Joy Comes In The Morning

March 2015 Blog:

  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 favour is for a lifetime. Weeping may tarry for the night, but joy comes with the morning.
Psalms 30:4-5, ESV
Joy, God’s gift to mankind which helps us to appreciate His Goodness and the Blessings of His Presence. A brief review of some of the well known stories in the bible should tell us that Joy often co-exists with conflict, trials and tribulations. It is not denial nor burying one’s head in the sand, on the contrary, Joy is strengthened by these factors. We have only to recount Paul’s famous description of his ministry experiences in 2 Corinthian 4:7-18, to give us a flavour of what Joy under fire looks like:

But we have this treasure in jars of clay, to show that the surpassing power belongs to God and not to us. We are afflicted in every way, but not crushed; perplexed, but not driven to despair; persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed; always carrying in the body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be manifested in our bodies.

Joy seems to be the outward manifestation of “the treasure”, Paul speaks about because he acknowledges in the epistle that “the surpassing power belongs to God and not to us.” Joy is a gift from God, given to those who trust in Him, to sustain them in their trial and enable them to give a testimony- which is in effect, glorifying God.

In verse 13, Paul describes that God is able to give (His grace) to His suffering saints “the same spirit of faith” (which was given to Christ) to sustain them during their trial, naturally results in an outpouring of thanksgiving “extends to more and more people it may increase thanksgiving, to the glory of God.”

A final point to mention in relation to Paul’s testimony is that although suffering for one’s faith leaves scarring- whether physical or emotional, just like Jacob’s wounded thigh was a reminder of an encounter with the divine; the “power of resurrection”, becomes the daily experience of those who are favoured by God’s presence and the new mercies of His Grace, in verse 16-17, he tells us:

So we do not lose heart. Though our outer self is wasting away, our inner self is being renewed day by day. For this light momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison, as we look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen. For the things that are seen are transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal.”

Nehemiah also,whilst rebuilding the walls of Jerusalem, amidst all the challenges, resistance and discouragement he attracted from the opposing forces of evil represented by Sanballat and Tobiah, was still able to recognise God’s Hand upon his mission. As a result he was able to confidently say:
He continued, “Go home and prepare a feast, holiday food and drink; and share it with those who don’t have anything: This day is holy to God. Don’t feel bad. The joy of GOD is your strength!” (Nehemiah 8:10 Message)

Nehemiah advice to his fellow-sufferers was to do the opposite of what our human nature would wish to do. Rather than go home and throw a ‘pity party’, he counsels them to celebrate, hold a feast with the best food and drink, practice hospitality, share with others in need and fellowship in the presence of God. Why? Because the “Joy of God (KJV states the Lord) is your strength.”

It is interesting, both Paul and Nehemiah shift the focus in their experience from themselves to God and others, not only that, the mere act of praise and thanksgiving, glorifying God in the midst of adversity, demonstrates their love, faith, trust and confidence in His ability to turn their circumstances around - anything less is unbelief.

Praise and thanksgiving are mighty weapons for people of faith. The Psalmist tells us in Psalms 22:3, that God inhabits our praises. Whilst in Psalms 8:2, it is stated that praise and thanksgiving are mechanisms ordained by God to “still the enemy and the avenger.”

Returning to the opening scripture, we can now understand why Joy Comes in the Morning! Nowhere does it state that is wrong to be sad, sorrowful, mournful- God created our emotions to be a natural channel for human expression. We learn from research that tears themselves are therapeutic way of processing and releasing painful emotions, which in turn facilitate healing and release.

As believers, Joy resulting from faith in God, has to go hand with suffering. Just as love is a choice not an emotion, so too is Joy: it need not be transient and fleeting - like happiness. Even in the midst of painful experiences, our choice of Joy over mourning and self pity, is acknowledged by the Almighty and His response to us is backed by Exceedingly Abundant Measures of the Mighty Outpouring of His Mercy and Grace through His Holy Spirit.

Whenever you are tempted to dwell upon difficult and painful situations that you cannot change, why not take a prescription of Joy, seasoned with praise and thanksgiving, it is guaranteed to bring you into the presence of God and His Lifetime of Favour!

© hopecalls.org, 2015 (all rights reserved)



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