In His Letters to the Thessalonians (continued)
Difficulties Because of Temperament (continued)
Now, the Apostle writes to them. He writes to them the gospel, the good news, for people who are in perplexity and in sorrow because of disappointment in this way, and he says; "I want you to know, dear brethren, I want you to understand, that that makes no difference in the final issue. When the Lord comes, they will not have gone before us, and when He comes, we shall not go before them. It just does not make any difference. They that are asleep in Jesus and we who are alive and remain shall all be caught up together. You need not allow this thing to trouble you any more. You must not sorrow as those who have no hope, or who have lost their great hope - as those whose great hope of the coming of the Lord has been struck at by the deaths of these believers. There is really no place for any element of disappointment over this. It is good news for those who have lost loved ones - it is good news concerning the issue of life and death - that we shall all together go up "to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord". It is just wonderful!
So we see that here Paul was able to bring in the gospel - the good news, the good tidings - in order to get over a certain difficulty that had arisen because of their make-up, their disposition.
A Help to Know One's Own Disposition
Let us pause there for a minute. You know, we should get over a great many of our troubles if we knew what our temperaments were. If only we would sit down for a minute- and this is not introspection at all - sit down for a minute and say: 'Now, what is my peculiar disposition and make-up? What is the thing to which, by reason of my constitution, I am most prone? What are the factors, the elements, that make up my temperament?' If you can put your finger on that, you have the key to many of your troubles. Asaph, the psalmist, was having a very bad time on one occasion. He looked at the wicked and saw them prospering. He saw the righteous having a difficult time - himself included - and he got very downhearted about all this. But then he pulled himself together, he recollected, and he said: "This is my infirmity; but I will remember the years of the right hand of the Most High" (Psalm 77:10). ' "This is my infirmity" '! This is not the Lord, this is not the truth - this is must me, this is my proneness to go down in times of difficulty. It is how I am made; it is my reaction to trouble."
Now, perhaps that sounds a very naturalistic way of dealing with things. But I have not finished yet. If you and I will understand this thing - that a lot of our trouble comes because we are made in a certain way it is really in our own constitution - we shall have a ground upon which to go to the Lord. We shall be able to go to the Lord and say: 'Lord, You know how I am made; You know how I naturally react to things. You know how, because I am made that way, I am always being caught in certain ways; You know how it is that I behave under certain strains. You know me, Lord. Now, Lord, You are different from what I am: were I am weak, You are strong; where I am faulty, YOU ARE PERFECT."
continued with # 44)