Thursday, May 26, 2011

Understanding That Joy Always Comes In The Morning

I think women are the most wonderful creatures in all of God's creation and they are due a lot of respect for many reasons. Just one of the things that impresses me about women is childbirth. For nine months their body goes through huge changes as organs get displaced, lung capacity diminishes, extra energy is produced, levels of everything in the body increases. For the last bit they have to carry around this living being in them who kicks, punches and rolls around any time he feels like it. Then there is the incredible moment of birth.

Having experienced this sight eight times I am still in awe of that moment. Those great pains that announce the approaching deliverance from that creature inside, the amount of pain involved in the actually delivery are gut wrenching for a man to helplessly look on. I remember all those moments of crying out, the screaming, grunting, forced breathing. It's hard to forget just one experience let alone eight. But the most amazing thing is when the baby is laid on the mother's breast. There is an entire transformation in that woman who has just become a new mom. What was a raving, screaming  creature suffering great pain only a moment ago becomes a loving, soothing, cooing, gaga-ing mother beaming at this beautiful new child. It is like everything has been forgotten. Amazing.

Jesus used this phenomena to explain to his disciples the process they were about to go through. They were about to experience great pain but this pain would lead to great joy:

I tell you the truth, you will weep and mourn while the world rejoices. You will grieve, but your grief will turn to joy. A woman giving birth to a child has pain because her time has come; but when her baby is born she forgets the anguish because of her joy that a child is born into the world. So with you: Now is your time of grief, but I will see you again and you will rejoice, and no one will take away your joy. (John 16:20-22)

This is our Christian hope. Not a hope that is wishful thinking but a promise we are longing to possess. We should be able to face any storms, painful or not, with great joy and expectation because of the promises we have received from God. It is described elsewhere in the Word:

Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal. (2 Corinthians 4:16-18)

You should do a word study on hope in the New Testament and you may be surprised by the strength and importance of it. This is what two simple verses have to say to us about it:

We have this hope as an anchor for the soul, firm and secure. (Hebrews 6:19)

Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see. (Hebrews 11:1)

Any Christian who has lost hope has also lost Christ, having taken his eyes off of him and allowed himself to be overwhelmed by the storm. There is no excuse for a joyless Christian because such a state only comes from a lack of faith, a lack of trust. No matter what we are facing, experiencing, or suffering the spiritual principle of the matter is straightforward:

Weeping may remain for a night, 
   but rejoicing comes in the morning. (Psalm 30:5)

Take Jesus at his word. Trust his promises. Stand by him. Allow him to maintain that peace he promises to you and to overwhelm you with his joy. He will sustain you in everything and you will be glad for it. Do not rob him of his glory by robbing yourself of the testimony he is giving you. Allow the world to look on you in wonder, that you could have such peace and joy in the midst of so much turmoil. Allow them to look on and give all the glory to God that they would see and believe. There is purpose in everything he does, in everything he allows and he has promised the result will give us great joy.

No comments: