Uncommon Joy in Sorrow

01 Nov

The wells of joy are most often dug with the spade of sorrow.

Though you have not seen Him, you love Him. Though you do not now see Him, you believe in Him and rejoice with joy that is inexpressible and filled with glory, (1 Peter 1:8)

What can I do to be lifted up when I feel discouraged?
Who can I encourage this week whose heart is heavy with sorrow?

In a span of just one week from Oct 22-29, I got poison ivy, my main computer hard drive crashed, and our dog died. Most people would call that a bad week. Yet I could see God doing extraordinary things through these unusual and unpleasant circumstances.

For example, my computer malfunction forced me to take a 4 day email sabbatical. My inability to schedule appointments through email completely cleared my schedule for October 25. God then used my availability to open a huge door for me to spend 4 quality hours with Ted Baehr, the head of Movie Guide [www.movieguide.org] and one of the most connected people in media in the world. Now Ted wants my help and to help me. And he has 3 million people on just one of his emails lists.

Ginger’s rapid deterioration and ultimate death rallied our whole family together and opened the doors for several of us to reflect on happy memories, what we did right, what we would have done differently, and what our own legacies will be.

When I die, I want to be remembered for extraordinary joy. I want many people to say I was the most joyful person they ever knew. Why? Because people are attracted to joy and my joy comes from Jesus. I want people to want what I have – a passionate relationship with Jesus. The second of the nine fruits of the spirit is “joy” and it comes right after “love” (Galations 5:22-23). I believe that next to love, joy is the most important fruit of the spirit. The Bible says “the joy of the Lord is my strength.”

In his October 30 devotional titled “Joy in Sorrow,” Bowie Curry wrote, “many American Christians seem to be confusing the quest for the American Dream of “life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness” with seeking first Christ’s Kingdom of “righteousness, peace and joy in the Holy Spirit”. I can’t find any support from Scripture that God is particularly interested in His children finding happiness in this life but I find abundant affirmation that He does want us to experience His joy.

Perhaps there is someone reading this today who is grieving in the midst of some crushing sorrow. Be encouraged. The Comforter is coming! “Weeping may endure for a night”, said David, “but joy comes in the morning!” As surely as the night must give way to irresistible rays of dawn, your despair and sorrow must be swallowed up by the unfading hope and triumphant joy that is in Christ Jesus!”

For the rest of Bowie’s message, see today’s Link of the Day.

Prayer Power
Father, we thank You that there is a joy in Christ that can lift the heart out of the deepest despair. We pray for those who are mourning that they will find in You and unceasing wellspring of mercy and comfort. Father, let your joy be their strength. Comfort them so that they in turn may comfort others. Give them a foretaste of the joy and glory of the age to come when, “every tear will wiped away, death shall be no more, and neither shall there be mourning nor crying nor pain anymore.” We ask this in Jesus’ Name, amen.

Link of the Day
Joy in Sorrow – devotional by Bowie Curry

Blessings to live a life full of extraordinary joy through Jesus!


From: Bowie Curry [mailto:bowiec@verizon.net]
Sent: Tuesday, October 30, 2007 3:41 AM
To: randypeck@gmail.com
Subject: The Beatitudes and Prayer – Joy in Sorrow (The Beatitudes Series, Oct 30, 2007)
 
I mentioned in a previous devotion how I felt many American Christians seemed to be confusing the quest for the American Dream of “life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness” with seeking first Christ’s Kingdom of “righteousness, peace and joy in the Holy Spirit”. I can’t find any support from Scripture that God is particularly interested in His children finding happiness in this life but I find abundant affirmation that He does want us to experience His joy. Our word “happy” comes from an English root “hap” meaning “chance”. In other words, happiness is an emotion dependent upon chance or circumstances. Unfortunately, our circumstances between now and the end of the age appear to be less than ideal to say the least!

There is coming an age when our circumstances will be eternally ideal but for now the prognosis is something akin to all Hell breaking loose! That would seem to be a grim forecast except that God has something far greater and more enduring for the present hour, His joy! Among the bouquet of God’s emotions, joy is certainly His rose; but all roses have thorns and the thorn of this rose is mourning!

Scriptures
Matthew 5:3 – And he opened his mouth and taught them, saying:

“Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

1 Peter 1:8
8Though you have not seen him, you love him. Though you do not now see him, you believe in him and rejoice with joy that is inexpressible and filled with glory,
 
Wells of Joy!
 Years ago I was visiting a friend in New York and had the privilege of staying in a room of an elderly saint who had recently gone on to be with the Lord. On her desk was a little sign that said simply, “The wells of joy are most often dug with the spade of sorrow.” She was a woman of uncommon joy that had endured more than her share of sorrow and suffering in this life. How was this possible? She had discovered the blessed comfort that God has for every one of his grieving, mourning children, “joy inexpressible and full of glory!” 
 
A Sight of Glory!
In the next few devotions, we want to consider the blessedness of sorrow and mourning as the pathway to enduring joy which the Bible says is our “strength” [fortress or defense].I vividly remember the second funeral I conducted in Fredericksburg. They had grown up together as childhood sweethearts and married at the age of 17. At the time of the husband’s death after a long bout with cancer, the couple had been married for over 65 years. I stood at the pulpit in the funeral home as a clueless young preacher wondering what I could say that could be of comfort to the grieving widow. As it turned out, I didn’t need to say anything. There on the front row sat the widow, tears streaming down her face. Her countenance was shining with what can only be described as a radiant glory! Her tears were not tears of sorrow but unspeakable joy! Thank God, for once I was speechless! A thousand well meaning sermons couldn’t have held a candle to the comfort that was expressed by the eternal joy of that grieving widow!
 
Joy Comes in the Morning!
Perhaps there is someone reading this today who is grieving in the midst of some crushing sorrow. Be encouraged. The Comforter is coming! “Weeping may endure for a night”, said David, “but joy comes in the morning!” As surely as the night must give way to irresistible rays of dawn, your despair and sorrow must be swallowed up by the unfading hope and triumphant joy that is in Christ Jesus!
 
We can be encouraged in the inevitable sorrows of this life by these words from 1 Peter 1:8,
 
“Though you have not seen him, you love him. Though you do not now see him, you believe in him and rejoice with joy that is inexpressible and filled with glory.”
 
Prayer Power
Father, we thank You that there is a joy in Christ that can lift the heart out of the deepest despair. We pray for those who are mourning that they will find in You and unceasing wellspring of mercy and comfort. Father, let your joy be their strength. Comfort them so that they in turn may comfort others. Give them a foretaste of the joy and glory of the age to come when, “every tear will wiped away, death shall be no more, and neither shall there be mourning nor crying nor pain anymore.” We ask this in Jesus’ Name, amen.
May God unite us in Prayer And Unity!
 
Bowie and Barbara Curry
PrayerNet of Fredericksburg

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Joseph PeckJoseph

Joseph Peck, M.D.
The Time Doctor
Empowering Dreams
Author, I Was Busy, Now I’m Not
www.empower2000.com

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