Nathaniel’s first reaction to overhearing that I was the Messiah said, “Nazareth! Can anything good come from there?” His biting sarcasm was on full display. When irony and a critical spirit control your life, you are suspicious of everyone’s motives. You without thinking, assume everyone is out to get you. A sarcastic and critical spirit hurt you and the people you love. (When you Feel Unwanted and Unloved)
Sarcasm is false protection from the betrayal and pain you experience when you are hurt by your family and friends. A critical spirit develops when you think life is unfair and unjust—one tragedy and setback after another cause your world to become dark and hopeless. You, like the author of Ecclesiastes, perceive life as meaningless and without hope for the future.
Resentment takes root, and you become hostile and do not trust anyone in life. You find a way to deal with your pain by deflecting your anger away from yourself and displacing it on others. You are angry at the world because life devastated your expectations. In trying to avoid the pain, you no longer risk being open and vulnerable. You now live with the conviction people cannot be trusted and are pessimistic about everything and critical of people’s motives. (The Root of Bitterness)
Nathaniel tended to be sarcastic and judgmental, but he overcame those flaws. You also can let go of the hurtful lies and hypocrisy you have experienced and release your painful memories to me. As Jacob wrestled with me throughout the night and received a blessing to live, I encourage you to face head-on the pain and hurt in your life. You do not have to resolve all your questions to find meaning and fulfillment. (Break Open and Blossom in Life)
Turn your eyes upon me and release your heartache, I want you to know that I bore on the cross all the resentment and hate anyone could take. I overcame the grave, and all the vitriol and hatred directed at me. I ask you to lay aside the sarcasm and critical spirit that destroys your hope for anything good happening in your life. As you release your anger and open yourself to my love, you will grow in healing and hope.
Trust in my mercy, not in yourself; let my hope be your strength. I pray that you can see what your eyes have never seen. Your heart may feel the love you have never felt. Your hands may touch what they have never reached or held on earth. I pray that in thinking about death, you will see that beyond the struggle of this life, you will experience even now eternal life in my presence.
Philip found Nathanael and told him, “We have found the one Moses wrote about in the Law, and about whom the prophets also wrote–Jesus of Nazareth, the son of Joseph.” “Nazareth! Can anything good come from there?” Nathanael asked. “Come and see,” said Philip. John 1:45-46 NIV
“Meaningless! Meaningless!” says the Teacher. “Utterly meaningless! Everything is meaningless.” Ecclesiastes 1:2 NIV
Points to Ponder:
Is the belief God does not exist because of the loss of hope and mistrust of anything being real? Does the feeling of everything is meaningless; all is pointless cause us to accept that everything comes from nothing.
However, for me, Christ gives certainty and hope. I must believe in the promise of the resurrection; otherwise, I am dust in the wind. I have a seed of faith within that you and I are not alone, and life has eternal meaning and purpose.
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