Joy in the Midst of Your Sorrows
Do you ever go through seasons of feeling weary? Times of suffering or hardship where you feel like you are hanging on a rope by your pinky finger, or treading water with only your head above the surface? Of course, you do!
I don’t believe any of us goes through life without feeling like this at some point. This past year I have experienced pain, grief, anxiety, and days of absolute weariness. I have even questioned if there will be some relief ahead. I have spent nights soaking my pillowcase with my tears. Sleepless nights make for long days of feeling like I am not functioning properly. The weariness affects my mind, then overflows to my physical body. But amid this weariness, Christ is grasping my rope; He is lifting me and keeping my head above water so I can breathe!
All You Need is More Faith?
There is false teaching out there that portrays the lie that, as Christians, if our lives are not going well it’s because we don’t have enough faith. We’re not sowing enough seeds to reap prosperity, health, and wellness. Or we aren’t speaking into existence positive outcomes or naming and claiming what we need for our lives. That is a lie!
If this is the type of teaching you are subjecting yourself to, I urge you to get out from under it immediately. We were not promised a life of yellow brick roads. This road can and will be a difficult one. It’s as simple as reading accounts of lives all throughout the Bible to know this life is not without its difficulties and hardships.
- Joseph was sold into slavery by his brothers and then thrown in jail over a lie (Genesis 37, 39).
- Job lost everything: his home, his riches, even his family (Job 1)
- Jeremiah suffered anguish in his spirit over his unrepentant people. He was known as the “Weeping Prophet.” (Jeremiah 8-10)
- Paul lived with a thorn in his flesh. Though we don’t know exactly what this was, scripture affirms that he suffered from this affliction (2 Corinthians 12).
- Lastly and most significantly, even though His death, burial, and resurrection are why we can even say we belong to Him, Jesus Christ died a horribly painful death on the cross. Matthew, Luke, Mark, John
These are just a few biblical stories of hardship. I could write all day about the persecution of the apostles. By no means am I comparing my suffering or your suffering to the lives of apostles, or to Jesus Christ, Himself. I am just refuting the lie of living in a Christian utopia of some sort on this earth. It doesn’t exist.
Joy in the Midst of Your Sorrows
A life free of weariness and exhaustion, pain and grief, loss and hardship is impossible. Even though we suffer hardships, what a joy and reassurance remains for those of us who belong to Christ!
Can you imagine going through struggles without the Lord? I may have sleepless nights, I may have a tear-stained pillow, I may have days where I don’t see any end in sight to this hardship, but it doesn’t change the absolute truth that I belong to the One who upholds my life in His hands. As believers, we are inscribed on the palms of His hands (Isaiah 49:16).
Do not fear, for I am with you; Do not anxiously look about you, for I am your God. I will strengthen you, surely I will help you, Surely I will uphold you with My righteous right hand. ~Isaiah 41:10
Despite the weariness, I have a joy that can only come from Christ. James said to consider it all joy when we encounter various trials, knowing that the testing of our faith produces endurance (James 1:2-3). Speaking of feeling grief, weary, and pain, yet saying I have joy may sound contradictory. But that is how the life of a believer is. We can suffer, yet have joy!
Just because we’re Christians, doesn’t mean we will not suffer. I once heard someone say that we should not even speak from our mouths that we are hurting, or suffering, or experiencing hardship, that it’s basically speaking these things into existence in our lives. We are not God. We can’t speak anything into existence, let alone hardship just by telling someone we are having a hard time.
Share Your Heart
Sisters, if you are hurting, if you are suffering – speak it! Tell someone. Confide in other sisters in Christ, speak to your pastor or elder, or seek biblical counseling. The body of Christ shares in the pain and suffering of its members. Don’t hold it in, don’t refrain from talking to someone. There is something very special about sharing our burdens with those who love Christ as we do.
Share your heart with friends who will pray for you and cast all your anxiety on the Lord (1 Peter 4:7). Know that God causes all things to work together for good to those of us who love Him and are called according to His purpose (Romans 8:28). Jesus Christ said we would have tribulation in this world, but take courage, for He has overcome the world (John 16:33). It’s OK, sisters. We can be weary; there is no need to fight it, or even deny it. There is hope!
May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound in hope. ~Romans 15:13
God sanctifies us during these hardships. Jesus said, “after we have suffered a little while, the God of all grace, who called us to His eternal glory in Christ, will Himself perfect, confirm, strengthen, and establish us (1 Peter 5:10).” I will have joy in my sufferings, because ultimately, I want to be more like Christ and I pray God will do whatever He needs to fulfill His purpose, for His glory.