he wants to have his own way.
- “If it be possible, as much as lies in you, live peaceably with all men” (Rom. 12:18). Sometimes it is not possible! We are also admonished to work hard to achieve peace. It does not come automatically.
“But what if our enemies take advantage of us?” a persecuted disciple of Jesus might ask. “We may be seeking peace, but they are seeking war!” Peter gave them the assurance that God’s eyes are on His people and His ears open to their prayers. Peter learned that lesson when he tried to walk on the water without looking to Jesus. We must trust God to protect and provide, for He alone can defeat our enemies.
The next time you think you are having a “bad day,” and you hate life, read Psalm 34 and you may discover you are really having a “good day” to the glory of God!
Frank Hubeny said:
Good point: “Many of the problems of life are caused by the wrong words, spoken in the wrong spirit.”
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I need to read Psalm 34 more often!
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