Ecclesiastes 7:14

In the day of prosperity be joyful, but in the day of adversity consider: God also hath set the one over against the other, to the end that man should find nothing after him.

After every round of golf, we play the “what if” game with ourselves and with any one that will listen. If we made that one putt from 3 feet or hadn’t hit that one ball out of bounds, we presume our score would have been much lower. We fail, however, to recall the putt we made from 30 feet or the ball that was only in play because of a lucky bounce from off of a fence. It is much more comforting to consider what could have been in a positive nature.

Such as us when we count our afflictions in this life. We realize God has given us a good life, but if this event happened or didn’t happen, we think our life could have been so much better. Further, we are cognizant that God has enabled us to do many great things, but still think “but for this physical affliction we could have done so much more.” We tend to emphasize our afflictions more than God’s mercies and His blessings already realized.

The focal scripture tells us to be appreciative and happy in the good times, but also realize these prosperous days cannot be overwhelmed by the “not so great times.” God’s mercies in the valley are even more reflective of His goodness. No matter the circumstances or the power of the adversity, our God is going to be in control and give us power to both persevere and thrive.

When making a big decision, many of us use the “pro vs con” chart to number and weigh the possible positives and negatives of our options. Most of these are merely speculative as we cannot be certain of the exact results of our decision. God, however, promises that His mercy column will far outnumber the affliction column. Let us rejoice in the number of His mercies and His faithfulness in our afflictions. As Matthew West sings about in his song “The God Who Stays”, He is “the God who runs in our direction when whole world walks away.”

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