”Weeping may remain for a night, but rejoicing comes in the morning.” (Ps. 30:5)
After our son, Austin, unexpectedly went to be with Jesus, this verse began to take on a different meaning to me. Does it mean that we are weeping now but after more time has passed, we will quit feeling the pain? I don’t think so! We will always feel the pain of missing our beloved son and brother. So, how can “joy come in the morning”?
We can experience true joy when we choose to see that God is sovereign and has a purpose for everything He allows. We also know that Austin is in Heaven with Jesus. Each day we live is a day closer to being together in Heaven with him. This brings great joy to us!
I have read that there is a power plant that produces electricity for powering streetcars. The turning wheels create friction. The hum and roar can be extremely unpleasant, but the rubbing of steel produces the electrical current that is essential for the streetcars to operate. There is a spiritual analogy that we can see between this friction and the trials and difficulties that God allows to come into our lives. When God wants to create more spiritual power in the lives of His children, He lovingly allows more “friction.” In return, we receive more spiritual power and can be a greater asset to His kingdom. It is because of these experiences that God is able to use our lives in a greater way to benefit others. Sometimes we think we can’t handle this intense pressure and we desperately try to run away from it. God’s intent, however, is for us to receive enough power from it to rise above the painful and tough times that produce it. If we choose to respond correctly, we will receive more power and joy in our lives.
In my last blog, “Blessings In Disguise”, I shared the verse in 2 Cor. 12:10 where Paul states, “That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.” What was the important element that gave Paul this perspective? It is found in these three little words “…for Christ’s sake.”
If you recall the apostle Paul’s life of imprisonment, beatings, near drowning experience, extreme hunger and much more, (2 Cor. 11:24-27) you will realize that he was not living the American dream. Paul had no idea that his life and example was going to be in the Bible and have an impact on millions of lives throughout history. However, Paul realized that God had a bigger picture than he was able to see at the time of these trials. He continued trusting God even when life didn’t make sense.
We should look at each of the difficult events that come into our lives as opportunities for us to demonstrate a godliness that gives glory to God. If our purpose is to live our lives “for Christ’s sake”, we can accept whatever God brings as His divine opportunities for us. When we dedicate our trials to God, we can experience real growth in grace as a result of them. We may not see any purpose in what God is doing, but we need to realize that He isn’t finished molding us yet. Let’s patiently wait to see what good things God will do in our lives, while we have the calm assurance that “…He will do it”. (Ps. 37:5) The secret of knowing God’s complete sufficiency is coming to the end of everything in ourselves and our circumstances. Once we reach this point, we stop looking for sympathy for our difficult trials, because we will recognize these things as the necessary conditions for blessings.
Are you being severely tested right now? Have you considered that the Lord may be sending you through this trial as an opportunity for you to develop your gifts? You may have some gifts that will never be discovered except through this trial. “Your faith will never appear as great in the warm summer weather as it does during a cold winter.” Now is the time when God is drawing attention to your life and is giving you the opportunity to allow Him to shine through you. Others are watching to see how you respond. You can either be a hinderance to their lives, or you can claim God’s grace and be a challenge, blessing, and encouragement to them as they continue their journey with God. “Trials are the food of faith.” Your life is the rich soil, and you can chose to plant a beautiful garden of faith where others can be fed.