I avoided looking at photos in these first months after my husband died. I simply could not stand the piercing pain stabbing my heart when my eyes fell on his face smiling from a photo.
Maybe you too miss a loved one. Then you know this heavy mixture of sorrow, grief, sadness, discontent and anxiety. Then you feel this emptiness and aching longing, too.
sorrowful, yet always rejoicing; poor, yet making many rich; having nothing, and yet possessing everything. 2 Corinthians 6:10 NIV
But God tells us in His Word that we can be sorrowful, yet always rejoicing. This sounds quite strange but possible. Yes, it is possible to feel simultaneously sadness and joy, weakness and strength, discouragement and hope.
What is the kind of joy that God speaks about in this verse? Why can we always rejoice even in our sorrows and troubles?
This is not an ordinary joy, not just a fleeting emotion or carefree happiness. This is not a joy born from favorable circumstances when everything goes as planned and it seems we have everything we wished for. No, not that kind of joy.
The secret of being sorrowful, yet always rejoicing is the source of joy – God Himself. When we turn our attention from the sources of our sorrows and pains and focus on the Lord, acknowledging His loving presence and His daily care and provision, our emotions shift. Our minds can rest and hope rises to disperse the darkness of painful emotions. Connected with the Source of living water, joy starts to burst from the depths of our hearts.
The joy of the Lord is a light mixture of quiet confidence, peace, hope, gladness, gratitude, praise and awe, rooted in the awareness that we are never left alone, nor forsaken. We find this joy, especially in our troubles and sorrows.
More than ever we depend on the Lord and seek and receive His comfort and counsel. More than ever we learn from experience that God is bigger than our sorrows, greater than our pains, stronger than our weaknesses. Only then we can say with the Apostle Paul:
I am greatly encouraged; in all our troubles my joy knows no bounds. 2 Corinthians 7:4b NIV
Friend, this is the joy we have in Jesus: a joy that knows no bounds!
The deepest and most heartfelt joy is born through our communion and intimate fellowship with Jesus in times of loss, grief, and pain.
Every day, through His Holy Spirit, God brings joy and healing to our deepest wounds. God’s encouragements and comfort are like a sweet balm for our souls and minds. God is able and willing to fill our empty spaces. We can invite Him in our voids anticipating in faith His tangible presence and workings in our lives.
We can be sorrowful, yet always rejoicing because of one more great promise: the restoration of all things. Nothing is lost with God; nothing is in vain. Not a single tear is wasted with God. Friend, God through Christ is the Redeemer of all our sorrows and losses. If we truly believe this, we can rejoice in the hard seasons finding our ultimate pleasure and joy in the presence of the Lord.
So, we can join the prophet Habakkuk in expressing his faith and determination to rejoice always:
“Though the fig tree does not bud and there are no grapes on the vines, though the olive crop fails and the fields produce no food, though there are no sheep in the pen and no cattle in the stalls, yet I will rejoice in the Lord, I will be joyful in God my Savior. The Sovereign Lord is my strength; he makes my feet like the feet of a deer; he enables me to tread on the heights.” Habakkuk 3:17-19 NIV
May you confidently find joy and comfort in The Lord through your season, Sister.
Hadassah Treu is a marketing and communications specialist, a Christian writer and published poet, holding a master’s in international relations. She is a regular contributor to the faith-based platforms DevotableApp: Daily Christian Devotional and Blessed Transgressions, and a contributing author to several poetry and devotionals anthologies. Hadassah is a COMPEL Training member and the Encouraging Blogger Award Winner for 2020. Connect with Hadassah at https://onthewaybg.comhttps://www.facebook.com/onthewaybg/ https://www.twitter.com/onthewaybg https://www.instagram.com/hadassahtreu/https://www.pinterest.at/onthewaybg/https://twitter.com/onthewaybg
We thank you, Hadassah, for contributing to this month’s publication of Titus-two.com, talking about “Joy In Difficult Seasons”
You are loved to Heaven and Back ~~
LindaRJohnson, TitusTwo Visionary