Sunday, September 7, 2014

Joy in Pain

" There are a thousand ways you can suffer brave.
And no one knows."

" Struggling and rejoicing are not two chronological steps, one following the other, but two concurrent movements, one fluid with the other"

"Even know, I will be joyful in the God of my salvation"

Ever wonder how the martyrs do it?  Really?  The stories aren't just fairy tales.  They are real people who feel pain-physical and emotional...and spiritual --like us.

Forget martyrs.

  Sometime the everyday, western world life can be painful too.  We look around, and gee, we really shouldn't say we suffer.  We have food, clothing and shelter. And no one is shooting at most of us.  We can say what we want, when we want.  We can work, play, fight, go to the doctor, choose to worship and where and when.  We can change jobs change our location, change styles.  We can cry, create and give.  

But we still hurt.  Our hearts yearn for what is not.  Joys disappoint.  Hopes fade.  Dreams die.  Friends leave.  Lovers hate.  His presence sometimes seems far.  His provision is a mystery.  He plan leads to a place we do not know.  Sin has corrupted our world thoroughly. 

 Our inmost being knows that all is not right in the world.  Things are awful, really.  One of the terrors of adulthood is understanding just how out of control the world really is.  The world at large.  And our own little world.  There is very little that is safe, predictable, painless even in the smallest microcosm of our itty- bitty, self-absorbed world.

Things go wrong.  people go wrong.  we go wrong.  

But the rejoicing is to happen, not when all is right in our own little world, or the universe at large.

It happens in the circumstances.  
17 Though the fig tree may not blossom,
Nor fruit be on the vines;
Though the labor of the olive may fail,
And the fields yield no food;
Though the flock may be cut off from the fold,
And there be no herd in the stalls—
18 Yet I will rejoice in the Lord,
I will joy in the God of my salvation.
19 The Lord God[c] is my strength;
He will make my feet like deer’s feet,
And He will make me walk on my high hills.
Hababbuk 3 (NKJV Bible Gateway) tells me that joy means gladness.  I will be glad in the God of my safety.  It looks bad for Habakkuk--enemy attack, no food, no shelter.  But He claims God as his safety, and chooses joy.  

It is good that we are to abide in him. Wherewithal...I know that I do not have it in myself.  But He works in us to will to act according to His good purposes. Philippians 2:13

It's who He is, not what our circumstances are that bring us joy.  

May He be He fill our vision.


  1. Lovely, Monique, and so true and even more challenging to really do that rejoicing in the tough times. Great reminder and exhortation!

    1. thanks for your encouragement. and friendship