One day, Jesus drove a demon out of a mute man. When the demon left, the man spoke. The crowds reaction? "By Beelzebub, the prince of demons, he is driving out demons." Incredible!
Beelzebub's identity is found in 2 Kings 1. The name means "Lord of flies" or "Lord of filth." Can you imagine associating Jesus with that? Ascribing the graciousness of God to Satan. No wonder Jesus refers to this in Matthew 12 as blasphemy against the Holy Spirit.
Pessimists are everywhere -- even in the church. One author refers to them as "spiritual Eeyors." "It won't work." "You shouldn't have done that." "I don't like it." "Why did you do it that way?" Someone has said, "A pessimist is someone who complains about the noise when opportunity knocks." I know, because I have to fight pessimistic thoughts myself at times.
I love the following story: A family had twin boys whose only resemblance to each other was their looks. If one felt it was too hot, the other thought it was too cold. Opposite in every way. One was an eternal optimist, the other a doom-and-gloom pessimist.
Just to see what would happen on Christmas, their father loaded the pessimist's room with every imaginable toy and game. The optimist's room he loaded with horse manure. That night, he passed by the pessimist's room and found him sitting among his gifts, crying. "Why are you crying," he asked. "Because my friends will be jealous. And I'll have to read all the instructions before I can play with this stuff. I'll constantly need new batteries. And the toys will eventually break," the pessimist twin said.
Passing the optimist's room, the father found the boy dancing with joy in the manure. "What are you so happy about?" he asked. To which the optimist said, "With all this manure, there's got to be a pony!"
Lord, help me that when life dumps manure on me -- I can still see the gift!