JOY IN SORROW?

The Lord will not cast off forever. Though He causes grief, yet He will show compassion according to the multitude of His mercies” (Lamentations 3:31-32).

From “The Vine,” 1-13-12, entitled, The Christian’s Joy:

During the battle of Gettysburg there was a little bird on a tree that would sing a few notes every time there was a lull in the awful roar of battle; but when the crash began again, its song would cease. That is the way with this world’s joy. It sings a few strains now and then in the pauses of life’s struggle and discontent. When the waves of sorrow break, its voice is drowned; it cannot sing in loss, in bereavement, in the hour of dying.

Joy is not the absence of sorrow, but the presence of God.   He allows tears of sorrow today so that our hearts may be open to receive the joys of tomorrow.

In the midst of the prophet Jeremiah’s grief in Lamentations 3:25-33, God’s comfort surfaced as a reminder of His sovereignty and goodness, giving him hope.  When we experience painful sorrow and loss, let us remember to allow sufficient time to grieve and to reflect upon God’s goodness.  And to praise Him!

Tears are lenses through which our dimmed eyes see more clearly into heaven and look more fully upon God’s wonderful face.  Sorrow cleanses our hearts of earthiness and fertilizes our lives.  Painful times are more beneficial for us than times of rejoicing.  We grow best when clouds hang over us.  Why?  Because clouds produce rain, and rain refreshes.  Then God comforts us so deeply and richly that the experience is well worth enduring the trial—just to enjoy the sweet and precious comfort that God gives in it.

Sorrow need not deprive us Christians of our joy.  Warren Wiersbe says, “The joy that comes from the Lord is real, lasting, and enriches our lives.  God doesn’t give us joy instead of sorrow, or joy in spite of sorrow, but joy in the midst of sorrow.  It’s not substitution but transformation.”

We may be in deep sorrow, yet a fountain of joy wells up in our heart and a genuine peace settles in our soul.  When we rejoice in God as our Source, we have a joy that sings through the darkness of night, and no one has the ability to take it from us.  Those who have been driven close to God in their great sorrow reflect the radiance and joy of the Lord.  The sweetest songs of praise are those we sing in the darkest hours of the night (Acts 16:25).

Sound His praises! Jesus who bore our sorrows:

Love unbounded, wonderful, deep and strong;

Praise Him! praise Him! tell of His excellent greatness;

Praise Him! praise Him! ever in joyful song!—Fanny J. Crosby