Sow & Gather

How Do Joy and Suffering Go Together?

joyMarci Anthony2 Comments
#joy and suffering can work together #prayer #Jesus

For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, is working for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory.  2 Corinthians 4:17 (NKJV) 

Joy:  “The emotion of great delight or happiness caused by something exceptionally good or satisfying,” from Dictionary.com.  That’s probably how most people would describe joy.  Joy is so much more than just an “emotion” that must be stimulated by something “exceptionally good or satisfying”.  When you see the word joy in the Bible, it is often used along with suffering, which might seem strange.  What do suffering and joy have in common? 

The definition of joy in the Holman Illustrated Bible Dictionary says, “State of delight and well-being that results from knowing and serving God”.  It has nothing to do with what is happening in my life.  The joy that the Bible talks about has so much more depth and meaning.  It doesn’t matter what I’m going through, I can still have joy because I have Jesus.   

My joy is not dependent upon my circumstances, which can change so quickly.  I can have joy despite my circumstances.  James 1:2-4 says, “My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trails, knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience.  But let patience have its perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing.”  James is telling us that we don’t have joy because of what we are going through, but, that what we are going through won’t be wasted.  God will use it for our good, drawing us closer to Him and developing spiritual maturity in us. 

According to the Bible, the source of my joy isn’t an emotion caused by external things, but God Himself, who fills me internally.  “Now may the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that you may abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit,” Romans 15:13.  The joy that God gives us cannot compare to anything that the world can offer. 

Dig Deeper |

Romans 5:3-5, Romans 12:12, Hebrews 12:2, James 1:2-4

Action Item |

Are you ready to experience true joy?  Seek God in His word and you will find Him. 

Prayer |

Father, thank you that my joy isn’t temporary or fleeting.  It is not dependent on what I am doing, but rather Who I am trusting.

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