Thought – Joy is not the absence of pain; it is the presence of God!
Scripture – “For his anger lasts only a moment, but his favor lasts a lifetime; weeping may stay for the night, but rejoicing comes in the morning.” Psalm 30:5
Insight : We will experience pain and trouble in this world. Jesus said so himself in John 16:33 when he proclaimed “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” So, we can still choose joy in the midst of pain because we know we have God with us. It is not so much what happens to us, it is how we react that makes all the difference. Pain is inevitable at some point in our life, but misery is optional. We can use adversity and pain to fuel us, or we can let it defeat us. Because God is with us always, and he never “leaves us or forsakes us,” as Hebrews 13:5 promises, we can choose to be joyful regardless of our circumstances! We need to take our focus off of our problems and instead focus on God’s goodness and strength. That way we can learn to still be joyful, even in the midst of deep pain. Our joy can be greater than our circumstances. This can sound unreasonable or even impossible, but it’s not. I have found that even in the darkest nights of my soul, I can awaken the next day and find some small thing to cling to that can fill my heart with joy, simply because I know Jesus is with me, and that fills me with hope that there will be a better and brighter tomorrow, despite the intensity of the pain today. My joy does not have to be circumstantial, because it can be focused on His promises rather than my worries. Hallelujah!
Prayer: Father God, keep me always in tune with you and how much you love me as illustrated by you sending your Son Jesus to die on the Cross to remove the stains of my sin from me, and be placed on Him. The amazing, unbelievable grace of that all is impossible to truly fathom, but I do know it can set us free and allow us to experience joy even in the midst of overwhelming pain. Amen!