"Moreover when ye fast, be not, as the hypocrites, of a sad countenance: for they disfigure their faces, that they may appear unto men to fast. Verily I say unto you, They have their reward. But thou, when thou fastest, anoint thine head, and wash thy face." (Matt. 6: 16,17 KJV)
are not to attempt to conceal
and mental sufferings
, which are often
, and though they often
to be downcast
they are not
in their sufferings
nor take "pride"
in them, as did the hypocrites
It is impossible to fully keep our "faces"
from showing our griefs
, yet Christians
ought to be careful not
to give the appearance
of being an inordinantly depressed
and sad people
When a caring person
sees another with their "countenances fallen,"
as was Cain's
, we may ask them, as did God to Cain
, "why is your countenance fallen?"
We ought to try to "wear a smile each day"
. We are not to boast
of our sufferings
, saying to others, thereby, "hey, look at me!"
as being a people who "...worship God in the spirit, and rejoice in Christ Jesus, and have no confidence in the flesh." (Phil. 3:3)
We "rejoice evermore." (I Thess. 5:16)
We have great reason to rejoice
. Of that fact every true Christian
may become fully assured
, with all his burdens
, did not go around with a sad
and disfigured face
, broadcasting his woes
, as did the hypocrites.
Such is what Paul called a "false humility."
It was not humility
at all, but pride
, though it was masked
to appear otherwise
It should be our concern "how we appear to men,"
yet our concern, in that regard, as Christians
, is different from that of the hypocrites
reveal themselves to each other, as members of the "family of God,"
in private confessions
, is altogether different than how they would appear in public
, to the world
We don't call attention to our sufferings
, as Christians
, but to
the sufferings of Christ
, and to the reasons why we can rejoice even in the greatest of sufferings
To do as the hypocrites
, and put on an air of self pity
, is a form of murmurring
, though done more non-verbally. We communicate
to others with the expressions on our faces
as well as the words
that come out of our mouths
If we keep the above verses of scripture always in mind, as Christians
, we will truly be able
to "count it all joy even when we fall into various trials." (James 1:2)Pay day
is both here
for us now
, for we receive, as Christ
said, "manifold more in this present life,"
but pay day
is in a far greater
way yet future
, to be fully realized "at the resurrection of the just." (See Matt. 19:27-29; Luke 14:13-15; 18:30)
It will be worth it all!
That is what Christ
is saying to all his faithful followers!
You will receive good things now
but "the best is yet to come."
You have a good taste now
, but the full course meal
, the banquet
, is yet future!Christian
, are you "rejoicing in Christ Jesus"
as you should? If not, is it because you need improved spiritual vision to see
all the blessings
of God now upon you? Pray
that you may be shown how blessed
you are even now! Father, help us!