Feeling lonely and unloved? We’re here. Talk to us.
Join us for our Daily Devotional Chat today in our Women’s Chatroom at 10:30 am EST.
Do you agree that joy has it’s beginnings in grief?
“Rejoice in the Lord always! I will say it again, rejoice!” (Philippians 4:4)
Paradox: a statement or belief contrary to received opinion, especially one that is incredible, absurd or fantastic.
“…true joy often is hidden in the midst of our sorrow, and the dance of life finds its beginnings in grief.” (Henri Nouwen in Here and Now)
Only to those who have experienced the discovery of joy “hidden in the midst of sorrow” does the paradox make sense. The Apostle Paul describes God’s peace as “beyond all understanding” and joy in sorrow is closely akin to such peace. How could Paul, imprisoned for his faith, write words like “I always pray with joy” and “Rejoice in the Lord always…I will say it again, rejoice!” How could the hymn writer pen, “It is well with my soul” after the death of his four daughters?
I believe the simple – though never simplistic – answer is found in the words of Charles Wesley:
Rejoice, the Lord is King! Your Lord and Kind adore;
Mortals, give thanks and sing and triumph evermore.
Jesus the Savior reigns, the God of truth and love;
When He had purged our stains, He took His seat above.
Rejoice in glorious hope! Jesus the Judge shall come,
And take His servants up to their eternal home.
We are told in the New Testament to “fix our eyes on Jesus” and herein, I believe, lies the key to joy. When we consistently focus on Jesus – even in the midst of sorrow – we slowly begin to believe that He reigns, He cannot fail, He is the God of truth and love and then, we rejoice in glorious hope.
Father, I don’t like pain and sorrow, but help me see that no tears are wasted in your sight. Help me keep my eyes on Jesus.
Questions: Why is it hard for you to rejoice in difficult times? Why do you think Christians can experience joy in the midst of sorrow? The Apostle Paul says that we are not to be anxious for anything but to bring everything in prayer to God. What do you think is the relationship between choosing not to worry and experiencing joy?
This week memorize (Philippians 4:4 – 7) and journal any changes that occur in your life.
About the Author Marilyn J. Ehle