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Friday, March 1, 2013

From Darkness to Joy

Be joyful always; pray continually; give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus.
                                                                      I Thessalonians 5:16-18

There are times when joy seems impossible . . .

                                                     - times of uncertainty

                                                     - times of loss

                                                     - times of fear

                                                     - times of sickness

                                                     - times of despair

It IS impossible to be joyful at such times in our own strength.

But through the power of prayer, God makes the impossible possible.

He reminds us to focus on all that is still good in our lives . . .
                                                   
                                                     - family

                                                     - friends

                                                     - freedom

                                                     - food and shelter

                                                     - His unending and unfailing love and forgiveness

During my own struggles with depression and loss, there have been times when I felt completely abandoned and cut off from God.

But I know those feelings are not Truth.  They are only stealthily whispered lies of the enemy of my soul attempting to drag me away from the Light.

I have felt the fear and discouragement of David in Psalm 30:  "when you hid your face, I was dismayed." (v.7)

Like David, I have cried out, "Hear, O Lord, and be merciful to me; O Lord, be my help." (v.10)

And God has always answered my plea.  Maybe not always instantaneously.  Maybe not in a way I was able to recognize at first.  But always in His own perfect way and timing.

He has "turned my wailing into dancing . . . removed my sackcloth and clothed me with joy, that my heart may sing to  you and not be silent." (vv.11-12)

I know there will be more times when "weeping may remain for a night" but I also know I can trust that "rejoicing comes in the morning." (v.5)

God has given me all the instructions I need to find my way out of the darkness - unceasing prayer and gratitude.  I pray for His grace to live it out in my life.

2 comments:

  1. Sandee, this is beautiful. It's hard for me to know what else to say. I can tell that you have discovered God's faithfulness even in the darkness of the night. Because we live in a fallen world, we are not assured that sadness or pain won't touch us, but we are assured that we still have the final victory.
    Blessings sister!
    Barbara Prince
    OBS small group leader

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  2. Thanks so much for your kind words Barbara. His faithfulness has truly saved my life. Sweet blessings to you too!

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