“The joy of the LORD is your strength.” Nehemiah 8:10
“These things I have spoken to you, that my joy may be in you, and that your joy may be full.” John 15:11
We have been talking a lot with our boys about why we suffer, why life is hard, and what it means to be disciplined by God (and the differences of all mentioned). Their young hearts are processing so much, more than they should at their age (as far as I’m concerned). They ask big theological questions that even Kelly and I have a hard time comprehending as adults. The hard stuff never really goes away, because there is always some new challenge or hurt we have to hurdle and make our way through.
So of course we explain that life is just that, it’s hard. But our strength comes from the Lord to get through these difficult trials. It’s not just getting through a trial, though, because God uses the hard times to shape us and give us character that resembles His perfect character. And beyond that He promises us joy in the midst of sorrow and trial.
I found this quote from Andrew Murray (which we’ll be using to continue our conversation with our strapping boys next week), and it is positively spot-on:
…Paul gives the strongest evidence as to this unceasing joy. He understood the paradox of the Christian life as the combination at one and the same moment of all the bitterness of earth and all the joy of heaven. “As sorrowful, yet always rejoicing”: these precious golden words teach us how the joy of Christ can overrule the sorrow of the world, can make us sing while we weep, and can maintain in the heart, even when cast down by disappointment or difficulties, a deep consciousness of a joy that is unspeakable and full of glory…The presence of Jesus, distinctly manifested, cannot but give joy. Abiding in Him consciously, how can the soul but rejoice and be glad?