Joy during Sorrow
We all experience loss: loss of loved ones, loss of jobs, loss of health or wealth. Wars, poverty, and even a pandemic surround us. All these circumstances cause sorrow. But we can still have joy!
Nehemiah 8:10 b
Do not be grieved, for the joy of the Lord is your strength.
Backstory: The priests had been teaching the Israelites from the Book of the Law of Moses. This saddened the people, because it showed them how sinful they were. They wept out of sorrow for their sins. Nehemiah, the governor, told the people to celebrate with good food and beverages, to be filled with joy, because it was a sacred day to God.
Joy is not the same as happiness; it is deeper and longer-lasting. Joy and sorrow are not mutually exclusive but can coexist.
Joy cannot be based on whatever is happening around us. Instead, joy must come from within, from knowing that our God will never leave us, that he will always love us. Joy is a choice – the choice to abide in him so that he can abide in us and renew our joy daily.
My husband of 48 years passed away after an extended illness. This loss left me wondering who I am and how I am supposed to live now that I am unexpectedly single.
God blessed me so much! He has fulfilled all my needs, giving me his love and his joy! He brought me to a different state, brining me closer to my family. He found the perfect home for me, one that felt like home from the first moment I viewed it. But better still, he brought me to a new church, one in which not only I but also my family have also found joy in him.
The joy of the Lord has given me the strength to do all these things.
Our all-powerful God is a joyful King. He loves us, his children, and wants us to be joyful, just as we want our children to be joyful.
Until now you have not asked for anything in my name.
Ask, and you will receive, and your joy will be complete.
Backstory: Jesus was telling his disciples that he would soon leave them and that they would grieve, but that their grief would turn to joy. They did not understand what he was saying, but they trusted him; Jesus had always gave them what they needed. At this time, he also told them that after he left them, they should go straight to God the Father with their needs, praying in his (Jesus’s) name. And their joy would be made complete.
Thank you for loving me and for wanting me to have joy. Help me this day to see your hand in everything and to know that your joy can be mine. Help me always depend on you, not circumstances, for joy.
In Jesus’ name we pray.
“May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing.”