Thursday, September 8, 2016

Finding Joy In the Midst of Struggle

Psalm 30:1-5 - I will exalt You, Lord, because You have lifted me up and have not allowed my enemies to triumph over me.  Lord my God, I cried to You for help, and You healed me.  Lord, You brought me up from Sheol; You spared me from among those going down to the Pit.  Sing to Yahweh, you His faithful ones, and praise His holy name.  For His anger lasts only a moment, but His favor, a lifetime. Weeping may spend the night, but there is joy in the morning.

No matter our profession or the season of life, life is filled with both joy and frustration. As Christians, we should be expecting God to transform our frustrations into joy. My primary vocation is to help start new churches. At one new church we were planning a special service to license to the ministry, the new pastor, a young man just out of college. We had invited a number of out-of-town guests and several denominational leaders to be part of the service, and everyone was excited. When we arrived to set up for the service, the building manager informed us that there had been a last minute change in plans. They needed the large room we normally used to accommodate a special meeting for the organization’s administration, and we needed to move to a much smaller room across the large complex. With only minutes until the service began, we moved all our equipment to a different building and quickly set it up. With very little time to inform the congregation of the new location, the third floor of another building and down several maze-like hallways, it seemed like the service was going to be a disaster. Our small core group started calling and texting members of the congregation and guests to tell them how to find the new location, but our hopes for a joyful celebration service were rapidly evaporating.

However, we got everything set up and began the service only ten minutes behind schedule. People kept trickling in as they discovered where we were. To our surprise, we had a record attendance that morning! The service itself went well. As we prayed over the young man to license him, all the frustration seemed to melt away and a sense of real joy filled the room. In the end, God got the glory, and His Word was proclaimed during the service.

Life is often like that. Unexpected things happen that raise stress levels. God works through them and blesses the situation anyway. Then another challenge occurs, and God works through that too. It happens again and again, but each time God works through the situation and brings glory to His name. The frustrations of life are many, but so are the joys. The joys overshadow the frustrations. If we just keep exalting the Lord, even in the midst of chaos and sadness, joy does come in the morning.

Lord, give us joy in the midst of the struggles of life. Amen.

This post is an excerpt from the book, The Heavenly Mundane: Daily Devotions from Ordinary Experiences. Filled with stories of how God spoke in big ways through small events, the book will encourage people to look for God in the mundane things of life. Great for both personal use and to give as a gift to friend, either the print version or the e-book version may be purchased at this link:

1 comment:

  1. In each and every day their is a period of darkness and a period of light. The sun sets, twilight comes and then darkness: yet dawn soon breaks, the sun rises and the hope for a new day begins, and so it goes with our spiritual lives as well.