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.
I like things all planned out. But sometimes, no matter how much we plan, things happen that are beyond our control. I recall once planning a special service to license a pastor to the ministry. We had invited a number of special guests to be part of the service. Everyone was excited about the special service. The church we were meeting in did to have their own building, they rented space on a college campus. When we arrived to set up things 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 use to accommodate someone in the administration. They had reassigned us to a much room across the sprawling campus complex. With only minutes until the service began, we had to move all our stuff to a different building and quickly set it up. There was little time to inform members of the congregation where we relocated to. The alternative meeting location was on the third floor of a building and down several maze-like hallways. It was hard to find and even harder to explain to our special guests who had not been on campus before. It seemed like the service was going to be a disaster. Our leadership team started calling and texting members of the congregation and special guests to tell them how to find the new location. It was a very stressful situation and our plans for a special service felt like they were rapidly evaporating.
Eventually, 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 ended up having a record attendance that morning! The service itself went great. As we prayed over the pastor 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 like that. Unexpected things happen that raise stress levels. God works through them and blesses the situation anyway. Then another challenge happens, 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 when we keep our focus on Him. The joy of knowing and serving Christ make the frustrations of life worth it. If we just keep exalting the Lord, even in the midst of chaos and sadness, joy eventually comes.
Lord, give us joy in the midst of the struggles of life. Amen.
This devotional is from the book “Heavenly Mundane” by Dr. Terry W. Dorsett. Dr. Dorsett has been a pastor, church planter, denominational leader and author in New England for more than 20 years. He is a happy husband, a proud father and adoring grandfather. He is a cancer survivor and believes that God works powerfully through times of suffering. He writes extensively and you can find all of his books at: