The gift of joy from God remains even when life is painful.
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“In this you rejoice, though now for a little while,
as was necessary, you have been grieved by various trials.”
1 Peter 1:6 English Standard Version
Have you ever thought about what it would be like to be outdoor Christmas decorations? We received two inches of snow the Sunday before I took this picture (why does it always snow on Sunday?) and I woke up Monday morning to the news that it was 2 degrees Fahrenheit. The wind had blown making the temperature even colder. Unlike you and me, the decorations could not pack it up and come inside and sip eggnog. Instead they continued to dangle and shine in the midst of the storm.
That is the life of the redeemed in Christ. We shine in the midst of adversity.
Peter’s audience was undergoing persecution for their faith in Jesus Christ. Peter encourages them to continue to shine while suffering. That’s what we do. What baffles people who don’t know the joy of Christ is that we possess God’s gift of joy even when things aren’t going well.
I have often seen this joy in people’s struggles with cancer, broken families and community tragedies. Since this joy is a gift born out of the sacrifice of Jesus on his cross, it does not take away the sorrow, pain and grief of such events. It is a joy that is experienced in the midst of weeping. It is the joy of Christ; a joy rooted in the promise that one day all tears will be wiped away.
There is joy in adversity.
Copyright Douglas P Brauner