I have met many who have lost their appreciation for life. They’ve traded their ability to live freely, to love, and to laugh, for reactions, repressions, and denials. Some folks, hurt by love, have discarded love forever; it bears too much pain. Others, worn down by oppressive relationships, jobs or circumstances, have given themselves over to drugs, alcohol, or other means of artificial comfort.
I have discovered that a person’s ability to resist stress is only temporary. Eventually that stress envelops that individual and wears him down. Now, he readily yields to those stressors because it’s human to get “stress relief” at all costs.
Evil takes advantage of these “human” qualities and attempts to wear out the saints — they try to make life become “too hard — too long.” Their evil government looks for eventual capitulation –then they offer freedom and release — but the new-found freedom equals slavery.
So, we want to help the victims, but, where do we begin? Though many stand strong, the victims have lost their first love, not to mention their appreciation for life. Websters defines “appreciation.” — “a feeling or expression of admiration, approval or gratitude.”
In early 20th century Russia, discontentment was brewing. Citizens had had enough of the abuse of power under Czarist rule. A Revolution broke out. In the confusion that eventuated, peaking in 1917, the much desired “voice of the people” was never realized. Instead, opportunists seeking worldwide domination imposed their power and took rule.
‘…it was a program that uprooted every institution and tradition in Russian life.” Some new dictates included:
- Abolition of private ownership in land,
- Nationalization of the banks, merchant marine, and all industrial enterprises.
- The stock market was swept away, and also rights of inheritance.
- Wages of the people’s Commissars were set at 500 roubles ($7.58 usd) per month.
- Courts were replaced with revolutionary tribunals, Czarist codes governing marriage were abolished. Civil marriage replaced the Church ceremony. Divorce could be obtained by either party, for the asking.
- Church lands were confiscated, religious teaching was forbidden in the schools.
- The state religion was now “Leninism”. etc.
Above taken from “The Russian Revolution” by Alan Morehead.
In another extreme example, Genesis tells the story of the paradise of Eden. Unlimited provision, a whole lifetime of abundance, pleasure and intimacy, were compromised for a mere taste of the forbidden tree. Yes, the awesomeness of its abundant wealth was minimized in the first couple’s eyes, which led to a chance for the master opportunist (The Serpent), to destroy their lives.
Friends, our sincere prayer must be,
“ Restore to me the joy of your salvation, and uphold me with a willing spirit.” Psalm 51:12
David prays the prayer following a 9 month sabbatical (at least), from God’s fellowship, having compromised it by a sexual encounter with Bathsheba, the wife of another. In his repentant prayer, David recognizes his need for cleansing in the conscience, but also requests an intelligent hearing of cheerfulness and blithesomeness and glee. He asks to be “spun around” in emotional influence, to have his compliant “yes” restored.
In closing, Johnson Oatman, Jr., published “Count your Blessings” in 1897
- When upon life’s billows you are tempest-tossed,
When you are discouraged, thinking all is lost,
Count your many blessings, name them one by one,
And it will surprise you what the Lord has done.
- Are you ever burdened with a load of care?
Does the cross seem heavy you are called to bear?
Count your many blessings, every doubt will fly,
And you will keep singing as the days go by.
- When you look at others with their lands and gold,
Think that Christ has promised you His wealth untold;
Count your many blessings—*money cannot buy [*wealth can never buy]
Your reward in heaven, nor your home on high.
- So, amid the conflict whether great or small,
Do not be discouraged, God is over all;
Count your many blessings, angels will attend,
Help and comfort give you to your journey’s end.
Let’s get back to joy, laughter, the love of life. With God’s glorious Word, our appreciators are set right.