Of Woe and Joy

dscf0360.jpg“The sorrows of death compassed me, and the floods of ungodly men made me afraid. The sorrows of hell compassed me about: the snares of death prevented me…My tears have been my meat day and night, while they continually say unto me, Where is thy God?” Psalm 18:3,4Ps. 42:3.

Who that has lived has not felt like David when he penned these words? I admire David’s truthful expression of his pain. I admire more that he turned from the pain to the One who understood it and carried him to the other side of it.

“Why art thou cast down, O my soul? and why art thou disquieted in me? hope thou in God: for I shall yet praise him for the help of his countenance…the Lord will command his lovingkindness in the daytime, and in the night his song shall be with me, and my prayer unto the God of my life… In my distress I called upon the LORD, and cried unto my God: he heard my voice…and my cry came before him, even into his ears. Then the earth shook and trembled…He sent from above, he took me, he drew me out of many waters. He delivered me from my strong enemy…for they were too strong for me…He brought me forth also into a large place; he delivered me, because he delighted in me.”( Ps.42:5,8; Ps. 18:5,7,16,17,19).

As the Lord did for David, He will do for you as you continue to hope in Him and give Him praise.

Joy is not a happy place, but a positive attitude grounded in God. Joy is born of hope which is the child of faith, believing, “…all things work together for good to them that love God…” Rom. 8:28.

The prophet, Isaiah says this about our Lord: “He is despised and rejected of men; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief…” Isa. 53:3.”…who for the joy…set before him endured the cross, despising the shame…consider him that endured…lest ye be wearied and faint in your minds.”Heb. 12:2,3.

Yet, the Lord himself says, “…the Father hath loved me…I have loved you: continue ye in my love…keep my commandments…abide in my love…These things have I spoken unto you that my joy might remain in you, and that your joy might be full.” John 15:9-11.

What gave Jesus joy through His sufferings? He knew He was loved of the Father. He trusted the Father’s plan and carried it out without exception. His life and death had purpose, even as He gives purpose to you and me as we abide in His love. He knew and showed us the truth behind the quote, “Experiences of sorrow prepare for, and enlarge, the capacity for joy.” (Vines Exp. Dict.)

When we find our lives overwhelmed in circumstance, let’s do as David and cry unto the Lord in faith, knowing He hears. Let’s do as Jesus did and trust the Father’s love as we look to the glory that is ours now and that awaits.

“Rejoicing in hope; patient in tribulation; continuing…in prayer… I have set the LORD always before me; because he is at my right hand, I shall not be moved. Therefore my heart is glad, and my glory rejoiceth; my flesh also shall rest in hope…Thou wilt shew me the path of life: in thy presence is fullness of joy; at thy right hand there are pleasures for evermore…(Rom. 12:12;Ps. 16:8,9,11).

 “Beloved, think it not strange concerning the fiery trial…as though some strange thing happened unto you. But rejoice…as ye are partakers of Christ’s sufferings; that, when his glory shall be revealed, ye may be glad also with exceeding joy…I have trusted in thy mercy; my heart shall rejoice in thy salvation. I will sing unto the LORD, because he hath dealt bountifully with me…” (1Peter. 4:12,13;Ps. 13:5,6).

“Rejoice in the Lord always: and again I say, Rejoice.” Keeping in mind Jesus Christ, the author and finisher of your faith, “Whom having not seen, ye love; in whom, though now ye see him not, yet believing, ye rejoice with joy unspeakable and full of glory: Receiving the end of your faith, even the salvation of your souls.” (Phil. 4:4; 1Pet. 1:8,9).

Praying unto the Father, “…the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that ye may abound in hope, through the power of the Holy Ghost.”(Rom. 15:13) Amen.



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