It’s hard to be miserable and joyful at the same time

Now… don’t misunderstand what I’m saying here.

I know that there’s a lot of pain in our world right now.
You might be feeling that very personally.
Very acutely.
Tears flow more easily than words at times.
Tears become the language of the hurting soul.

I’m not advocating a “fake it to make it” strategy, where a counterfeit smile masks a deeper reality of sadness, grief, loss, and disappointment.

Neither am I inviting you to “turn to Jesus” to uncover the happiness you’re longing for.

Jesus doesn’t offer us a bucket of happiness.
That’s way too shallow for His aspirations for us.

In Jesus, we find the God who weeps with us in our pain.
Who sits with us in the silence of our disappointment.
Who holds us close in the dark, cold alleys of our questions, doubts, and fears.
Who utterly refuses to abandon us, even when we abandon Him.

In Jesus, we find the God who invites us to rest in Heaven’s help.
To accept our human weakness and frailty and surrender to divine strength.
To make the bold, brave daily choice to trust in the God who loves us beyond our wildest imaginations.
To trust the God who never promised a free pass from suffering, but absolutely promised to stick with us, to give us peace, and to bring us through the worst of whatever life may throw our way – even death itself.

After all, he carries the scars of unimaginable suffering upon His wrists and feet.
He knows.
He gets it.
He’s been there.
He’s been beyond what any of us could have endured – and walked through it.
Because, with Him, suffering, pain, disappointment, even death – never have the last word.

They didn’t for Him.
They needed for You.
This is why we can join with the songwriter in Psalm 28:7 who sings…

“The Lord is my strength and shield.
I trust him with all my heart.
He helps me, and my heart is filled with joy.
I burst out in songs of thanksgiving.”

Whatever you are walking through today, I pray NOT that you will sip a brief slurp from the shallow bucket of human happiness BUT that you will invite Jesus to give you strength, and help, and by doing so, find yourself surprised by the hope-bringing geyser of divine joy.

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