Monday, January 21, 2008

Women of Joy, Pt. 3

Joy-filled living sounds great!

But what about seasons of sorrow and darkness? Won't we have pain and difficulty just like everyone else?

Absolutely. We know from experience and from the Word itself that His people will know tribulation and trials. There will be difficult times. So what do we do when we are afflicted? How do His people who know Him and understand His heart respond?

David is a wonderful example to us in this very thing. He was a man who knew multiplied sorrows. Psalm after Psalm is a recitation of difficulty, plague, or trial. His soul was often found in sorrow. Time and again, when in danger or despair, we find David pouring out his complaint before the Lord. He hid nothing from Him - indeed, is there any possible way to hide anything from Him? But he never stopped with simple complaint; he always finished his outpouring with an acknowledgment of His faithfulness and enduring love. He knew the truth and clung tenaciously to it in the face of great trials, in the midst of overwhelming sorrows, even when plunged into the deepest darkness. His conclusion was always this: "I will praise You and Your greatness, for You are Lord. You are my Lord." Consider the following:

Psalm 69.29-31

"But I am in pain and despair; lift me up, O God, and save me.
I will praise God with a song; I will proclaim his greatness by giving him thanks. This will please the Lord more than offering him cattle, more than sacrificing a full-grown bull..." Good News Translation

We may know affliction, but more importantly, we know our God. Our final declaration will always be His faithfulness and greatness. Our lives are His, and He will keep them until that final day when we shall see Him at last.

Read this portion of scripture written by Peter to believers who had suffered persecution and were now scattered throughout the provinces, far from home and each other, living as refugees.

"...we look forward to possessing the rich blessings that God keeps for his people. He keeps them for you in heaven, where they cannot decay or spoil or fade away...Be glad about this, even though it may now be necessary for you to be sad for a while because of the many kinds of trials you suffer...You love him although you have not seen him, and you believe in him, although you do not now see him. So you rejoice with a great and glorious joy which words cannot express, because you are receiving the salvation of your souls..." taken from 1 Peter 1.1-9

Peter acknowledged their sadness of circumstance and then declared their joy unspeakable. The world would tell us that these statements are contradictory, unable to exist simultaneously, but the Word would tell us differently. Our sorrow is for a night, because we know that joy comes in the morning. We will walk in the joy of our salvation, regardless of our situation and circumstance. We know that when the clouds cover the sky, the sun is still in its place. So with our God. He is immovable, never changing.

Psalm 30.5 "His anger lasts for a moment, but his favor lasts a lifetime! Weeping may go on all night, but joy comes with the morning." New Living Translation

Our sad times might last for the whole night, but we know there will be joy in the morning! We will turn our hearts to Him and praise Him! We will see clearly once again to find that abiding joy is ours. Nothing, NO THING, can take it from us.

Thought for the day:

People who know Him and understand His heart hear the call to worship. They respond with praise which leads to the light of His presence which releases joy wherein lies our strength.

worship and praise > His presence and light > revelation and joy > real strength

It is a cycle, a never failing cycle. Our only part is to respond.

We'll discuss that next time!


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi Darlene,

I have suffered many times of pain, sorrow, times of trials and tribulations and we all have in some way, shape or form. This post today touches me deeply.

Last night as my husband lay sleeping, my hands were placed upon him throughout the night. I prayed from deep within my mind, heart and soul to our Lord, our God. I prayed for miraculous healing in all areas of his life. Physical, mental, emotional. God's grace is sufficient enough for me. I firmly know that joy does cometh in the morning and that my belief in someone that I have not physically seen is so tremendously strong that I am strengthened in ways too awesome to humanly undersand. HE is there. He listens. He gives me strength. He covers me at all times. He fills me with a joy inside too magnificent to explain despite the deepest trials that I have gone through. Oh what a glorious God we have. He hears it all, knows it all and he guides me continually throughout it all.

I love you Darlene Sinclair. Thank you for sharing your wisdom once again.

Love & Blessings,

10:34 AM  
Blogger Quinne said...

Hi Darlene :) Thank you for your sweet note today! It is a joy to have friends who lift us up to the Father, isn't it?

Your posts on joy have been lovely and rich. Thanks for that, too.
Love you, Q

10:21 PM  
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