"...weeping may endure for a night, but joy cometh in the morning." Psalm 30:5.
There is no story that shows the darkness of the hour, followed by the light of the morning, like that of the crucifixion and resurrection of Christ. The resurrection is so powerful that it's hard to imagine the darkness of the crucifixion when you know the whole story. The glory of the resurrection cancels the dysphoria of the crucifixion. We can't imagine the one without the other.
If we have our faith rooted and grounded in Christ Jesus, we will not be dismayed by the darkness of trials that invade our lives, because we know, like the resurrection, the outcome will be joy. The Bible tells us that, "...all things work together for good to them that love God..." Romans 8:28. Do we believe it?
Talking of his upcoming crucifixion and resurrection, Jesus told his disciples, "And ye now therefore have sorrow: but I will see you again, and your heart shall rejoice, and your joy no man taketh from you." John 16:22.
The world expresses this hope in the adage, "Behind every cloud, there is a silver lining."
When we're in the "crucifixion" of our trial, it's often hard to see the "resurrection" of our circumstance. That's why it's so important for us to be able to trust in God, even in the dark hours of our lives. God made us a promise that he would not put more upon us than we can bear. Do we believe him?
It all boils down to our faith. Do we try to muster up faith that the situation will change? Or, do we place our faith in God. Faith that he knows what's best and will take care of the situation is what we need to seek. There's little difference between trust and faith here.
I have always considered joy to be much deeper than happiness, but when I searched my dictionaries and my thesaurus, I found them interchangeable. Joy, I learned, brings happiness, which in turn is described as contentment. What an eye-opener!
I have always coupled happiness with thrill and excitement. How wrong I was. Nowhere in my sources can I find a similarity.
So I can assume that with the joy of the Lord, I will find the happiness for which I'm searching. What a wonderful thought!
Paul, in Philippians 4:11, states, "...I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content." (Content, happy, joyful) What a lesson in this passage!
God knows that we, as humans, cannot always cope with our adverse situations on our own. That's why he said he'd be there for us.
He allows us a "time to mourn" (Ecclesiastes 3:4) for our troubled circumstances. But, if we let him, he's brings joy, happiness and contentment into that very troubling time. What a great God!
We have great hope because of the death, burial and resurrection of our Lord and Savior. And "Happy is he...whose hope is in the Lord his God." Psalm 146:5.
Because he suffered, we can be assured that he knows our grief. Because he arose, we can be confident that we too will rise above our troubled situation.
Now I understand why Paul wrote in Corinthians 7:4, "...I am filled with comfort, I am exceeding joyful in all our tribulation."
Jacquelyn Horne is a former newspaper reporter who has won various awards including two Delaware School Bell awards. She has poems and articles published in magazines and Christian publications. She moved from Delaware to central Georgia 13 years ago.