Happy Friday!! How has your week been? Mine has been crazy as per usual but it’s also been really really good. One of my goals for this year is seek joy every day. After talking about lament last week, I set my focus on something very different. It was a heavy subject to discuss. Talking about grief always feels like that I think. So this week, let’s talk about joy. Let’s talk about the flip side of grief. Let’s talk about what it feels like when the pain fades.
One of my favorite things about the Psalms is how they celebrate. The writers communicate their pain with God but they also turn it around and celebrate. They turn their joy into praises for Him. A verse that I’ve loved for many years is found in Psalm 30:4-5. It reads, “Sing praises to the Lord, O you his saints, and give thanks to his holy name. For his anger is but for a moment, and his favor is for a lifetime. Weeping may tarry for the night, but joy comes with the morning.”
This verse has encouraged me through a number of different seasons. If you’re in a season of struggle, then let this verse be an encouragement. It has reminded me many times that pain doesn’t last forever. God is so good. He is a God that has given joy. As we talked about last week, God is with us when we are in pain. When we can’t pull our lives together. But He is also there when things look up. He loves to celebrate. In many ways, I love picturing God celebrating. I think He’s pretty good at it.
Psalm 30:11-12 says, “You have turned for me my mourning into dancing; you have loosed my sackcloth and clothed me with gladness, that my glory may sing your praise and not be silent. O Lord my God, I will give thanks to you forever!”
We have so much to thank the Lord for. His character is so hard for us to fully comprehend. He is fully good. Fully just. Fully loving. Fully gracious. He is fully sovereign. He has the ultimate control over the world. God is faithful in His dealings with us.
The Psalms are great examples of how we should relate to God. When experiencing pain, the psalmists turn and praise the Lord. When experiencing joy, the psalmists turn and praise the Lord. In laughter, tears, ect. they continually remind themselves of who the Lord is. I love their attitudes about life.
Psalm 95:6-7a says, “Oh come, let us worship and bow down; let us kneel before the Lord, our Maker! For he is our God, and we are the people of his pasture, and the sheep of his hand…”
Worship and joy are intertwined. They go hand in hand so to speak. I don’t view this whole joy thing as something that occurs when we win the lottery. Joy is contentment in circumstances, good or bad. When I go about seeking joy in my life, I don’t try to ignore anything bad that happens. Sadness is not something to avoid. But rather, in each moment I attempt to remind myself that God is still good. That I still have much to be thankful for.
Am I fully successful in this? Absolutely not. I would say this is one of my biggest struggles. But the important things often are. I’ve talked to a number of you recently and heard some painful stories recently. I so want to encourage you to seek the Lord in this. Find your joy in Him. I don’t say that lightheartedly or as a cliché but as a truth. Jesus is the healer of broken hearts. It’s one of my favorite things about the Lord. My words or friends words can’t heal you. Sometimes, even a change in situation can’t.
Psalm 34:18 says, “The Lord is near to the brokenhearted and saves the crushed in spirit.”
If your heart is broken, I am praying with you friend. If you’re celebrating, know that I’m down for a party as well. Much love.